donderdag 29 maart 2007


Carmin is the new album by Daphné, a fille who was featured here before (see?). Although this bio is fairly long, there's not a lot of info yet on this album. I read somewhere that Gonzales contributed (he did too on Daphnés debut), as did Renaud Letang. The music is a bit more poppy, less orchestral than on debutalbum L'Émeraud, but strings and horns do appear. Most songs are piano-driven. Daphnés vibrato-voice maybe isn't everyone cup of tea, but I like the porcelain quality of it. Gainsbourg is never far away, especially when you put that plopping bass-sound in a song, Abracadabra in this case.

Daphné - Abracadabra
Daphné - Les Phénix

dinsdag 27 maart 2007

Charlotte Gainsbourg

And there she was, all of a sudden. Well, okay, I had been warned, by email. And when I was in the hotel to interview J-B and Nicolas, I saw her walking by. But I thought, no, it just can't be her. But it was. The first encore of the Air-concert in the Amsterdam Melkweg last night consisted of two songs with Charlotte Gainsbourg. "The first time ever live", Nicolas said. Was it magical? You bet. She wore jeans, white shirt, white jacket, and her whispery voice was like a real soft loungechair. She sang Beauty Mark, my favourite song from 5.55, and The Operation. And then Air took over to close this first encore with Sexy Boy (after that, they did a second encore, La Femme d'Argent). I felt privileged to be there, although the Air-concert was so-so. I guess when you see Air live in a big field, stoned out of your mind at sunset, or when seventies soft porn is being projected, it makes more sense. And oh yes, the guy who made loud monkey noises during Beauty Mark should've been shot in the kneecaps. Where's Tony Soprano when you need him?

By the way, this month's issue of American rockmagazine Spin has a nice interview with Charlotte. If you come across more American interviews, please let me know.

Charlotte Gainsbourg - Beauty Mark
Air (featuring Jarvis Cocker & Charlotte Gainsbourg) - The Duelist

maandag 26 maart 2007


A little while ago I bumped onto Versari's MySpace-site, and fell in love with Les Silhouettes, a beautiful dark diamond of a song by Versari. It's a duet, non-Versari member Céline Bary sings it with Jean-Charles Versari. The lyrics are like a conversation between two old lovers reminiscing and talking about where it all went wrong. It took a while, but thanks to J-C I got hold of the song. J-C used to be in a band called Les Hurleurs, Versari’s music is an unusual blend of French songwriting with a strong reference to arty Britrock. The general atmosphere is somehow melancholic (think Tindersticks and a crooning Nick Cave), but in a bright way. Jour après jour is their first album. J-C emailed me that he's working on songs for Céline (they worked together before on a Tuxedomoon cover, see here) as well, "because she is a brilliant singer and it's a shame she doesn't have an album out yet." So there!

Versari - Les Silhouettes

Emilie Simon

Emilie Simon - Dame de Lotus
Emilie Simon - Dame de Lotus (live)

donderdag 22 maart 2007

Carla Bruni

TV-Tip for all Dutch and Belgian readers: Ivo Niehe has interviewed Carla Bruni in her Paris home for his TV Show. The conversation (in French? in Italian? I'm sure Ivo can't resist showing off his language skills) will be broadcasted Friday, March 23, Nederland 1. It might be available later via Keep you posted on that. [Update: saw the interview, twas nice. Lots and lots of great footage from Carla's modelling days, a fairly good interview. Odd thing was that she told Ivo she made an album using poems because she could not write lyrics anymore after the death of both her father and her brother. When I interviewed her she said the album was already done when her brother died. Hmm.]

At first, you might think that Carla's Quelqu'un m'a dit was used for this Philips Living Colors commercial, but on second listen you can tell it's not. Various sites found it the song was especially written for the commercial (by one Josh Field) - this does happen a lot, if you cannot get the song you want, or you are not willing to pay a lot, you use a nameless singer and a capable songwriter to rip off the original song. The exciting world of advertising, eh.

