Wednesday, 30 September 2015

PNL: Dans Ta Rue

A recent video by PNL for the track Dans Ta Rue, a  track that has emerged ahead of a new album.

The album  Que la famille album was  released in March this year, establishing NOS and Ademo among the most distinctive voices operating in French rap this year.

A tracks J'suis PNL and Le monde ou rien emerged since, adding to their growing reputation.

 There are stars on the French rap scene who have had massive commercial success, whether Booba, Maître Gims or Black M, and PNL are the kind of act that could find themselves at that level before too long.

The album Le monde Chico is released on October 30.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Les Innocents: Acoustic session

A live set on Acoustic, the TV music show on TV5Monde by Les Innocents.

The duo of Jean-Philippe Nataf and Jean-Christophe Urbain had considerable success in the 80s and 90s, but split in 1999.

They reformed in 2013, and released their most recent album Mandarine this year after an absence

The session on Acoustic features tracks from the new collection as well as a couple of older numbers. There is also an interview with Nataf and Urbain.

Tracks featured included Harry Nilsson, Love qui peut,  L'autre finistère, Philharmonies martiennes and Confession d'un vieux serpent.

The Pirouettes: Je nous vois

A nice piece of indie electro from The Pirouettes with the song Je nous vois.

The track's available as a vinyl seven inch with the track Soleil Rare.

The Pirouettes are a Paris-based duo of Vickie Chérie and Leo Bear Creek, they've released a four track self-titled EP in 2012, and the seven track L'Importance Des Autres album in 2014.

The track Je nous vois is available as a free download from their website 

They're playing at the MaMA festival in Paris on October 14.

Monday, 28 September 2015

New Acts: Marion Mayer

Another act that appeared at this year's I'm From Rennes festival,  Marion Mayer  played a set in an
apartment in the city, one of the many unusual venues being used for shows during the showcase event for the city's talent.

An acoustic singer songwriter, Marion Mayer takes her starting point as the more pastoral end of the classic rock spectrum of the 60s and 70s, somewhere between Neil Young and Nick Drake but with a 21st century indie attitude.

She released her first EP in May last year, the five track Leave EP.

Pretty sure we'll be hearing more from her before too long.

Cabourg Mon Amour: Concerts a Emporter

A couple of nice videos have emerged from the Cabourg Mon Amour festival in Normandy in the form of Concerts a Emporter blog clips from La Blogotheque.

The event was held on July 24 - 26 this year, and has been held since 2012.

This year's event saw the likes of Grand Blanc and Gandi Lake, Burning peacocks and Fellini Felin play over three days.

In the new videos, performances by Curtis Harding, Only Real and Agua Roja have been captured in the kind of settings where music usually doesn't go.

But they're the kind of places music should probably visit more often.

We Are Match: The Shark

A great clip by We Are Match for the track The Shark, emerging from the deep as the band release
their debut album.

I featured the track at the beginning of September, and they've been busy in the couple of weeks since, with an album released, live dates and the new video.

Their debut album Shores was relased on Friday, which features The Shark and previous single Speaking Machine, as well as the track Violet, which featured on their debut 2013 Relizane EP.

The album's a fine collection of modern pop, with an electro indie flavour. Refreshing and hugely enjoyable.

We Are Match are touring at the moment and play at La Maroquinerie in Paris on October 21.

Friday, 25 September 2015

New Acts: Palm - Blood Red Road

As the I'm From Rennes festival draws to a close this weekend, a look at another  act featuring on the

Palm are another of the acts appearing at the event showcasing some of the city's emerging musical talent.

Palm are based between Rennes and Vannes, and produce the kind of rock 'n' roll that fans of the likes of Crazy Horse era Neil Young or Calexico will immediately warm to. Ragged, fiery and passionate, they respect the traditions of Americana but are simultaneously unafraid to be musically experimental.

The I'm From Rennes show saw them playing along to a screening of the cult 1970s movie Vanishing Point.

They released their And The Loudest Thing Of All Is Our Own Silence album in 2011, their Home collection coming out earlier that year. The five track El Sereno EO came out in 2013

More details on their bandcamp site 

Feu! Chatterton: Le Pont Marie

A new track unveiled by  Feu! Chatterton  in a live session, with Le Pont Marie emerging ahead of  the release of their debut album.

