vrijdag 27 april 2007

Axelle, Lou-Lou

Wonderful gift today in my inbox: Ne pas compliquer, the version by Axelle Red, just her and her Fender Rhodes, as played live @ De Wereld Draait Door (see below). Mille fleurs pour Martijn!
Because of the high temperatures over here, I get the urge to listen to downtempo music a lot. Like the music made by Thievery Corporation. Rob and Eric (I interviewed them once, fun guys) have a knack for sophisticated jazz (they got me hooked on the CTI-label), dubreggae, bossa and, yes, softsighing French gals. From their album The Richest Man in Babylon (2002), here's Un Simple Histoire, sung by the lovely Lou-Lou.

Axelle Red - Ne Pas Compliquer (live @ DWDD)
Thievery Corporation - Un Simple Histoire

UPDATE: here a yousendit-link to download an MPEG-4 movie of Axelle's performance. Merci Nick!

donderdag 26 april 2007

Clara Moreno

Bossa-royalty, one could call Clara Moreno, because she's the daughter of Joyce. The latter is one of the biggest names is Brazilian music, and she contributes to her daughter's newest album. Just as het very talented Celso Fonseca. Meu Samba Torto is a very genteel cd, sunny and slow. Clara has a pleasant voice, maybe not very distinct if you're an avid bossa/brazil-fan, but pleasant nonetheless (by the way, if it's Brazilian music you like, I'd suggest Futurismo by Kassin+2, a great modern tropicalia-album, THE flipflop-cd of this summer). The reason Clara is popping up here, is because she covered an Edith Piaf-song, Mon Manege à Moi. And bossa'd it up very well indeed.

Clara Moreno - Mon Manege à Moi
Edith Piaf - Mon Manege à Moi

woensdag 25 april 2007

Axelle Red

Great day yesterday: not only was Axelle Red interviewed in highly popular Dutch tv-show De Wereld Draait Door, she did an absolutely fantastic version of Ne Pas Compliquer. Solo, just she and her Fender Rhodes piano. Also great: the news that the hotlipped redhead will be touring Dutch theaters later this year! Finally Axelle will get some highly earned recognition in Holland?!
See that performance here (song starts at about 3.50 minutes).

Axelle Red - Ne Pas Compliquer (albumversion)

Catherine Ferroyer-Blanchard

Crame from Mortauxjeunes Records contacted me and knew how to ring my bell to get me interested in Catherine Ferroyer-Blanchard: by mentioning Lio as a musical reference (he also mentioned Niagara, Elli & Jacno and France Gall - but he had me at Lio). And indeed, Catherine's bubblegum-electro is as good as any Lio-hitsong. But wait, it gets better: CF-B's songs do not get a proper cd-release, non, they will be released on that great 80s format: a cassette. When I read that, a nostalgic tear ran down my cheek. And it doesn't stop there: Catherine recorded a cover of Regrets' Rentrer Chez Moi Seule, a fantastic French eighties-hit. It stays pretty close to the original, but that's a good thing! Read all about Catherine, her blingbling upbringing, her extra-curricular activities and see her vids on her MySpace.

Catherine Ferroyer-Blanchard - Chanson d'Amour (Satanicpornocultshop remix)
Catherine Ferroyer-Blanchard - Rentrer chez moi seule
Regrets - Rentrez chez moi seule

Rockfort Aid

Coming Monday April 30th, Holland will be totally orange because we celebrate our royals during Queen's Day. On that same day in London, at St Giles-in-the-Fields
church near Tottenham Court Road, there will be a fundraising event to keep Resonance FM in the air. This radiostation has probably the best French music show ever in their roster, Rockfort. To keep 'm both up & about, none other than yeye-icon Gillian Hills (in collaboration with guitarist Olivier Mellano, who worked with Dominique A.), as well as Barbara Carlotti, Mademoiselle and Vanessa and the Os (pictured) will be at the event. So if you are in London, do swing by! In doubt? Here's an extra-special, fairly new Gillian Hills song, plus songs by the other artists.

