vrijdag 31 oktober 2008

All Souls Day/Dia de los Muertos

It's All Souls Day tomorrow (Nov 2), so here are the winners of the Funeral Music competition. Five winners are picked, the best entry was by Enrique. Read his story below, the others are here.

Somehow I have to admit that it's kind of strange for me to think about the music at my funeral, since I won't be able to live the experience (I just thought before about donating my organs). Perhaps I would prefer to leave that decision to the people still alive, so that they can play whatever suits them better. But well, I felt challenged by the question, and as I remembered Ángel Pantoja's funeral, I tried to imagine myself kind of dead... so here I am.

Now, because you refered to the Día de muertos and maybe also because I'm Mexican, I came out with something in Spanish. Rebekah del Rio's cover of Cryin' (Llorando in Spanish) fits not only a David-Lynch-film, but would also suit a funeral, specially if it takes place on the Día de muertos. Rebekah's cover is far more sad than Roy Orbison's original song. And the (a capella) opera-style of her cover makes it even simpler, which would be the perfect counterpoint for the exuberant and bursting Día de muertos or a traditional Mexican funeral.

And out of the blue (the association was due to your reference to accordeon, the instrument played by Julieta Venegas) I thought it would also be nice to have a song called Ilusión and indeed this very version with featuring Marisa Monte .

Marisa Montes was part of Tribalistas. The name Tribalista comes from "tribe", because the people of the band were concerned with the individualism of nowadays. Is there anything more individualistic than death besides birth? No way. And still, for the rest of people still alive, it signifies a moment of strong cohesion. It's kind of a vital oxymoron.

If you listen to this song thinking about "life" as the gone "illusion" which is meant, then it makes perfect sense within a funeral. Also, the strings and flutes of this version share the very melancholy of the Portuguese language (at least for us, no native speakers).

Mais oui! Julieta Venegas is one of those girls who makes you sigh. It seems to me that she looks a little bit between Alizée and Melissa Mars.

¡Feliz día de muertos! À plus!

Rebekah del Rio - Llorando
Julieta Vengas & Marisa Monte - Ilusión

NYT goes French

Beautiful pictures of Carla Bruni, Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Cassel, Eva Green and other Frenchies in the New York Times. (Thanks Taylor)

Luisteraars van het zeer aanbevelenswaardige Radio6-programma The Beat kunnen een gratis Filles Fragiles 2-exemplaar winnen (kan ook als u stiekum niet luistert). Klik hier voor de details.

donderdag 30 oktober 2008

Valérie Lagrange

When listening to Liesbeth (below) I remembered that I brought the first Valérie Lagrange album from my last trip to Paris. Liesbeth's and Val's voice are quite similar, that's how. And their career started in the same decade (the sixties, ofcourse). Lagrange was a singing actress, she made six albums and about 25 films. Moitie Ange, Moitie Bête was released in 1966 and sported songs written by Pierre Barouh and Francis Lai, Valérie herself and Serge Gainsbourg. The latter offered La Guerilla, certainly not one of the highlights in his songwriting career, but a fun song nevertheless. Moitie Ange was re-released this year in a gimmick-y papersleeve.

Valerie Lagrange - Guerilla

Liesbeth List

Like I say in the booklet for Filles Fragiles 2: Liesbeth List is not a certified zuchtmeisje, but she sure is the godmother of every Dutch fille who sings in French. Nowadays, Liesbeth is in the theaters with her highly praised Piaf-musical, but she started her career duetting with...Serge Gainsbourg. Heard that very interesting story yesterday from Sylvester. Finally there's proof that SG performed in Holland in the early sixties. Actually, the tapes from that show were lost, because something went wrong technically so the show was never broadcasted. Still, there was a review in a Dutch newspaper (have to look that up one day), and that was read by Ramses Shaffy. This Dutch giant remembered the young singer, contacted her via the newspaper and the rest is Dutch music history, because Liesbeth and Ramses formed a legendary duo. Liesbeth also sang a lot of (translated) Brel songs, approved by Jacques himself.
Sylvester told me that Liesbeth sang more Gainsbourg-covers than L'Anamour (for the first time on cd, on Filles Fragiles 2) and Sous le Soleil Exactement. Turns out she did a absolutely brilliant, superfunky German version of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, and a stunning live(-ish) version of Sous le Soleil. I do hope Liesbeth will come to the Filles Fragiles theater-show in Amsterdam (Nov 13), keep you posted on that.
UPDATE: yes, she's coming to the show!