The new track follows the single Boeing, released last month.

The album by the five piece is a highly anticipated release, the band winning both the public and the jury Sosh aime les inRocKs lab 2014 prize for new talent.

The album, entitled Ici Le Jour (A Tout Enseveli), is to be released on October 16.

They're touring France extensively from October, with a sold-out show in Paris at the Trianon on October 19 and another on December 11.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Christine and the Queens: No Harm is Done (clip)

The world domination attempt by Christine and the Queens continues, with the release of a video for
the track No Harm is Done, a new track featuring rapper Tunji Ige.

The track first emerged at the beginning of the month.

The clip for the song was directed by Christine, and the track is one of five unreleased numbers that features on a new special edition of her debut album Chaleur Humaine  that's due out in France on November 6.

Before then comes an American release of her album on October 16, although entitled "Christine and the Queens" for the benefit of the anglophone audience.

Christine and the Queens play a sold-out at the Zénith in Paris tomorrow as they continue their series of dates across France.

After that, she's off to north America for shows across the USA and Canada supporting Marina and the Diamonds.

Morrissey at L'Olympia

A date at L'Olympia tonight for Morrissey, a suitably historic and grand venue for the historic and grand artist.

He's played there before

Morrissey (partially) recorded his Beethoven was Deaf live album at the Zénith in Paris in 1992, releasing it the following year.

While the sleeve notes say the album was entirely recorded at the Paris show, a number of the tracks were from a London gig a few days before.

But it was his 2009 album Years of Refusal that featured a track that gives him a place in this blog.

If you're at the show tonight, just so you know,  I'm jealous.

Stromae Takes America: Formidable in Seattle

Another installment of Stromae's adventures in the USA, with our hero taking to the stage in Seattle.

It follows a video of him performing on the streets of New York city.

The track Quand c'est is the latest track from Racine Carrée to be released as a single, it's video quite simply one of the most striking I've seen for a while.

Stromae is in mid-North American tour, with a show at Madison Square Gardens on October 1.

Although I reckon the crowd might just be a bit bigger than the one in the Seattle bar he performs in front of in in this video though...

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

New Acts: Février - Rosa Celeste

Another act featuring on the bill for this year's I'm From Rennes festival, showcasing some of the musical
talent emerging from the Breton city.

Février are a rock band, but it's rock in  a raw and passionate state. A dramatic and  powerful combination of vocals, drums and electric guitar.

Simple ingredients, used sparingly and with an explosive effect.

They have been around since 2012, releasing two demo tracks the following year. Since then they've been playing live with acts  like Laetitia Shériff and My Sleeping Doll.

The track Rosa Celests comes from a forthcoming EP.

Edwige Belmore & Mathematiques Modernes

Another French legend passes, with the death of Edwige Belmore, style icon of late 70s Paris punk chic scene and half of new wave duo Mathematiques Modernes.

She was a central figure in late 70s France, in a scene that centred around Le Palace nightclub in the 9th arrondisement.  It was a club that mixed the street punk and the jet set, where celebrities like Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones and Yves Saint Laurent could go, but were style and attitude were more important than who you were.

It would enter legend like New York's Studio 54, a place where fashion, music and style collided and sparked something new.

Much of what we think of as the style of the 1980s came from this scene, where she was a central figure.

Belmore was an inspiration for the likes of Pierre et Gilles and  Helmut Newton, her style particularly influencing Jean Paul Gaultier.

Her musical career might have been brief, but again it was remarkable.

Mathematiques Modernes released a single Disco-rough in 1980 . It was produced by Jacno,  former member of French punks Stinky Toys and later electro-pop pioneer as a solo artist and as half of Elli and Jacno. Needless to say it's a classic piece of post-punk minimal electro.

They released one album,  Les visiteurs du soir, in 1981. While very much of its era, it's the kind of treasure that has an appeal that has endured.

In 2013, Yelle covered their track A+B=C. The same year, Les visiteurs du soir was re-issued. It quickly sold out.

Dominique A: Central Otago

A new clip from French singer-songwriter Dominique A, with the track Central Otago getting some appropriately cinematic visual treatment

The track comes from his  Éléor album which was released in March this year. It's an album that confirms Dominique A's position at the forefront of 21st century chanson.

