maandag 29 december 2008


A link fell into my mailbox right before Christmas - two songs from the new album by Holden were posted on their Myspace. Fifth album Fantomatisme will be released in March. If you get a little Stereolab-ish when you read that title, listen to Mia. Second title Fin d'une manche is triphop-ish thanks to the vinyl-crackle, but lacks tension. Mia, on the other hand, is an early-evening dancefloor tune. Singer Armelle Pioline also guests on the upcoming new album by Bastien Lallemant. La Plage sounds like a Filles Sourires classic to me.

Holden - Mia
Bastien Lallemant & Armelle Pioline - La plage

woensdag 24 december 2008

A Nougat Christmas

A bonus to the Christmas Project is a special track by Nougat, the Dutch guys who also made the bonustrack on Filles Fragiles 2. It's a beautiful, slow, seductive song about hope. Enjoy the holidays, thanks to everyone who read this blog, contributed, commented and linked to it. Special thanks to Franss, Maks, Wouter, Natasha, Anna Maria, Sky, Jana, Ken, Alexandre, René, André, Romke, Gilbert and Jan-Willem. Back in 2009!

Nougat - Un moment d'espoir

Brigitte Lahaie

Ssssssexy! Regular guestposter Sky blows the dust off Brigitte Lahaie:

The French adult cinema of the 70s was about carnal excess as well as about hedonism, politics, and libertinage. For a brief moment, especially in the key year 1978, movies like 'Perversion d’une jeune mariée' or 'Je suis à prendre' transcended smut and sleaze into an art form – particularly due to the spellbinding presence of the young Brigitte Lahaie who managed to fill even the lewdest scenes with a kind of radiant innocence.
Her only single, Caresse Tendresse, recorded in 1987 for the Clever label, regrettably breathes just a faint hint of that sensual poetry and magic – Brigitte’s voice clearly wasn’t her strongest physical asset, and the song itself sounds like a dancefloor collaboration between the Vu de l’extérieur-Gainsbourg and a sedated church organist. So what? As for Brigitte, it was a labor of love anyway.
Bonus: The title track from the 1980 Lahaie movie 'Secrets d’adolescentes' (a.k.a. Le Porno esperienze di Luca a Fanny), a voluptuous soundscape by the great Roberto Pregadio that was also used in Franco Prosperi’s nunploitation shocker La Settima Donna. Ethereal moaning not by Brigitte, but by the similarly magnificent Edda Dell’Orso, better known for her awesome teamworks with Ennio Morricone – the queen of wordless erotic vocals of Italian cinema.

Brigitte Lahaie - Caresse Tendresse
Roberto Pregadio/Edda Dell'Orso - Secrets d'adolescentes

Youtube has a few clips with Brigitte, see here. She's also gueststarring in this video by The London Buses.

maandag 22 december 2008

Spinshots go French

A blonde with a ponytail, a tight red dress and fiery red lips, backed by turban-and-suits-wearing guys. A winning combination if you ask me, particularly when this Amsterdam based band decides to record a sultry version of one of their songs in French. Lyrics courtesy of this well-known scenester. There's a video (below), there's a Myspace, there's site, wealth and fame should come-a knocking real soon!

Spinshots - Desirs Mutuels

Happy Birthday Vanessa!

Amy Milan

As you may recall, January will be Oh Canada-month, posting the bestest French songs from Quebec and around. Some bands make it a bit harder to spot the French gems, like Stars. (But we got Franss to spot those, bless 'm) Together with doe-eyed Amy Milan they recorded a little sad ballad - and yes, that odd buzz is intentional. This is a song about a robot, right? Song sounds a bit like Ariane Moffatt. Tips and guestposts about yer fave French-Canadian songs are welcomed.

Stars - Sad Robot

donderdag 18 december 2008

Ticketpunchers and Telegrams

Two Serge-covers, one recent and one a little older (1994). Catherine Delasalle is a French born singer who moved to Belgium in the nineties, played in several bands and made a couple of albums. This very good, very jazzy version of Poinconneur was taken from her solo-debut.
Skye shares her name with the former singer of Morcheeba, but is very different. Her version of Overseas Telegram is taken from her debut, that features only covers. Songs by Brel, Citizen Cope, Emmylou Harris, Claude Nougarro and Tracy Bonham. Not all great, but this Overseas Telegram version is okay.