Liesbeth List - Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
Liesbeth List - Sous le Soleil Exactement

woensdag 29 oktober 2008

Carla & Sarko to the Netherlands, reviews and more

Just heard from a reliable source: Carla and Sarko are coming to Holland, next April! That means, I guess, they will come to Amsterdam too. I know Carla's been to AMS a few times, when I interviewed her she asked me if I knew a friend of hers. 'course I didn't. But it might be a good idea to get in touch, hmmm. Here a link to the Julien Dore-Carl Bruni duet that was offline for some time.

In other news: the (Dutch) reviews for Filles Fragiles keep on a-coming. Volkskrant (4 stars!), File Under and Subjectivisten, for example. Got more? Lemme know.

Amazon.de and Amazon.fr are selling Filles Fragiles 2!!

dinsdag 28 oktober 2008

Gainsbourg film

Laetitia Casta will play Brigitte Bardot in the upcoming film about Gainsbourg! See The Playlist for more details.

maandag 27 oktober 2008

Three new tracks

'Un Tacle De Patrick Vieira N'est Pas Une Truite En Chocolat'. There's only one French singer who can come up with such a songtitle, and that's Vincent Delerm. The lazy-voiced singer disappointed with his cover-collection Favourite Songs, but is back with a vengeance with a couple of beautifully arranged tracks on his new cd Quinze Chansons. I have little info on the album (French bio here), so my guess on who sings the female part on Et François De Roubaix Dans Le Dos is as good as yours (Jeanne Cherhal?). More on Francois de Roubaix here.

Vincent Delerm - Et Francois de Roubaix dans le dos

Is it safe to call La Vie d'Aline the French answer to The Indigo Girls? Don't know about their sexual preferences, but the music of Brigitte and Sophie is very much in tune with their overseas collegues: folky, country-ish, tender. A tip for FS-readers who like their performers a bit grown-up.

La Vie d'Aline - Comme il fait doux

A few posts back I told you about Angel Corpus Christi; Zaza Fournier is a French singer who also likes to add a lot of accordion to her songs, 'cause it's a fun, sexy and strong instrument. She is not afraid to sound kitsch-y, which is a big plus. A fan of Edith P. and Elvis P., she reminds me at times of Elli Medeiros. Must be great to see here live, in a velvet-lined cabaret. See video here.

Zaza Fournier - La vie a deux

New Berry video

Berry - Demain

zondag 26 oktober 2008

Gainsbourg expo and other handy links

The Independent writes about the Gainsbourg expo in Paris. HERE

Plus: today in Dutch free newspaper De Pers, a big article on me, and Filles Fragiles. HERE

A damn fine Filles Fragiles 2-review from Eugene HERE

donderdag 23 oktober 2008

woensdag 22 oktober 2008

Mareva & Rufus

A match made in heaven: former Miss France and ukelele-promotor Mareva Galanter duets with Rufus Wainwright on a song that is called Serge et Jane. It's from Mareva's new album Happy Fiu, which she made with Britrockband Little Barrie. The Brits are playing on this song too, and they certainly get the SG-spirit.
The song has lines like 'Je vais marcher rue de Verneuil/Les murs sont couverts d'ecritures/La tes fans se disent no future/et moi je suis la sur le seuil' - very recognisable for anyone's who's been to Rue de Verneuil. When Mareva sings in English, I reach for the skip button, but that's only 3 times. The rest is great.