Gillian Hills - Bouche a Bouche
Barbara Carlotti - Cannes
Vanessa & The Os - Plus Rien
Mademoiselle - Dans ta Voix

dinsdag 24 april 2007

Keren Ann

Most of the girls posted here do sing in French, but for some I make an exception. Keren Ann Zeidel's one of them. Her just-released untitled fifth album is, just like her third cd, completely in English. The others, ofcourse, were completely or partly in French (if you do not own La Disparition by Keren, you're no friend o'mine). Some songs, like the already posted Lay Your Head Down, have a distinct Velvet Underground vibe, there are even songs with very loud guitars. But most of them are slow, sultry, candle-lit chansons that suit her beautiful voice well. There's not much information yet on Keren Ann-the-album (who wrote what, who's playing), but with songs like In Your Back, The Harder Ships of the World and Where No Endings End, I know already this cd is going to end up high in my yearlist. Just nine songs on Keren Ann, but on the Deluxe Edition there's an extra one, a cover of Luiz Bonfa's famous bossanova Manha de Carnaval.

Keren Ann - Where No Endings End
Keren Ann - In Your Back
Keren Ann - Manha de Carnaval

Keren Ann recorded a livesession for French musicmag Les Inrocks. See the videos here.
See the vidoe for Lay Your Head Down here

Marc Collin

Back from holiday (in Jordan), not to find the new Benjamin Biolay-album on my doorstep, alas, because that one is postponed until June. Instead, I got the Coming Home-edition compiled by Nouvelle Vague (i.e. Marc Collin). Coming Home is a LateNightTales-ish compilation series from Stereo Deluxe Records, Tim Love Lee made one too. Collin chose his fave filmthemes - the comp kicks off with Gato Barbieri's brilliant theme for Last Tango in Paris. There's ofcourse filmmusic by Marc himself, there's Ennio, Nino and Lalo, there's Serge Gainsbourg (oddly, not the original version of Requiem pour un Con used in Le Pacha, but the shitty 1991-remix, which to my knowledge was never used in a movie) and there's François de Roubaix. Also a few songs, some sung by women. Phillippe Sarde's Chanson de Helène (from Les Choses de la Vie) is sung by Romy Schneider (and posted here before), but I do not know who's singing in Maldonne by Vladimir Cosma, from the soundtrack to Maldonne. Very nice is the instrumental La Petite Fille de la Mer by Greek synth-god Vangelis, taken from the Apocalypse des Animaux soundtrack.

Phillippe Sarde - La Chanson de Helene
Vladimir Cosma - Maldonne
Vangelis - La Petite Fille de la Mer

And no, I do not have tickets to this already sold-out tribute to Serge. Wish I could be there, though...

woensdag 11 april 2007

Filles Sourires Printemps Mix

Me and the Mrs are taking a short break. So, for your pleasure, here's a 50 minute long mix featuring old and new faves. Enjoy, I know I will. Back in 2 weeks.

Download Filles Sourires Printemps Mix


Toujours a mon cou - Jil Caplan
Petite Pute - Austine
Hier ou Demain - Anna Karina
J'Étais Venue Pour Dire Bonjour - Amélie Morin
C'est la Ouate - Caroline Loeb
Temps Pour Nous - Axelle Red
Chanson sans Issue - Autour de Lucie
Chanson de Slogan - Blonde Redhead
Mon Bateau - Catherine Durand
Premier en Amour - Anahy
Acapulco - La Position du Tireur Couché
Teenie Weenie Boppie - Moa Eriksson
Rapaplat - Marina Celeste
L'Amour à la Plage - Niagara
A Bailar Calypso - Elli Medeiros

Andréanne Alain

Comme Une Pluie de Soleil is like a soft feather boa. The song slides up on you, and slowly encapsulates you. It doesn't take you in a stronghold, but tickles, teases and makes you want to close your eyes, spread your arms, throw your head back and go with the flow of the music. It's sung by Montréal-based Andréanne Alain, and taken from her first soloalbum. Comme Un Pluie de Soleil reminds me, of Zap Mama, of Matthew Herbert, of Angelique Kidjo. It's electronic, with slight African touches, I love the vocalplay and tad-husky, comforting voice of Andréanne (her name is as melodious as the song).
Other songs from the album are good too, but Comme Une Pluie de Soleil takes the biscuit. I wanted to incorporate it in the Printemps-mix (see above), but it's a Printemps-mix on it's own.

