Friday, 30 October 2015

Review: Ça (C'est vraiment nous)

Today sees the release of  tribute album to French new wave legends Téléphone entitled Ça (C'est
vraiment nous), with a selection of artists interpreting the work of the seminal French act.

Recent years have seen similar albums spotlighting Renaud, Jean-Jacques Goldman and Jacques Dutronc.

Songs on the new collection include La bombe humaine, interpreted by Gaëtan Roussel, Hygiaphone by Zaz and Anna by Tété.  The album was preceded by the single Un autre monde, performed by Superbus

Whatever your feelings on the artists involved, these projects stand or fall on the strength of the songs. In the case of Téléphone, that's  pretty strong start. Most of Téléphone's best songs are here.

 But the interpretations throughout seem a bit polite.  This certainly isn't Téléphone  re-invented as Rage aganst The (answering) Machine.

The version of Argent trop cher for example loses its sense of injustice, too much reverence, not enough venom.  Still,  Zaz's take on Hygiaphone and Gaëtan Roussel's La bombe humaine retain the edge of the originals.

If the purpose of the album is to get people thinking about Téléphone and their songs, then job done.

But if its purpose is to suggests these artists should be held in the same regard as Téléphone, not so much.

Hellfest 2016 details unveiled

A huge number of acts have been confirmed for 2016's Hellfest festival, unquestionably one of the
world's leading metal events.

Headliners Rammstein and Black Sabbath have been unveiled.

Sabbath play the festival on what they say will be their final tour, with Ozzy, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi in the band. Apparently they've scrapped plans for another album to focus on the tour, with festival shows across Europe in summer 2016.

It may not be their first show at Hellfest, but Clisson 2016 looks like it will be their final show in France.

Elsewhere, there's the usual Hellfest round-up of massive names from the metal scene. Korn, Megadeth, Ghost, Slayer, Bring me the horizon, Volbeat and the Offspring will be there.

Also present are Gojira, Within Temptation, Anthrax and Amon Amarth and acts as varied as Joe Satriani and Napalm Death.

Hellfest is held in Clisson, over the weekend of June 17, 18 and 19.

A further thirty names are still to be detailed, including one other headline act.

Mylène Farmer: Insondables

A new video by Mylène Farmer unveiled unexpectedly this week for the track Insondables.

It follows the track Stolen Car, which saw her duet with Sting on a song originally a solo piece from his 2003 Sacred Love album.

The Mylène Farmer version was produced by The Avener.

A number of official remixes of that track have since appeared and more are expected in the near future

Mylène herself may not appear in this new video, but it includes a number of subtle references to Mylène's career.

The new album by Mylène, entitled Interstellaires, is released on November 6.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Pitchfork Music Festival Paris

Paris hosts the Pitchfork Music Festival from today, with three nights of well-curated acts playing at the Grande halle de la Villette.

Today sees Beach House, Godspeed you! Black Emperor and Ariel Pink among the acts performing.

Friday sees Four Tet, Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, Kurt Vile and Battles take to the stage.

On Saturday Father John Misty, Hinds, Spiritualized, Hudson Mohawke and Laurent Garner are on the bill.

There are also after party events on the 29th and 30th.

It's the kind of event that allows the French audience to experience the kind of US bands who although critically acclaimed would struggle to get the kind of crowd that would make a show in France economically viable.

Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 2015 - Teaser #1 from Pitchfork TV on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Feu! Chatterton: Acoustic session

Another quality session this week on Acoustic, the music show on TV5Monde.

It was the turn or Feu! Chatterton, who released their debut album Ici le Jour (a tout enseveli) earlier this month.

The programme also sees the band in conversation with host Sébastien Folin.

 Feu! Chatterton are currently on tour, having played a sold-out show at Le Trianon in Paris  on October 19. They're playing there again on December 11 and on January 27, having just published a list of dates for January, February and March next year.

Tracks played in the session were  Le Pont Marie, Côté Concorde, Boeing and La mort dans la pinède

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Christine and the Queens: Jonathan (Clip)

A new video for the track Jonahan , the song that sees Christine duet with American artist  Mike
 Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius.

The track emerged at the beginning of this month, as the Chaleaur Humaine album gets a slight reworking and a North American release under the title Christine.

The new video was directed by Héloïse Letissier, Christine herself, and it follows video for the track Paradis Perdus ane one for No Harm Is Done released last month.