Carla Bruni - Quelqu'un m'a dit

woensdag 21 maart 2007

Lizzy Ling

Remember Lizzy Ling? Her album Un Tigre dans le bungalow drops any minute now. The lovely chanteuse was so kind to send me two tracks (actually the first and the last song on the cd), and wrote a little explanation for each song. (More Lizzy here)

L'Hiver: "This song is composed and written by Lionel Privat, my guitarist on stage (and he plays on my album too). I'm always cold in winter and I like to hibernate. It seems like the weather sucks all energy out of me. I'm not strong enough to go out and do something. I'm like a bear in cave. So I just stayinside and wait for better days."

Black Butterfly: "A very personal song. I wrote the lyrics many years ago. The song is about this butterfly, that appeared aronnd me when I was 6 years old, the age when my father died in a planecrash. This back-and-orange butterfly kept reappearing every now and again, when I was in Paris, when I was in the south. Very strange and mysterious. I told the story to Minimatic, and he set my lyrics to music."

Lizzy Ling - L'Hiver
Lizzy Ling - Black Butterfly

dinsdag 20 maart 2007

Irina Bjorklund

When Irina Bjorklund saw the movie Delicatessen at the age of 16, she decided she wanted to play the musical saw (or singing saw). That way, she could always provide for herself. You can hear Irina play the saw in Casse-Moi, one of the two French songs from her debutalbum Oh L'Amour, released last year. It's an ode to her beloved Finland (she's actually born in Sweden, but moved to the neighbours one year later) and France, where she lived and worked as well. She also sings in English and Russian. Irina is a well-known actrice in Scandinavia, she starred in over 40 films, and even met her husband Peter Franzen via the movies. She composes soundtracks, they worked together, one thing led to another. There's another Peter F. (Fox) that is her musical companion on her album. They performed at the recent South by South West-festival - somebody send me the link to this site. Merci for that.

Irina Bjorklund & Peter Fox - Casse-Moi

(In other news: thanks to Stylus, I lined up the 15 bestest sophisti-pop classics. Go Here)

Question of the day

Found this great song in my iTunes library, but I have no idea by whom it is. Anyone any idea?
Mystery solved - I downloaded this song probably from Sylvie Paquette's MySpace-site. It's not on there anymore, and the songs aren't downloadable now. Offre-moi is taken from Sylvie's 2001 album Souvenirs de Toi. I like the etheral sounds of the guitars, and the almost floating, angelic voice. [Merci Prodigal]

Sylvie Paquette - Offre-moi

maandag 19 maart 2007


"Her "alarmingly sweet" stage name speaks volumes in itself. Bless, like "blessée" or "blessure" (injured, injury) in French. Bless like "blessed" in English. An echo of her real name, Bénédicte. "It means "blessed by God". It's the type of name people used to give to orphans", she says, frail, yet implacable. It doesn't take much to guess that Bless, aged 32, is no fan of families." Aren't you intrigued yet? These are the first sentences from the Bless bio, and yes, it gets better. Bless wrote poetry, took courses at the Lee Strassberg Instite and she sculpts. And now, she makes music as well. And what great songs! The bio calls Bless a "lo-fi Françoise Hardy", which is a good description. She has that hypnotic-lullaby quality Hardy's voice can have (in L'Amitié, for instance). Her first album, released in June 2006, sounds a little like Charlotte Gainsbourg's, with Damon Albarn on the productionchair. And with French songs - alas the lyrics in English aren't as good (and well sung) as on Charlotte's 5.55. See videos on her MySpace-site.

Bless - Ce plaisir ne m'est pas donnné
Bless - Un ange à ma table

Emily Loizeau

Thanks to Daily Motion, I was introduced to this beautiful video for Emily Loizeau's Je Suis Jalouse. Here's both the video and the mp3. See more videos by Bridle, the maker of this clip, here.

Emily Loizeau - Je Suis Jalouse

donderdag 15 maart 2007

Server down

No clue what's wrong exactly, but my server's down, so until further notice it's impossible to download mp3s from this blog. Excusez.