Andréanne Alain - Comme Une Pluie de Soleil
Andréanne Alain - Un Parmi Tant


Heard about Sellaband already? In short: it's like MySpace, only your Friends ('Believers' in Sellaband-lingo) invest in artists until they raise 50,000 dollars. Then they record a cd with a Big Name producer in a Big Name studio. All investors get that cd for free, other Sellaband-fans can download songs for free. Money's not being made via these investments or shares, but thanks to advertisement on the Sellaband-site. So far, five artists raised that 50 k, and ultralovely French fille Clemence is one of them. She's the daughter of the classical composer Saint-Preux, her mother's a painter. She already recorded some songs (one with Johnny Hallyday), and was part of a re-recording of her dad's most known Concerto Pour Un Voix, now called Concerto Pour Deux Voix. Her album Mes Jours has an early-Céline Dion-vibe, which isn't a recommendation. That she now re-records her album in English, isn't one either. Still, the jazzy, Coralie Clement-ish La Vie Comme Elle Se Vient tickles my earlobes in a very nice way.

Clemence - La Vie Comme Elle Se Vient


No idea how to pronounce 'Hiripsimé' properly (with or without the 'H'?). It's her real name, and to me it sounds like something you shout whilst singing a Happy Birthday-kind of song - it does sound like 'hip hip hooray', no? Amazingly, Hiripsimé (of Armenian descent) is 40 years old, and Les Portes is her first album. She's a trained violinist, can play guitar as well and was brought up listening to Azanavour (ofcourse, he's Armenian too) and Paco de Lucia. In some review I read the term 'arabo-andalouse', which is a very fitting description of her music. It captures the flamenco-strumming, and the mysterious Arabic melodies. At times these influences are watered down for popconsumption (or Western ears), alas. Next time less compromise, more roots please!

Hiripsimé - Tu Me Manques
Hiripsimé - Si Je Te Dis D'Où Je Viens

In other news: if you can read Dutch, here is my explanation of my obsession for French singing girls, in a piece for new cultural magazine Zuiderlucht.

donderdag 5 april 2007

Souvenir, Lola

In case you missed it: Spanish duo Souvenir have a new album out called 64. It's more synth-y and rock-y than their previous work, but they never lost that pop feeling. Accident à Londres has that eighties-vibe, think Italo, think Corey Hart, think Lio, with a phat 4x4-beat. Acci-dance, anyone?

The Canadian cousins of Souvenir are ofcourse Richard Citroen and Françoise Hart, aka the lovely duo Lola Dutronic. Just like Souvenir they just released a new album, with slightly more electronics (thus eighties-vibe) than on their debut. It features original songs, and covers (like The Model by Kraftwerk in French, check their MySpace). They redid their version of Sylvie Vartan's nostalgic Hungary-tribute La Maritza, and turned it into a cross between a Portishead-torchsong and a cheesy floorfiller. Well done.