The tracks Au Revoir mon amour and the title track have already emerged as singles, and he has toured extensively, with festival shows over the summer.

Dominique A has a packed schedule of live dates over the next few months, starting with a set at the Festi'val De Marne in Ivry Sur Seine on October 1, and on through France and surrounding countries until March.

He plays Thêatre du Châtelet in Paris on December 14

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

New Acts: Volgograd - Drag Me Down

A cold slice of electro noir from Volgograd, another of the acts performing at the I'm From Rennes
festival this week.

The event showcases some of the talent emerging from the city in the west of France.

Volgograd are one such act, their music fitting somewhere in the post punk spectrum, neither Joy Division nor Berlin period Iggy Pop and David Bowie, but informed by them.

Theire music a perfect soundtrack to an overnight train journey across silent neon lit icy European cities, empty streets and factories.

Volgograd have five tracks on their Bandcamp site, all worthy of your investigation.

Cali: Acoustic

Another episode of Acoustic, the French music show on TV5Monde, and  this week the spotlight
falls on Cali.

2015 saw the release of his L'Âge d'or album, his latest release in a career that got under way with the band Indy in 1995,  his first solo album coming in 2003.

The programme features songs from his latest album as well as a brief interview.

Tracks broadcast were Le coeur chargé comme un fusil, La vie quoi!, Coco, and Tout ce qui ne reviendra plus.

Rhum For Pauline: Pan Peter

A clip for the track Pan Peter by Rhum For Pauline, a band who are no strangers to this blog.

I've featured the band before, as well as Lenparrot, side project of singer Romain Lallement.

The Nantes-based five piece have taken their time to release their debut, having released their first EP in 2010, but it's given them the opportunity to mature nicely and to take on some of the ideas that they've pursued in side projects.

If this track is any measure, their debut album will certainly have been worth the wait.

The video's an appropriately haunting visualisation of the track.

The video comes ahead of the release of their new album, entitled Leaving Florida, which is due to be released at the end of this week.

Rhum for Pauline play the Badaboum in Paris on November 4.

Monday, 21 September 2015

New Acts: The Last Morning Soundtrack - Your Tomorrows

I promised to feature some of the acts playing at this year's I'm From Rennes festival, which has an
eclectic and talented bill showcasing some of the talent that the city has to offer.

Among them The Last Morning Soundtrack, an act featuring Sylvain Texier presenting an effortlessly melancholy and epic sound.

It's a classy sound that could rightly be compared to the likes of Bon Iver.

An album A Dlstancc, A Lack was relased in 2011, and an EP in 2013 since them.

The Last Morning Soundtrack's album Promises of Pale Nights is released next month.

Grand Corps Malade: L'heure des poètes

A new track by Grand Corps Malade heralding his new album, due out towards the end of next

The new collection by the artist known to his friends and family as Fabien Marsaud features collaboration with others including Renaud, Charles Aznavour, HF Thiefaine and Fred Pellerin.

While a new release by GCM is certainly something to celebrate, the re-involvement of the legendary Renaud on the album will certainly be waited on with anticipation.

His last album was 2013's  Funambule, a top five album in France.

Grand Corps Malade has a couple of symphonic gigs ahead, with one in Lyon on November 23 and another at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on November 24,

 L'heure des poètes is released on October 23.

Louis, Matthieu, Joseph & Anna Chedid: F.O.R.T.

A new track has been made available by Louis, Matthieu, Joseph & Anna Chedid , the family
featuring Louis Cheded and three of his children.

 The new single F.O.R.T comes as they completed a series of live dates over the summer with a set at the Fête de l'Humanité last weekend.

It comes ahead of a studio album due to be released next month, the four having been working together since the end of last year.

What's certain is that working together has seen all four artists reach new audiences and be met with a warm reaction from crowds around France. The album should cement their place as France's favourite musical family.

Their album is due out on October 23.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Gesaffelstein : Maryland soundtrack

Always a pleasure to hear a new track by Gesaffelstein, one of France's finest contemporary electronic artists, with a title A Pledge from the soundtrack of the film Maryland emerging.

Maryland, a thriller directed by French film maker Alice Cinocour,  featured at the Cannes film festival this year.

The film, starring Matthias Schoenaerts, Diane Kruger and Jean-Louis Coulloc'h, also goes by the name Disorder.