Catherine Delasalle - Le Poinçonneur des Lilas (merci Janne)
Skye - Overseas Telegram

woensdag 17 december 2008

Marianne Feder

Two recent musical trends in fragile French female pop: the use of ukelele, and the influence of gipsy-jazz and balkan beats. Examples of the latter are Rupa & the April Fishes, Claire Diterzi, Carine Erseng and Marianne Feder. Marianne was featured once before on this blog (here), duetting with Alexis HK. He's returning the favour on Marianne's second album Toi Mon Indien, released in October. The balkan influences are courtesy of La Caravane Passe, a band of merry men who sing in a made up language, who play balkan-esque music with a punk attitude (not unlike Gogol Bordello) and who's album Velkom Plechti! is great for partying. They take it down a notch on Toi Mon Indien, the titletrack was choses by the Le Pop-guys, a stamp of quality for sure. Here are two other examples.

Marianne Feder - Vent d'est
Marianne Feder - Farouche

dinsdag 16 december 2008

X-mas in Q-bec

Guestpost by Natashka on French Canadian Christmas HERE.

donderdag 11 december 2008

Filles Sourires Yearlist

Here are the results of the Filles Sourires jury, thanks everyone who send a top 5. Fun facts: four albums in this top 5 are debuts; 50 percent of the top5-senders were girls; one guy put an album sung in English in his top 5, but added that is was sung with a strong French accent.

1. Coeur de Pirate - Coeur de Pirate. Your comments: 'And suddenly there she was, as could be expected from fille fragile, whispers sweet words in your ear, and the songs will stay there, they won't go away; they are forever, like a tattoo.'
'Sssht... just listen and shiver.'
'From out of nowhere it came and destroyed all corners for the title.'
'It's unbelievable beautiful and a damn shame you have to order something excellent like this in Canada.'
Coeur de Pirate - Berceuse

2. Berry - Mademoiselle. Your comments: 'Images of flaring dresses, bubbling blanquettes and sultry evenings: Berry was queen of summer with her catching songs and adorable appearance.'
'I listen to her when I’m having a bad day and she makes me smile.'
Berry - Cheri

3. Loane - Jamais Seule. Your comments: 'Dark, smouldering ballads beautifully and fragilely rendered.'
'Soft, sweet, sexy and soulful.'
Loane - Petit Bonheur

4. Marianne Dissard - L'Entredeux. Your comments: 'If Paris, Texas would have a 2009 sequel, I'd ask Marianne and the guys from Calexico for the score in stead of Ry Cooder.'
'This quote from LA Weekly says it all - If you don't fall in love with her from the moment she says hello, then you will have done by the time she finishes the first line of her first song, and if you're not melting by then, you have a swinging brick instead of a soul.'
Marianne Dissard - Les Draps Sourds

5. Claire Diterzi - Tableau de chasse. Your comments: 'Comparisons with Kate Bush and Bjork are unfair. Tableau is an original, quirky but always compelling mixture of the experimental, gothic and ethereal, with traces of World. But not necessarily this one.'
'Fabulously inventive songs by ms.Diterzi'.
Claire Diterzi - Tableau de la chasse

Honourable mentions: Barbara Carlotti - L'ideal; Maya Barsony - Femme d'exterieur, and Poney Express - Poney Express.

woensdag 10 december 2008

Christmas Project (2)

Tis the seasons, and tis the time for another Christmas project. Last year, Hektor, Adeline Moreau, A Loulia and Marianne Dissard (among others) all wrote and recorded a Christmas song especially for this blog. The Marianne Dissard track ended up on this great compilation, by the way.
This year, I asked a bunch of other FillesSourires-friends to do the same. And lucky for us, most of them gladly did. So here are six brandspanking, very exclusive French X-mas songs, most of them very sexy and seductive. To keep you warm, in many ways.