Souvenir - Accident à Londres

Lola Dutronic - La Maritza 3000
Sylvie Vartan - La Maritza

Mélodies Françaises

Musicians and poetry go togeter like a horse and carriage - at least, some musicians like to think so. Now Laurent Manganas goes all Romantic with poems by Verlaine and Rimbaud (among others), and music composed by Debussy, Duparc and Fauré. He called some guest-singers, and the result is called D'1 Siècle á L'Autre - Mélodies Françaises. At the end of the 18th 19th century, French poets like Prud'homme and Gautier loathed the popular lovesongs of that time, and the operas. They wanted something new, something fresh, something esthétique. So, in livingrooms they performed their poems, set to music by the aforementioned composers for a public of aristocrats, the well-to-do and musicians. Manganas, who's part of Dorval, played these melodies (dare I say songs?) with his tenor dad back in the day, and for reasons unclear to me decided to relive them with the help of a guestlist that is a wet dream for every Filles Sourires-fan: Pascale of Dorval, Helena Noguerra, Daphné, Juliette from Diving with Andy, Marie Modiano, Emily Loizeau, Armelle from Holden and three guys (Franck Monnet, Nilda Fernandez and Yann from Stael).
How does it all sound? Very romantic, very tender, very poetic, maybe a little bit too arty. Still, with female voices like that, you really can't go wrong, can you now?

Juliette Paquereau - D'une Prison (Verlaine/Hahn)
Helena Noguerra - Au bord de l'eau (Prud'homme/Fauré)

maandag 2 april 2007

Térez Montcalm

Quebec singer Térez Montcalm has a voice that you're not likely to mistake for anyone else. When you hear it, your first instinct is to try and figure out who she sounds like - maybe a bit of Peggy Lee, or Billie Holiday or even France Gall. But after listening for a while, it's obvious that the voice is hers alone. And people have been talking about that voice since she was a young girl. Her first album was released in 1994, consisted of covers: jazzy, bluesy interpretations of songs like I Just Wanna Make Love to You and Aznavours For Me Formidable. She made three more albums, featuring French songs too. I had never heard from her, when BoOz from Le Radiophone send me this song from Terez most recent album Voodoo. Also a lot of covers on that one, like Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams and Hendrix' Voodoo Chile. But this song is an Montcalm-original.

Terez Montcalm - Parce Que Y A Toi...


The first album Frederique Dastrevigne recorded, Au Square fell on deaf ears. Well, not entirely: the great Germans @ Le Pop chose a song for one of their compilations. Other than that, nothing. That changed when she recorded together with significant other Pascal Parisot the excellent coveralbum Radiomatic, featuring yeye-songs like Jeu de Telephone, Nefertiti and Dou Liou Dou Liou St. Tropez. Even the Japanese fell for that. And now Frederique has another go at a solocareer. She changed/shortened her name to Fredda, and come May her album Toutes Mes Avontures drops. First single is called Barry White, not sure if it is an ode to the Walrus of Love, but it sure is a great song.

Fredda - Barry White

Arling & Cameron

Back in the early nineties, a few dj's in Amsterdam were re-discovering the campy, kitschy but wonderful sounds of Bert Kaempfert, Sergio Mendes and Herb Alpert. These records were played at so-callad Popcorn parties, by dj's Eddy de Clercq (a Belgian dj, who knew these sounds from home) and the Easy Aloha's. Sharp-dressing Richard Cameron was one of the organisers of these parties, when he and friend Gerry Arling had their own go at these easy listening sounds, they called it Easy Tune. And the rest is history. For about three years, Easy Tune was the hippest music around. Arling & Cameron made music that was used in big movies (The Spy Who Shagged Me), tv-series (Sopranos) and commercials. They won prestigious prizes and played all around the globe. Then the hype wore off, the first "musical differences" popped up and Easy Tune faded away. But everything bounces back, and so the genre, the dj's and the music is resurrected. On April 14, Amsterdam Paradiso offers a flashback to the Popcorn days, and a triple Best Of-cd of Arling & Cameron has just been released. French movie-soundtracks from the sixties were a big influence on the duo, as you can hear in these 3 tracks featuring female vocals.

Arling & Cameron (featuring Fay Lovksy) - Le Flic et La Fille (from Music for Imaginary Films, 2000)
Arling & Cameron (featuring Olga Jankovski) - Voulez-vous? (from All-In, 1997)
Arling & Cameron (featuring Amahi Mas) - Pourquoi-pas? (from Easy Tune Volume 1, 1995)