Gesaffelstein recorded ten new tracks for it, the soundtrack also featured a three previously available Gesaffelstein  tracks

The soundtrack by Gesaffelstein is being made available as a limited edtion heavyweight double vinyl release.

Kid Wise: Miroir

Pretty much a two-for-the-price-of-one collaboration, with a track by Kid Wise, this time remixed by Hyphen Hyphen.

The track originated on the Kid Wise album L'innocence, the band's debut, which came out in March.

Hyphen Hyphen release their debut collection Time today, September 18 2015.

 Kid Wise play at La Cigale in paris on October 16. Hyphen Hyphen, meanwhile,  play La Maroquinerie in Paris on October 5.

AaRON – Blouson Noir

I featured this track in May when it first emerged, so it's great to see it finally get the video clip it

AaRON is a duo of Simon Buret and Olivier Coursie, they released their debut album Artificial Animals Riding on Neverland in 2007.

Blouson Noir comes from their new album entitled  We Cut The Night, released today.

The track has lost none of its edge despite repeated listening since May, I can certainly still imagine it making an appearance in a film soundtrack before too long.

AaRON have dates around France in October, November and December, and play at L'Olympia in Paris on November 25.

M83: Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

A new film in the Hunger Games franchise, and another soundtrack appearance by M83.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is the final film in the series and again features Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.

Some of the filming for the film of the dystopian Young Adult was done in  Noisy le Grand, Paris.

M83 are no strangers to the Young Adult literature film adaptation, appearing on the soundtrack for Divergent and its Insurgent follow-up.

M83 also soundtracked Tom Cruise's movie Oblivion in 2013.

The track featuring in the trailer is My Tears Are Becoming A Sea, from the 2011 Hurry Up we're dreaming album.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2  is scheduled for release on November 20 2015.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

New Acts: Menthol - Les sirènes

A refreshing piece of French electro by Menthol with the track Les sirènes.

The track was recommended by Yelle on on Twitter, and it's an appropriately tasteful and very cool piece.

Menthol have been around under that name since  2014 a duo whose most memorable output so far has been an electro cover of MC Solaar's Caroline and the track L'or et le miel.

Previously they were members of the band Rafale.

Menthol played the Art Rock 2015 festival this summer and supported Yelle towards the end of last year.

Trans Musicales 2015: Final names unveiled

A third and final line-up announcement for the Trans Musicales 2015 event in Rennes later this year.

It takes the number of acts confirmed for this year to 77, thirty having been named in recent weeks.

It's as eclectic and forward looking line-up, as you might hope for from the festival that has showcased some of the finest emerging talent from France and beyond yearly since 1979.

Sure, some many of the names are unfamiliar. That's part of the fun and I look forward to investigating them in the weeks to come.

The Trans Musicales 2015 runs from December 2 - December 6.

Bagarre: Le Gouffre

A new clip by the magnificent Bagarre ahead of the release of their new EP.

The new EP follows the release of the tracks Claque-le  and Bonsoir, while the clip follows the same visual style that they have been pioneering, simple black and white and focussing on one member of the band.

The new EP Musique de Club comes out tomorrow.

Bagarre have a number of live dates in coming months, including a show in Paris at Le Badaboum on October 7.

Louise Attaque: New album

Confirmation over the last few days that there's a fourth album in the pipeline from Louise Attaque,
one of the French bands that probably deserve to be described as 'legendary.'

Their 1997 self-titled debut was one of the milestones in French music, the group creating a sound that was as unique as it was captivating, the album a well-deserved record-breaking commercial success.

The band initially spit in 2001 following their Comme on a Dit second album the previous year, forming two separate acts Tarmac and Ali Dragon.

They reunited in 2003 to record the last album by the four piece, 2005's À plus tard crocodile.

Gaëtan Rousse has of course since had considerable success as a solo artist, with the albums Ginger in 2011 and 2013's Orpailleur.

Most recently he's been writing for other artists, his most recent being the single Nos Secrets by Louane.

Some new material appeared from Louise Attaque in 2011, with a new track recorded for a 'best of' compilation that came out at the end of that year.