Mareva Galanter & Rufus Wainwright - Serge et Jane

Bringing sexy back

When I long for some deep digging into obscure, sexy music, I turn to Sky. He never dissapoints, as you can tell from this fantasic guestpost on Ralfi Pagan and Sylvia Robinson:

In the so-called 1972 porn classic 'Deep Throat', a notably sleazoid threesome featuring Dolly Sharp, Jack Byron and Jack Birch is scored with a delirious funk/soul track titled 'Love is Strange' The original version was recorded in 1957 by r&b duo Mickey & Sylvia – i.e. Mickey Baker, the hottest session guitarist of his time, who eventually bought a ticket to France and never came back, and Sylvia Robinson, who at least went temporarily to the Paris of her mind.

In 1973, she recorded a cover of Serge & Jane’s 'Je t’aime', released on the aptly named Vibration label, transferring Gainsbourg’s spirit to the sultry mood of Spanish language moanings. Her partner in cooing was salsa singer Ralfi Pagan, who provided the Latin lover feel, while Sylvia seemed to practice for her smash hit of the same year, 'Pillow Talk', a premier bedroom anthem foreshadowing Donna Summer’s disco orgasms. In short: 'Soul Je t’aime' wasn’t perfect, but a sexy mother of a song.

Jack Birch, the stud from 'Deep Throat', became father of Hollywood star Thora Birch (American Beauty). Ralfi Pagan was murdered during a tour in Colombia, while Sylvia founded Sugarhill Records in the early 80s, becoming the mastermind behind seminal pre-hiphop outings like the Sugarhill Gang’s 'Rapper’s Delight': She even played bass on the recording.

Mickey Baker - Parisian Holiday
Mickey & Sylvia - Love is Strange
Deep Throat version of 'Love is Strange' (should be ok now)
Ralfi Pagan & Sylvia Robinson - Soul Je t’aime
Sylvia Robinson - Pillow Talk

Marianne Dissard video

What were Marianne Dissard, Dominique A, Katerine, a lot of other people and a very sexy couple doing in a hotelroom? Click to play.

dinsdag 21 oktober 2008

It's here! (2)

Just like he did last year, Stijn presents Filles Fragiles 2 and it's just his taste! Like the Dutch expression goes, I'm as proud as a monkey with seven dicks. Props to Pierre (again) for the coverdesign, props to the Essential Peters for all their hard work on licensing and mastering, props to the artists, props to me for compiling a great album.
Great news for all the American readers - both Filles Fragiles 1 and 2 can be ordered via Dustygroove.com. Belgian readers go here, or here. Dutchies go here. As soon as Amazon(.de, .fr., .com, etc.) lists it, I will let y'all know.

Just so you know

Maybe you remember my surprise a few weeks ago about some posts that went AWOL. Well, like I thought, Blogger removed them because of copyright infringement. Here's a letter, I received on the very day I got the brandspanking new copies of Filles Fragiles #2. They even threaten to close my blog. If this happens, please turn to my other blog (guuzbourg.blogspot.com, or myspace.com/guuzbourg) to see where I went.

maandag 20 oktober 2008

Francoiz Breut

When I think of Francoiz Breut, I think of a big plane between Normandy and Brittany, on a not too sunny day with a bit too much wind. A raven-haired girl standing on a cliff, the sea deep down below, singing a song of longing, of desire, of dreams. For all the outside influences (Spanish lyricists, collaborators from Arizona), Francoiz always has a Northern French feel to me. On new album A L'Avleuglette, this vibe is still very much in place. This time, FB and her band (two guys, plus help from Mansfield.TYA) aim for widescreen images via very rhythmic songs, with use of vibraphones, strings, brass and all kinds of percussion. These are not popsongs like Si Tu Disais, these are little soundtracks to movies in your head. Calexico is a reference, just like Tortoise and a times even Godspeed You Black Emperor. Francoiz sounds as lovely and fragile as ever, with a hint of smile. Not an easy album, but surely a good one. Out November 3 - and ofcourse en direct on November 13 and 14 in Amsterdam and Leiden.