Maud Lübeck - Comptes de Noël (Myspace)
Mallory Hays - Le 25 au carillon (Myspace)
Miam Monster Miam - Noel soul l'acide (Site)
Valery Saint-Germain - D'ou viens-tu bergere (Myspace)
Manu Markou & Odile Closset - La lettre au Père Noel (Myspace)
Fredda Dastrevigne - C'est Novembre (Myspace)

Oh and by the way: Christmas A Gogo has reopened.

dinsdag 9 december 2008

Let's not forget

This Saturday, here. Come dance, come drink, come have a good time!

Nina Morato, Zoe Avril

First winner of a copy of Le Pop - Les Filles is regular visitor Anna Maria from Sweden:

Nina Morato had great success in the nineties, and represented France in the 1994 Eurovision with this strident but melodic song. She sounds tomboyish but with a feminine slant to her singing that’s very appealing. The strings are sumptuous on this track, and Morato’s vocal quirks works well. She reminded me of Mylène Farmer at the time, perhaps due to a similar pop sensibility, but I don’t know if she appeared naked in her videos. She’s continued to make music, but I’ve not heard it so the time is right to see what she might be up to now.

Nina Morato - Je suis un vrai garçon

Second winner is Sayuri, with a post on Zoe Avril:

I love the French song of Zoe Avril: On ne changera pas le monde. In the song you hear a choir of children singing before Zoe starts with her part. It is totally a song you can not get out of your head! I like to play it on the radio (I am doing radio shows) because it fits perfectly into it and it is a song you really get a good feeling of. Another point: it is that kind of song i really love to dance to. Maybe i should look for more music.

Zoe Avril - On ne changera pas le monde
(see video here)

maandag 8 december 2008

Les Valseuses

What's better than one fille fragiles? Three filles, ofcourse. Introducing Les Valseuses: Laure, Marianne and Zoé, who met over cigarettes and coffee (imagine, with the smoking ban of today they wouldn't have met) worked on songs and their voicces and released an album recently. Funny 'n sunny songs, not unlike the Puppini Sisters or Pipettes. Only French. And yes, their name is a reference to one of the best French movies ever. Most songs on the Valseuses album sound pretty innocent, but they sex things up véry much on Lascive. Aah la la indeed. (Merci Franss)

Les valseuses - Lascive

zaterdag 6 december 2008

Monsieur Mono plus Ariane Moffatt

You still have a few days to send (guuzbourg(a) your Top 5 French Female Album List of 2008. A lot of you counted Ariane Moffatt's Tous les sens as one of their faves. An album I kind of forget - maybe because I still have to get used to her new electropopways. I rather hear sweet Ariane in a more gentle, fluffy environment. Like in this duet with fellow Quebec-native Monsieur Mono. It was taken from his second album, released earlier this year, and the slow, brooding mood suits both voices really well.
Because of all the great Canadian/Quebecoise music I got to know this year, from Coeur de Pirate to Amylie, I will post the best music from female French Canadian artists in January - Oh Canada-month. Tips and guestposts are, as always, welcomed.

Monsieur Mono & Ariane Moffatt - Comme en temps de guerre

donderdag 4 december 2008

Tricot Machine

Canadian duo Tricot Machine (best known for their hit L'Ours) made an EP with Christmas songs, and perform their view on the festivities during a theater concert. Should you bring stockings? See video here.
And remember, in a few days I present the new Filles Sourires Christmas Project.

Tricot Machine - Combien de Noel?

In other news: Nine Words made a very good mix of Sighing Songs, ranging from Carla Bruni to Tom Waits and Tricky.

English interview with Coeur de Pirate HERE.

Melanie Pain

When it comes to compiling French music, I bow down to Rolf and Oliver of Le Pop. This Cologne-based duo are the OG's when it comes to bringing the nouvelle vague to the people, with their versatile, handpicked and carefully annoted comps. The newest edition was just released: Le Pop - Les Filles. Now, some have suggested that Le Pop stole the Filles Fragiles concept, which ofcourse is nonsense. In fact, this Le Pop edition is a protest album! From the introduction: 'Whilst reading articles and record reviews about female French musicians and singers, we recently came across a strange phenomenon: and ever increasing number of articles included remarks like "...a pleasant exception considering your usual cliched female French Chanteuse..." In the face of allt these pleasant exceptions, one might start to worry about a whole genre evaporating into thin air! (...) Well, you needn't worry, all is well in French female pop, als Le Pop Les Filles clearly demonstrates.'
True! LPLF gives shelter to FS-faves like Coralie Clement, Loane, Marianne Dissard and Jeanne Cherhal. Introduces new names like Julie B. Bonnie and Doris Park, AND has a brandspanking new song by the ultralovely Melanie Pain! Yes, her album will be released next year. And if it sounds as good as the stuff released (via Le Pop) so far, it's a hit.