I said at the time on this blog: "A new track by the band is certainly welcome, and while its unlikely that the band will reconvene on a more permanent basis, it shows that there's certainly a demand for them to do so should they ever want to. "

The new album is expected early in 2016.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Lou Doillon: Good Man

Another exrtact from the forthcoming Lou Doillon album, with the track Good Man.

It will feature on the new album Lay Low, which is due out on October 9.

The new track follows the release of Where To Start last month.

Lay Low is the follow up to her 2012 debut Places, a top three album in France, and which led to a 2013 Victoires de la Musique award for best female artist.

Following the release of the album, Doillon takes to the road in France, with shows around the country from October 24, including a show at the Casino de Paris on December 8.

Cœur de pirate: Crier tout bas

A new clip for the track Crier tout bas by Cœur de pirate.

It comes from her recently released Roses album, a collection that looks likely to make Béatrice Martin an even bigger star than she currently is.

It's her fourth full album, and from her 2008 self-titled debut onwards she has established herself as one of the key artists in French music.

Roses was released at the end of August and she's beginning a series of dates in North america from today, with a sold out show at the Métropolis in her home town of Montréal.

She has dates in France in November and December, and plays the Olympia in Paris on November 5

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

New Acts: I'm From Rennes festival

A fine display of emerging French talent are being showcased at a music festival that gets under way
in the fine city of Rennes tomorrow, with the I'm From Rennes event kicking off in the Breton city.

It's the fourth time it's been held, this year seeing 50 acts at 18 locations, and 25 separate events.

Manceau and Darjeeling Speech, who have both been mentioned on this blog before are on the bill.

Also taking part are acts including Volgograd, Digital Lullaby and Fevrier. Kowalski, Louisette and Palm are some of the others on what is a wide ranging and eclectic bill, showcasing some of the quality talent emerging from the city.

I'll feature some of these on this blog over the next few days.

Shows are being held in venues including the 1988 Live club and in pubs in the city, but others are being held in more unusual surroundings like apartments, while others take place in locations like the city's protestant church or in the Parc du Thabor.

The festival runs until September 26.

Marina Kaye: Acoustic session

A session on the TV5Monde music show Acoustic by singer Marina Kaye.

Kaye won the 2011 season of  La France a un incroyable talent, the country's version of Britain's Got Talent.

The title track of the Marseille born singer's  EP Homeless topped the French charts in 2014, and In May this year she released her debut album Fearless.

The edition of Acoustic featured songs from that album.

The programme also included brief interviews with her conducted by Sébastien Folin

Tracks in this session include Dancing with the Devil, Dark Star, Homeless , Freeze you out and Live before I die.

Stromae: Quand c'est?

A new clip from Stromae, showing that there's life yet in his 2013 Racine Carrée album in terms of singles.

This time it's the song  Quand c'est ? deals with cancer, and the video tackles it with sensitivity and vision.

A bold track to begin with, and a memorable clip too, whether you need the subtitles or not.
While Racine Carrée is pretty well know in mainland Europe, with almost 2 million copies sold in France, the new clip corresponds with live dates in North America where he's becoming an increasingly well known face with high-profile admirers.

A recent video showed him performing Papaoutai in New York City, ahead of a show at  Madison Square Gardens on October 1st.

North America's a huge market, and there's certainly room for a talented artist like Stromae.

Monday, 14 September 2015

New Acts: I AM UN CHIEN !! - N'Djamena

A slice of heavy electro from Fontenay-Sous-Bois in the form of I AM UN CHIEN !!

The three piece released their single N'Djamena in June, having previously released a couple of EPs.

Their first EP was in 2009, a follow up came out the next year.

The six track Humanity collection emerged last year.

There's more on their Soundcloud page including their The Dogtape mixtape.

Téléphone: Les Insus..? - Live at Point Ephémère

We couldn't all be at the Point Ephémère at the weekend to see Téléphone, but enough people
equipped with decent mobile phones were, and they certainly took a few video souvenirs.

I know it can be a hassle at gigs when the guy in front has his phone in the air, and perhaps
 he should be enjoying the moment rather than documenting it, but I'm glad in this case that there were folk doing exactly that so that the huge number who weren't there were able to get a flavour of the show.

So Téléphone/Les Insus..? play again this week. A torrent of Téléphone re-issues and a tribute CD are in the pipeline for the next few months, but will the reformation be anything more permanent?