Francoiz Breut - A L'Avleuglette

FB contributed earlier on the album of The Ideal Husband, the band to book for your Twin Peaks-revival party. Odd, campy music with lots of ukelele, lapsteel and double bass, plus dark fairytale lyrics. Singer of The Ideal Husband is Sandrine Collard, who was featured on this blog before with her electronic album. Most songs are in English, Francoiz sang backing vocals on Dors. The Ritornello is partly in French. TIH play the Crossing Border festival in The Hague on November 21.

The Ideal Husband - Dors
The Ideal Husband - The Ritournello

zondag 19 oktober 2008

Mina, Dalida

Already a little while has passed since I emailed Guuzbourg for re-promoting the French movie Mina Tannenbaum (1994). It's about the coming of age of two jewish friends, their dreams, fears, their differences. Dalida's 'Il venait d'avoir 18 ans' plays a prominent role throughout, and – hence the email – I spotted a wee glimpse of le Gainsbourg singing . A very beautiful, a very French film.
"Bon, just deliver me a guest post for FillesSourires, and I will submit the Mina-clip along to it". I then started on writing my article, but the words just wouldn't come to me. For what is there to add in words to this music, this fragment, this theme? So. I wish to end this simple post with my thesis that in France, the chanson and the cinema remain at a very close distance from each other.

Dalida - Il venait d'avoir 18 ans

Catherine & Julien

Catherine Deneuve makes a cameo appereance in Julien Dorés new, fantastic campy video:

The part where Julien is standing between two black models reminds me very much of this this video.

vrijdag 17 oktober 2008

Random tracks

Three songs that have almost nothing in common, apart from sounding real good and one having a Serge-reference:

There's a connection between Marc Collin and La Boétie, but I forgot what it was (the booking agent, probably). Anyhoo, this Parisian rockquartet is fronted by the charming Elsa (pictured), and make powerpop with modern (think LCD Soundsystem) touches. No album yet, but all songs on their Myspace are very cool.

La Boetie - L'Etre Ideal

Paul & Louise are obviously a duo, that make also upbeat rock. They sing in English and French, one song of theirs was covered by Sinead O'Connor no less for a soundtrack. Also, no album yet. But there's always MySpace.

Paul & Louise - Je ne pense plus a toi

And finally an older track by the wonderful Angel Corpus Christi. I never give money to musicians on the street, except violist younger than 10 (they need the encouragement) and accordionist of any age. I love the accordion, wish I could play this poor man's piano. ACC is a master on the instrument, and also a very funny songwriter. White Courtesy Phone is a great album, but if you like (Lou Reed-)covers then Louie Louie is a good one. From that album comes this mash-up of SG's Je t'aime and I Want to Boogie With You (by Lou Reed, yes).

Angel Corpus Christi - I Want to Boogie/Je t'aime...moi non plus

donderdag 16 oktober 2008

Jane Birkin

Out in November: Enfants d'Hiver, the new album by Jane Birkin. For the first time, she wrote all lyrics herself, and they're all in French. For the music, she turned to Hawksley Workman, Alain and Pierre Souchon, Alain Lanty and Bertrand Louis (among others). I've heard it a few times now, and it's a very genteel album. Beautiful, mostly acoustic music (few samples, inna triphop stylee), and Jane telling a story. Not a lot of actual singing, and not every song is a, erm, song. With chorusses and refrains and all. Serge's nowhere in sight, but remember: she's doing her Arabesque-album again in Paris, during the big Gainsbourg-expo.

Jane Birkin - Periode Bleue

La vie en rose

(this is a restored post)

Fils sourires update! A brave move by Belgian band Suarez, to cover La vie en rose. The song has been sung many many many times, but the fourpiece add something to this standard. In fact, they redressed it in such way you don't recognise it immediatly. It was when I scanned the small print on their recently released debut album On Attend, that I saw that this was the famous Piaf song. They also do a very nice rendition of Brassens' La non demande en marriage. Suaraz is a rock band with folky roots, and fish in the same pond as the mighty Saule, Joseph d'Anvers, Salsedo, Eté 67 and other young lions. They're playing Brussels' Royal Circus on November 15 with Coralie Clement. Nice way to get acquinted, I'd say.