What is down, must come up. Just a temporary hiccup, apparently.

dinsdag 13 maart 2007


Everytime when I'm thinking, hm, it's been a while since I posted a track by Serge, an opportunity comes a-knocking. Manu Markou & Odile Closset have a new album out, Démantibulés, and chose to cover Serge's La Nostalgie Camarade. That song, originally on Mauvaises Nouvelles des Étoiles, is a key track for Manu & Odile. The album is about, well, the misunderstandings between man and woman - so there. Manu decided to de-reggae Nostalgie a little, add some triphop-effects, but the bouncing rhythm is still there. On the original version, the I-Threes (Marcia Griffith, Judy Mowatt, Rita Marley) sang, and legendary reggae-tandem Robbie Shakespeare en Sly Dunbar played drum 'n bass. Included here is the dub-version of Nostalgie (mixed by Sojie Hamilton) from the special-edition of Mauvaises nouvelles.
In other news: see scans of an article in the German edition of GQ Magazine about musicblogs here. Yes, that's Filles Sourires on the screen, and yes, FS is mentioned in the article. Merci Sky.

Serge Gainsbourg - La Nostalgie Camarade
Manu Markou & Odile Closset - La Nostalgie Camarade
Serge Gainsbourg - Nostalgie dub

Coralie Clement, Stereo Total

On a quick note: a new compilation of Stereo Total has just been released, called Party Anticonformiste. It features a lot of favourites, but almost no covers. Cosmonaute (orig. from Monokini) is a nice bleeping slow song.
Unrelated, but nice to know: It seemed like Coralie Clement (pictured) vanished from earth: her official site is deleted, no new additions to her MySpace, and no word (well, I'm not hearing anything) yet from her third album, apparently called Toy Store. Then she reappears on a song by Brazilian guitarplayer Toco, on his first album for the always stylish Schema label she sings a very sweet duet, a reprise of La Contradiction from Coralie's album Salle des Pas Perdus.

Stereo Total - Cosmonaute
Toco & Coralie Clément - Contradiçào
Coralie Clément - La Contradiction

maandag 12 maart 2007

Teri Moïse

At the recent Victoires de la Musique awards, FS-favourites Olivia Ruiz, Emilie Simon and -M- got a statue. See pictures here, watch that nice little getup Olivia is wearing.
Ten years ago, Teri Moïse was the big winner at the Victoires. The year before, her single Les Poèmes de Michelle was a big tune, and sold over 200,000. On her untitled first album she got help from produver Etienne de Crécy. Nicolas Godin from Air plays guitar on Poèmes. That first album is still a soulful chanson gem, great lyrics too. Teri has Haitian parents, but lived in South Central, Los Angeles. She studied at Berkeley, but also literature at Sorbonne Paris. After a short period back in LA, she returned to Paris, and made a name for herself as a songwriter. I heard a rumour she was the girlfriend of Philippe Ascoli, the boss of the French Source label. In 1999, her even more soulful second album (again without a title, nice one) was released. The first song from that album has that great sixties plopping-bass-sound (Teri plays bass herself). The rest of the album is nice, but not as good as her debut-album. After the second cd, she kinda faded away, I guess, 'cause I could not find any recent news.

Teri Moïse - Les poèmes de Michelle
Teri Moïse - Il sait

donderdag 8 maart 2007

Emilie Simon (live)

This week L'Olympia was released, the first live-cd (there's a dvd too, but as far as I know there's no combi) by Emilie Simon. Recorded, obviously, at Paris Olympia. It features tracks from all her albums, including the March of the Penguins-soundtrack. I can understand why you want to see Emilie live, but why you want to own a live-album by her is puzzling me. The music's nice, lots of strings, but almost no songs have different arrangements. Her voice is as sweet and angelic as you would excepts, which ofcourse is a big plus. Em covers two songs, The Stooges' I Wanna Be Your Dog (also on her debut-cd, and on Dailymotion), and Nirvana's Come As You Are. I like it when a girl sings a typical male song (Tori Amos once made a whole album with testosteron-songs), and Emilie does a fine job.

Emilie Simon - Come As You Are (live) (see on YouTube)
Emilie Simon - Opium (live)
Emilie Simon - Fleur de Saison (live)

Like Emilie Simon, my sweet Canadian obsession Ariane Moffatt had her picture taken by Lisa Roze. Reason enough to post the nice remix of Ariane's Will You Follow Me.