At the moment, who knows. A new album would be nice, a tour would be great.

But if nothing more comes of it, it was great to have them back, even for just a little while.

Jabberwocky featuring Owlle: Ignition

An interesting collaboration between Jabberwocky and Owlle for the track Ignition.

It follows Jabberwocky recent hit Photomaton, a success possibly due to it featuring in an advertising campaign for Peugeot.

Its follow up features the voice of Owlle, whose Ticky Ticky EP was released in 2012, her debut aklbum France coming out last year.

Ignition, along with Photomaton both feature on Jabberwocky's forthcoming debut album, which is available to pre-order.

Lunar Lane is due to be relased on October 16, and Jabberwocky have dates around France in October and November, and play at La GaÎte Lyrique in Paris on December 12.

Friday, 11 September 2015

New Acts: The Obsoletes - Nothing Left To Lose

A nice piece of work by French band The Obsoletes with a video for the track Nothing Left To Lose.

It comes from their debut album United, which was released earlier this month.

They've been together for a couple of years honing their craft

The band are an unashamedly rock four piece from Pau. I'd put money on them being a great live proposition.

Their album is available from their bandcamp site

Téléphone - Les Insus - Live in Paris

An unprecedented gig in Paris tonight, as a (more or less) reformed Téléphone take to the stage.

Former Téléphone  bass player  Corine Marienneau isn't part of the band, which is why Jean-Louis Aubert, Richard Kolinka and Louis Bertignac are having to perform under the pseudonym Les Insus when they take to the stage at the Point Ephemere.

It's a tiny venue for such a historic appearance, given that there were rumours that a reformed Téléphone would play shows at the Stade de France just a couple of years ago.

What the appearance means is uncertain, however, another show has been added in Lille for September 15.

What is sure is that in forthcoming months a whole batch of Téléphone  reissues are scheduled, along with a various artists tribute CD that's already seen a version of Un Autre Monde by Superbus released.

Will France's new wave legends be back for long? The Point Ephemere's website makes it clear that if there's one concert not to miss this year, it's this one.

We'll see where it goes from here.

Festival: Fête de l'Humanité

A major music event in the outskirts of Paris this weekend, with the annual Fête de l'Humanité taking
place at the  Parc départemental Georges Valbon at La Courneuve.

Manu Chao, Texas and Shaka Ponk are the headline acts over the three days, that also see La Famille Chedid and the legendary Juliette Gréco taking to the stage.

As an event organised to raise funds for the L'Humanité newspaper, the PCF's daily, there are debates, discussions and stalls for a variety of causes as well as music, culture and food from communities around the world.

Last year Scorpions, IAM and Massive Attack headlined and in the decades since it began the event has seen some of the biggets names in music play, from French acts like Johnny Hallyday to international bands like Pink Floyd.

Whether or not they share the politics of L'Humanité doesn't matter too much, as it's always been an inclusive event attracting over 100,000 people.

Ticket prices are kept low, with a 32 Euro price for the three day ticket.

Trans Musicales festival: Another 15 acts unveiled

Another 15 acts have been revealed for the bill of this years's Trans Musicales festival in Rennes.

The video sees the creation of another piece of street art in the city detailing the names.

Playground Zero, Vintage Trouble, Steve 'n'Seagulls, Khun Narin's Electric Phin band, Idiotape, The Chikitas, The Brother Moves On, Le Galaxie, Het Universumpje, Clarence Clarity, Fango, Queen Kwong, The Comet is Coming and Applescal are listed, in what looks again to be a fascinating and eclectic bill.

Delighted to see Scottish rap act Hector Bizerk on the bill.

Fifteen acts have already been confirmed, and the rest will be revealed on September 17 at a news conference at the Ubu club in Rennes.

The Avener: You're My Window To The Sky

A new track You're My Window To The Sky by The Avener, French house musician known to his
family and friends as Tristan Casara.

His track Fade Out Lines gave him a hit across much of Europe towards the end of last year, the song featuring on his The Wanderings of the Avener debut album.

That album included his version of a memorable cover of Townes Van Zand's Better than Waitin' Round To Die featuring the Be Good Tanyas. The album reached number two in France.

You're My Window To The Sky is also being used as the theme music for the Canal+ flagship programme Grand Journal since it returned to the air for a new season.