Here's Suarez' version, plus Edith's, and a still brill version by Satchmo.

Suarez - La vie en rose
Louis Armstrong - La vie en rose
Edith Piaf - La vie en rose

woensdag 15 oktober 2008

Marie-Josée Houle

Guestpost! Anna Maria from Sweden on M-J Houle:

Marie-Josèe Houle from Canada has just released a great little album called "Monsters". She sings in both English and French. "Nuit verglassante" is my favourite song there. She caresses each syllable and makes the song a quiet marvel of sultriness. As an added bonus she plays the accordion nicely. The album also houses a nice version of Jolie Holland's "Old-fashioned morphine". It's slow and in English. Well a French version would have been lovely, but this is great too.
Her site is uglysocks.com

Marie-Josee Houle - Nuit Verglassante

Coeur de pirate

Should've posted about this gal a lot earlier, but it took a while before Coeur de Pirate's album reached me (but SOM posted a great track way earlier). The good thing is, now I know that if you buy through the website of her label (the home of Tricot Machine too), you get a free CdP-button. And I strongly urge you to buy this album, for 18-year old Beatrice Martin from Montreal made an absolutely stunning cd. Wish I knew about this earlier, so that I could've put a track on FF#2. Beatrice plays the piano and her singing voice is a cross between Tori Amos and Feist. As far as I can decipher them, the songs are about heartbreak, deathwish, tears and pain. Bad experiences are good for art, as we all know. She likes Sartre, Kundera, Aznavour, Alaska, Argentina and dancing socially.

Coeur de pirate - Le long du large


A promoversion of Loane's album, a very nice version of Louisy Joseph's album and the extradeluxe edition of Julien Clerc's new cd - all for free! Just send me an email, and state which album you want. No need to write a piece on your fave song (although that is never forbidden). Lucky ones get the album. Be quick!

all is given away!

dinsdag 14 oktober 2008

Gainsbourg expo

Missed it by a week: the big Gainsbourg expo in Paris (21 Oct/March 1). With lots and lots of activities, including the reenactment of Melody Nelson (featuring J-C Vannier, Brian Molko, Martina Topley-Bird and Brigitte Fontaine), Blonde Redhead paying tribute to SG, and a screening of Anna and Cannabis. All details HERE.

New stuff

Not only did I visit Serge's grave, me & the mrs also went strolling through Montparnasse, sat at various terraces near Bastille and ate near the Canal St. Martin. Had a great time, and the mrs. even let me shop for records. Here's a selection
- Wizzz! Volume 2 is out, a compilation of hard to find French 'psychorama' songs - upbeat rocksongs from the sixties with a strange twist, or odd noises. Most bands and artists are very obscure, bar Brigitte Fontaine and Bruno Leys. There is a Serge & Jane pastiche by Jean et Janet, a Clothilde-like teenage-twister by Isabelle and sexy soundtracks by Philippe Nicaud and Nelly Perrier.
- A FS-visitor told me to check out Louisy Joseph. I bought her album without listening first, which was kind of a mistake. I thought she would be a kind of Soha, but her album features flimsy pop-reggae and some folksy strumming. Not real bad, just not that good. Title track is the best song. See video for single Assis par terre here.
- I have posted tracks from Pauline Croze's first album (2004), but I now own it too. Here's another song.
- Same goes for Adieu Tristesse (2005) by Arthur H. Here's his duet with Feist again.

Isabelle - Amstramgram
Louisy Joseph - La saison des amours
Pauline Croze - Dans la chaleur des nuits de pleine lune
Arthur H & Feist - La chanson de Satie

Requiem pour un ?