UPDATE: Thanks to Le Pop, I can give away THREE copies of the new Les Filles compilation! You know what to do: send me a guestpost of at least 100 words on any of your favourite French songs (sung by a girl, ofcourse). Guuzbourg(a)

Melanie Pain - Celle de mes 20 ans

Marie Audigier

Christophe from Bruxelles, who 'won' the Marina Celeste-cd, send me two songs by Marie Audigier. 'She has become quite obscure now', he writes. You don't say - there's very little I can find about her. These songs stem from beginning of the 90's. Rève un peu à moi is a Mama Cass cover, Dans la brume du Matin a Joe Dassin Cover. ' Een zuchtmeisje to rediscover !', Christophe adds. Damn right! What a great off-key voice! And the production of these songs is great as well. Who knows more about Marie? And who has her Crepuscule-album Ces Etes?

Marie Audigier - Reve un peu a moi
Marie Audigier - Dans la brume du Matin

woensdag 3 december 2008

Emily Loizeau

Songs in which the singer (or someone else) whistles are an acquired taste. Most of the time, it's a cheap gimmick, that drives me mad (example). Sometimes, it fits (example). Sweet Emily Loizeau has made a jazzy folky song (part French, part English), for her upcoming new album Le Pays Sauvage, that shows that yes, you can make whistling add to the summer's day atmosphere. Looking forward to that album (in February) very, very much. But please, don't whistle too much.

Emily Loizeau - Sister

maandag 1 december 2008

Les enfants d'Gainsbourg

Probably one of the most surreal 'tributes' to Serge is this clip, filmed at the end of the eighties, start of the nineties. In a French tv-show, a bunch of kids dressed up as Serge, sing a parody of Je suis venue te dire que je m'en vais.

Serge looks like he's very touched by all this, but my drawing friend Hanco K. thinks that at that point, Serge was well aware of the parody he'd become: a man remembered for his drinking, smoking and stubble. Thát is what he's crying about.
Today I found an even more unsettling tribute to SG by kids. Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint Marc sing on their new album Le poinconneur des Lilas - a song about a ticketpuncher in the subway, and who gets so fed up by his job that he put a big hole in his head.
Unsettling, that's the word. Not the first time that a children's choir sang a Serge-song, Belgian Scala sang Marilou sous la neige. Odd choice too, but less unsettling than this version. French horror-directors might put it to good use, though.

Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint Marc - Le poinconneur des Lilas

X-mas: Maryse Letarte

December's here, and while we in Holland still have to celebrate Sinterklaas, we're also making preparations for Christmas. Later this month, I will post a couple of brandspanking, very exclusive x-mas songs that were especially recorded for this blog (just like last year), by artists like Maud Lübeck, Mallory Hays and Frederique Dastrevigne. To kick off the dark days before Christmas, here's a song from Quebecs Maryse Letarte's album Des pas dans la neige, featuring folky christmassongs. Mostly in French, one in English, and a few instrumental soundtracks. Love her melancholy-filled voice.(Merci Franss)

Maryse Letarte - Entre Noel et le jour de l'an

Bahama Soul Club vs Isabelle Antena

I never learned to play an instrument, but if I could, I'd play either the percussion or the bass in a band like Bahama Soul Club. This German outfit plays a mix of bossanova, latin and jazz, with the sole purpose to make the audience move their asses. BHS uses various guestvocalists, like Pat Appleton from De-Phazz, but also the superlovely Isabelle Antena - one of the oz's (original zuchtmeisjes). A Bout de Souffle is a very danceable song, referring ofcourse to the Godard movie, and features a lot sighing. Great!

Bahama Soul Club feat. Isabelle Antena - A Bout de Souffle