The song was originally by Australian singer Kim Churchill and appeared on his 2014 silence/win album.

A new edition of The Wanderings of the Avener is due out this autumn.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

New Acts: Calypso - Oh Boy

A video for the track Oh Boy by Calypso, a track full of upbeat charms.

Slightly reminiscent - to these ears anyway - of some of the bands of the late 80s like Bis, an electro take on punky indie pop.

It's a fun piece of work, the kind of song you'd like to see as a massive summer hit as much as you'd like to to remain a hidden gem.

The track comes from their forthcoming EP, due out before the end of the year on  Metadrone records.

Calypso play Espace B in Paris on October 16.

Jean-Michel Jarre and Little Boots: If...!

A new music video from Jean-Michel Jarre, collaborating with singer Little Boots.

It comes ahead of his forthcoming Electronica 1 The Time Machine album due out in October.

The track is very much an accessible pop song, perhaps more commercial than the preveious tracks that have emerged in the run-up to the album coming out. Hopefully it will attract some airplay.

The much-anticipated collection sees Jarre in collaborative mode, working with both veteran electronic acts and younger performers.

Among those are Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter, Moby, Gesaffelstein and M83.

A second volume is expected next year.

Christine and the Queens: No Harm Is Done

A new edition of Christine and the Queens Chaleur humaine album is coming out in November, the
release being preceded by the new single No Harm Is Done.

The new edition of the album comes out on November 6, this version suplimented with previously unreleased tracks and other material, including the English language version of the song Christine, entitled Tilted.

The new single, an English language track, features American rapper Tunji Ige.

Christine launched the track with a quote form Sylvia Plath : "I am calm. I am calm. It is the calm before something awful."

Christine and the Queens are playing live in arenas across France form the end of the month, with a show at the Zénith in Paris on September 25.

She then has show in North American in October and November.

Meanwhile, a US version of Chaleur humaine is expected to be released on October 16.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

New Acts: Requin Chagrin - Le Chagrin

There's always time in my life for some high quality Francophone  garage rock influenced pop, and Requin Chagrin are merchants of exactly that.

The track Le Chagrin is as  punchy a piece as you could hope for, the other material they've released so far equally hits the spot.

The track features on a new eight track 10 inch vinyl released at the end of next month by the Paris-based four piece, which collects all the tracks they've released so far in a tasteful and limited edition package.

If you can't wait until then, it's already available as a digital download. 

Zaz: Si jamais j'oublie

A new single - Si jamais j'oublie - has emerged ahead of a new album by Zaz.

It follows the success of her Paris album that was released in 2014, an album of interpretations of vintage songs in tribute to the French capital.

Her new live collection Sur la route on October 30 will be preceded by a limited showing of a film that goes behind the scenes of the tour that followed the release of the Paris album.

Her film Sur la route is being shown on October 15, and the album comes out on October 30.

Zaz is continuing to play live, with shows in eastern Europe and Japan before the end of the year, and shows at L'Olympia in Paris on January 30 and 31 next year.

Louane: Nos Secrets

A live performance on Canal+ flagship Grand Journal programme for Louane with her new single Nos Secrets.

Louane has been one of France's biggest pop stars this year, she's come a long way from being a  semifinalist in the second season of The Voice in France.

Since then she's picked by a César for Most Promising Actress for her role  in the 2014 film  La Famille Bélier, had a number one single with Avenir and a number one album Chambre 12.

A new edition of the album is due out at the end of October, with Nos Secrets one of the new extra tracks tracks.

It was written by Louise Attaque and Tarmac legend Gaëtan Roussel,who accompanied her on this performance.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

New Acts: Tender Tones - What Happened

Some classy and very sophisticated synth work, with a track by Tender Tones.

Tender Tones are are a Nice-based duo consisting of Maxime Pargaud and Manon Deruytere.

They've been active for a couple of years, with a number of carefully crafted works such as Rivers, Swordplay and We Are under their belts and the approval of Les Inrocks Labs.

There's a strong flavour of 80s vintage electro with this track, but more than just a facsimile of retro synth pop, more like an outtake from another dimension where 1980s Tangerine Dream decided to to pop music rather than film scores.

Thomas Dutronc: Acoustic session

A return of the Acoustic music show on TV5Monde with style, with a set by Thomas Dutronc.