Last sunday, I went to see Serge's grave at the cemitière of Montmartre Montparnasse. It was one of the best kept graves, easily found with all the plants and pictures. And when me and mrs Guuzbourg walked back (to have lunch at La Closerie des Lilas, a place Serge visited in the 60s), I mused about the music that should be played at my burial. I always said Rest in Peace by the Beasts of Bourbon ('cause that's a hilariously drunk song) and Requiem pour un con by Serge. The latter might give people some mixed emotions - just who is the asshole that gets a beating in this song? Maybe I should choose Avec le Temps by Jane Birkin, in the live-version from Au Bataclan. Or her tearful rendition of Je suis venue te dire (click). Or maybe La Mort by Brel? I'm undecided here.

Are you? Do you know which songs should be played at your funeral, and why? Let's make it a competition. Send me (guuzbourg(a)gmail.com) the name of the song and the reason you want it played, and 5 winners get a (very upbeat) Filles Fragiles 2 cd.
Posts will be published on El Dia de los Muertos, ofcourse.

Serge Gainsbourg - Requiem pour un con
Jacques Brel - La mort

maandag 6 oktober 2008

Paris en automne, Serge shirts

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, me & mrs Guuzbourg are in Paris. Any tips? (Yes, I read about your concert, Pierre Fa, but unfortunately we train back Sunday evening)

Dutch cartoonist TRIK made a few Serge Gainsbourg-T-shirts in honour of this blog, and les filles fragiles! How cool is that? See & buy (also from outside Holland!) HERE

zaterdag 4 oktober 2008

Ariane, Etyl

The giveaways are, err, given away. Two lucky FS-visitors win the Coralie Clement-promo (yup, I got two). First up is Gilbert from Unionville with his guestpost on Ariane Moffatt:

Choosing my favourite song sung in French by a girl was perhaps one of the most difficult tasks with which I have been presented, but upon thinking about it, the answer became clear. It had to be "Hasard" by the lovely Ariane Moffatt. The pop-perfect melody, Ariane's enchanting, smooth, girlish voice, the simple, yet effective and endearing lyrics, and, of course, the beats combine to make one of the best songs I have ever heard. It is a perfect combination of house, trip-hop, and singer-songwriter music. The programming of the beats, subtle electronic nuances, and especially the buried effect of Ariane's piano create an "underwater" effect that is found on many other songs on the Aquanaute album(notably "Bien Dans Rien"). This song pulled me in within the first few seconds of my very first listen. There is something positively irresistible about Ariane's voice. It has an endearing girlish quality, yet it is still quite mature. It is passionate, smooth, charming. I could go on and on about her voice alone, but I shall save that for another day. This song combines everything I love about music. It's a little bit Tori Amos, a little bit trip-hop, a little bit house, yet it manages to be so refreshingly unique and original. Ariane's beautiful voice coupled with masterful instrumentation make this a song I truly cannot live without.

Ariane Moffatt - Hasard

Next is Virginia from Baton Rouge, on Etyl:

I discovered Etyl through this blog and bought their new CD, Souris, because I liked Je m'fais Mal and Noël. The first few times I listened to it, I was disappointed. I purchased Souris around the same time I got Camille's Music Hole, and I was much more impressed with the latter. However, I recently listened to a few songs from Etyl's first album La Tortue and I fell in love with En l'homme. I love the refrain 'Je crois en l'homme, malgre tout. Je crois en l'homme, meme aux fous' and the jazzy beat. Since then, I decided to give their new CD another chance and I found that it was much better than I initially thought. Anyway, En l'homme is a great song to sing when you're feeling a bit misanthropic.

Etyl - En l'homme

vrijdag 3 oktober 2008

Carla, Julien and the Moldy Peaches

Thanks to Frogsmoke (again) for spotting this remarkable duet between wonderboy Julien Doré and superwoman Carla Bruni. They do a cover of the Moldy Peaches, best known from the soundtrack to feelgood-hit-of-the-summer Juno.