Ariane Moffatt - Will You Follow Me (remix)

woensdag 7 maart 2007

Helena Noguerra

Under an earlier post with a Helena Noguerra song, Didier from reacted: he wrote an extensive portrait of the gorgeous singer. With added discography. Very handy: now I know what albums to get, if still available. I would love to hear Rivière des Anges (1992) or that Rolling Stones-cover with Jacques Duvall. Enfin. In 2005 Cinema was released, an album by former Madredeus-member Rodrigo Leão. A thoughtful, pretty nice addition to the pile of lounge/chill-out projects and comps, with guestvocals by Beth Gibbons, Sonia Tavares and, yes, Helena Noguerra. She sings two French songs. Jeux d'Amour is, if I'm not mistaken, a chachacha, while La Fête takes your arm and waltzes away.
Sonia Tavares (from Portuguese alt.rockband The Gift) is singing two English songs, but also the vèry breathy L'Inspecteur, that sounds a little like Besame Mucho. What's this guy inspecting anyway?

Rodrigo Leão & Helena Noguerra - Jeux d'Amour
Rodrigo Leão & Helena Noguerra - La Fête
Rodrigo Leão & Sonia Tavares - L'Inspecteur

dinsdag 6 maart 2007


Released this week: Drôle de L'Oiseau, the first solo album of Dionysos-furie Babet. Just like Valérie Leulliot, Babet is taking things slow and sultry on her first album without the boys. Lots of acoustics, and just a few songs with Babets trademark violin. But her voice, OMG! Just listen to the first song of the first album, Le Voyageur. So sweet, so high, don't it make you want to fall in love with her very, very deeply? The first edition of the album has an extra cd with all songs, sung with just a guitar. Have to get that as well. Here a nice review of Drôle. Here Babet's Myspace. Here Babet live.

Babet - Le Voyageur
Babet - Les Amoureux

Marie Laforêt

Roar posted some great crackling Marie Laforêt-singles on Splendida-blog, but to my request he unearthed other Laforêt-gems for this blog. Paint the walls orange, put on your bellbottoms or minidress and enjoy the seventies-ride!

The Les vendanges de l'amour long box so far gives the best introduction to Marie Laforet's 70s discography. The three cds in it contain 24 tracks each, cd two and three focussing on the 70s entirely. Admittedly the record company could've done a better job on it, but I won't split hair, the long box compilation is definitely an easy recommendation to make.
With regards to styles Marie Laforet has often shifted between pop and (poppy) folk music. These shifts also dominate her 70s catalogue, plus a fair bit of main- and non-mainstream sentimentalism regardless of genre. And though I don't think they're all great, every album she released during this decade has moments of brilliance (sometimes they're chock full of them). Additionally she released some excellent singles.
What else? The said long box includes her albums from 1972 and 1973 in their entirety (the album from 1973 is gorgeous), but miss some great singles, plus several lovely tracks from her later albums. Examples from the latter category are included below. Please enjoy.

Marie Laforêt - Berceuse pour Deborah (1974)
Marie Laforêt - Mon amour (1976)
Marie Laforêt - Il reviendra (1977)
Marie Laforêt - Roman d'amour (1979) highly recommended!

vrijdag 2 maart 2007

Camille remixed

Camille is no stranger to electronic dancemusic. She sang on tracks produced by Etienne de Crécy and worked with the mysterious oOmiaq. But to my knowledge, Ta Douleur is the first Camille-track that gets remixed. And not by the just anyone. Henrik Schwarz is a highly talented German graphic designer slash producer slash dj. He makes disco-tinged, techno-influenced and funkified music, and remixed the likes of Coldcut, Alex Smoke and Slope. He transformed Ta Douleur into a subtle, piano-driven dancetrack that (thank god) doesn't rely on symphonic synthbreaks or a monstrous beat. On the flipside of the 12-inch vinylrecord is a remix by Al Usher. Good, but Henrik's way better.

Camille - Ta Douleur (Henrik Schwarz remix)