The new series is the 14th series of the show, and artists on tis series include Marina Kaye, Cali and Les Innocents.

Tracks on the first session of the series include Qui je suis, Allongés sur l'herbe, Aragon and his cover of Gainsbourg's  Chez les Yé-yé.

Dutronc recently released his third album, Éternels jusqu'à demain, following Comme Un Manouche Sans Guitare  from 2007 and 2011's  Silence On Tourne, On Tourne En Rond.

His new album features the tracks performed on the session.

There's also a brief interview on the show with Dutronc by Sébastien Folin.

Natasha St-Pier: Tous Les Acadiens

A new clip by Canadian singer Natasha St-Pier, for the track Tous Les Acadiens, where she explores her French speaking North American musical heritage.

Mon Acadie, her forthcoming album, features modern interpretations of traditional French folk music from the French speaking North American community.

She released her fist album in 1996, and has since them had a career that has seen her star in the London stage musical Notre Dame de Paris, she's represented France in the Eurovision Song Contest and established herself as a TV host.

St-Pier's 2006 Longueur d’ondes album reached number one in France,  with the single Un ange frappe à ma porte topping the singles chart.

Her most recent full album, 2011's Bonne Nouvelle reached just  outside the top ten. Since then she's been involved in the Thérèse, vivre d'amour album project, and been a coach on season three of the Belgian edition of The Voice, where her act Laurent Pagna went on to win.

Mon Acadie is to be released on October 2.

Monday, 7 September 2015

New Acts: Grout/Grout - Me As Cheesecake

Hardly a new act, given that Grout/Grout have been around for a few years and have released two albums, but they're not exactly a household name to an anglophone audience and certainly deserve to be better know.

Grout/Grout are a four piece  from Montpellier who released their debut album Warm/Worms in 2010.

They describe themselves as influenced by 60s British pop, but they've cooked up a very tasty indie rock dessert in their kitchen.

Me as a cheesecake featured on their most recent album Mrs Peelings, released at the end of 2014.

Both are available from their bandcamp site.

Grout/Grout play in Montpellier on September 30.

J.C.Satàn: Waiting For You

A preview of a the forthcoming J.C.Satàn album, with the new song Waiting For You .

The Bordeaux based act have been around since 2010, and with previous album releases like their 2010 Sick of Love debut, 2011's Hell Death Samba and  2012's Faraway Land cementing a reputation as a band with both imagination and the talent to match.

Their new self-titled album is expected on September 21, on Born Bad Records/Animal Factory.

It's already available to pre-order here

They play  La Maroquinerie in paris on November 16,  but before then they're over in the UK for a few dates, playing the Shacklewell Arms in London on September 23, Start The Bus in Briston on September 24 and the  Liverpool Psych Fest on September 25.

Jérôme Echenoz: Le Chrome et le Coton

A track that's been getting some attention recently, Le Chrome et le Coton by Jérôme Echenoz.

There are both English language and French versions of the track, which is being used on an advert for the Citroen DS3 car.

Echenoz regularly works under the name Tacteel. He was formerly a mamber of hip hop collective ATK, producing their 1998 album Heptagone.

His solo career began in 2000 wit the Butter for the Fat instrumental EP and since then he has worked as part of collectives  L'Atelier - whose  Buffet des anciens élèves album came out in 2003 - and as part of TTC including their 2002 album  Ceci n'est pas un disque and 2004's Bâtards sensibles.

He also worked on Alizée's fouth album, 2010's Une enfant du siècle and on Yelle's Completement Fou.

Since 2012 he's been signed to Disques Enterprise under his real name as a solo artist, and it was this label that released Le Chrome et le Coton in 2012.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Oui Love Tour: Saycet

A chance to see a couple of great French acts in the UK next month, with Saycet and St Lo playing four dates around the country as part of the Oui Love Tour.

The shows also include UK act Acre Tarn.

There are gigs in London, Newcastle, Glasgow and Manchester on the 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th.

Last year the Oui Love tour brought  Andrea Balency and NLF3 to the UK for a series of dates.

I featured the track Mirages by Saycet earlier this year, and I'm looking forward to seeing a live performance.

Saycet release an EP entitled Mirage B Side ahead of the gigs.