Julien Doré & Carla Bruni - Anyone Else But You
Moldy Peaches - Anyone Else But You

See what Kimya Dawson (formerly of Moldy Peaches) has to say about this duet HERE

Download an mp3 of Carla singing Tu Es Ma Came from Later with Jools Holland HERE

Filles Fragiles 2

The definite cover, and the definite tracklasting for Filles Fragiles 2. Releasedate in Holland: October 20. Europe: November 1 (hopefully). Pre-order? Here. All praise about the cover-design (the booklet looks spectacular too) to Pierre Fa.

Berry -Le Bonheur
Loane - Jamais Seule
Adam Cohen & Virginie Ledoyen - Happiness
Poney Express - Paris de Loin
Liesbeth List – L’Anamour (never before released on cd)
Carla Bruni & Louis Bertignac - Les frôleuses
Barbara Carlotti – Pour La Nature
Leine - La Penombre des Pays-Bas
Niagara – Soleil d’Hiver
Vanessa Contenay-Quinones - Pres de Toi (exclusive!)
Dorval – Ne Me Demande Rien
The Lovers – Reverie de Lolita
Erica Buettner - C'est Julien (exclusive!)
A Loulia - La Pluie Qui Tombe (exclusive!)
Etyl - J'me Fais Mal
Noze & Dani Siciliano - Danse Avec Moi
Vanessa Paradis - L'Incendie
Coralie Clément - So Long Babylone
Bardo State & Jo Lemaire - Paradis
LITTLE - Sexe Drogue et Rock 'n Roll
(plus: secret exclusive bonus-track!)

In case you're wondering: only the songs by Vanessa C-Q and Little were not posted before on this blog.

Eux Autres

Our favourite Texan Ken wrote a very nice guestpost on Eux Autres, a band I never posted about. All the reason to send Ken the new Elisa Lunghini album (because).

Eux Autres
are a band based in Portland, Oregon, consisting of sister and brother Heather (on drums and vocals) and Nicholas Larimer (on guitar and vocals). The music is a sweet, but sparse indie-pop and they're not averse to breaking out into a twangy guitar garage rock frenzy, from time to time (the overall sound is comparable to Belle & Sebastian, St Etienne or Stereolab). Sharing vocals on many songs, their harmonies are sublime - they sing in that kind of 'back and forth' manner that only siblings seem able to muster (my theory as to the origins of this kind of sixth sense of timing, which underpins these sibling sing-a-longs, is that they are finely tuned from years of practice – the daily squabbles over the family dinner table).

The refreshing twist in a number of their songs is the influence of a Yé-Yé pop-vibe that comes to the forefront when Heather sings in French, her fille fragile voice accompanied by at times soley by some well appointed hand claps. She makes it sound very sophisticated and graceful, like a girl who's attended a finishing school run by Francoise Hardy. It's all too easy to fall under the spell of their charm and to be dazzled by their poise, as they deliver witty and cosmopolitan conversation, while preserving a charming, homespun sensibility.

They have produced a handful of E.Ps since 2003 and they’re two albums into their career with 'Hell Is Eux Autres' released in 2006 and 'Cold City'; and they’re currently in the studio - the third one should be out shortly!

Eux Autres - Salut les copains

donderdag 2 oktober 2008

Keren Ann

Anna Maria from Sweden wrote a guestpost about Keren Ann (because of this contest). She did not win, but because it's a lovely song, and Anna Maria wrote a nice piece, I am posting it.

Keren Ann Zeidel delivers one of her finest songs on her Nolita-cd. Her voice is so closely recorded that you can imagine she’s singing to you. Avishai Cohen’s trumpet adds that special feeling of quiet jazzy sophistication. It might soundtrack a film where the hero and heroine see each other for the first time and realise they are meant to be together. Or maybe they are saying a sad farewell, their affair over before it had a chance to begin. Zeidel’s wistful tone supports all sorts of fantasies of a romantic nature. This is one of those songs that I can never grow tired of.

Keren Ann - L'Onde Amere

Blood Arm & Anais

A great song from a few years ago, never heard or seen it before. But thanks to Frogsmoke, I did. And now you can too!

The Blood Arm & Anais - Do I Have Your Attention?