Christine and the Queens are currently touring North America until November 9 supporting Marina and the Diamonds, and have a headline show in New York on November 11.

Charlie Winston: #Saysomething

A new song by Charlie Winston, with a track #saysomething inspired by the ongoing refugee crisis that has been hitting Europe.

France, with its temporary camps in Calais is among the countries that has been affected by the sudden influx of people fleeing the variety of crises hitting the middle east, from the war in Syria, the rise of Daesh to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.

Winston's message is - rightly - one of unambiguous solidarity.

Charlie Winston  is of course a UK artist by birth, but one who has emerged to widespread recognition in France.

While not widely known in the UK, he is a massive star in France, his 2009 Hobo album a number one seller.

His subsequent albums, 2011's Running Still and 2015's Curio City both reached the top ten.
Regarding his new release, he said: "I took my guitar and film team and played to refugees in the camps of Berlin, as well as on the Macedonian/Greek border where 8,000 refugees crossed per day, 'The Jungle' in Calais, where I marched and sang, and also marched in London with thousands of others."

 All the money raised by the song will go to the IFRC.

Monday, 26 October 2015

New Acts: N U I T - Enjoy the night

Another act that got my attention from playing at this year's Nördik Impakt festival in Caen in Normandy last week is N U I T.

N U I T's brand of cool electro rock is an impressive one, the four piece from Le Havre have already released their debut EP and recorded an impressive re-imagining of the Arctic Monkeys track Do I Wanna Know.

Their new EP Looking for Gold is released on November 24, the track Life Taker feat. Mattic emerging as an exclusive earlier this month.

They might not be the easiest act to search for on Google, but well worth finding.

The band have live dates in Bordeaux and Bairritz in December.

N U I T - Enjoy The Night from N U I T on Vimeo.

Housse de Racket: Encore

An astonishingly psychedelic video by Housse de Racket, for their track Encore.

For the clip the band collaborated with contemporary artist Ralph Kistler and his Paradiseator, a technique to create eye-popping collages.

He says: "Contemporary leisure sites have created an environment to stimulate an universal lifestyle experience. Shopping Malls, Hotel Resorts and Tourist Cities are the Heterotopias of the late modernity: artificial places full of copy-and-paste stereotypes. The yearning associated with this allegory of a happy and carefree life is the ideal background to promote consumerism.

"The Paradiseator invites the user to interact with these patterns and create his own surreal version of paradise."

The Paris-based duo release their third album shortly, a follow up to 2011's Alesia.

Their Forty Love debut from 2008 established  Pierre Leroux and Victor le Masne as one of the French music scene's most significant acts.

The track comes form their forthcoming album The Tourist, which is released on Friday. THe title track emerged earlier this month.

 They play at Le Trianon in Paris on November 28.

Louise Attaque: Anomalie (Clip)

A video has surfaced for the track Anomalie, the song marking the return to action by  Louise Attaque.

The song emerged last week and the band,  featuring three of the four founder members, featured on Le Grand Journal TV show on Canal +.

The single marks the start of a full-on return by the band, one of France's most successful rock acts ever.

 Louise Attaque only released three albums, and achieved not only critical and commercial success, but also genuine affection from fans.

An album is due in January, and tour dates around the country have been scheduled,  including three nights at La Cigale in Paris.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Playlist: The Les Inrocks 50 best songs about Paris

A playlist put together by the good people at Les Inrocks, probably France's number one magazine and website for music, culture and more.

Fifty songs, all on the theme of Paris. From Chanson to hip hop, hew wave to punk.

It reflects not only th esource of inspiration that the city has been voer the decades, but also gives a pretty good picture of French music and its place in a broader context.

Serge Gainsbour, Métal Urban, Noir Désir and Django Reinhardt all present, alongside Grand Blanc, Bagarre and La Femme along with plenty of surprises along the way.

Friday, 23 October 2015

New Acts: Novembres - Julliet en Hiver

With the Nördik Impakt festival under way this weekend, I though it appropriate to feature some of the acts on the bill at the event the celebrates electronic music, digital and independent culture.

It features many interesting developing acts, giving them hopefully the kind of exposure they deserve in a hugely important area of music.

One such act is Novembres, a duo of  Lynsey Haguenauer and Johan Clément, who come from Caen in Normandy, the town where the Nördik Impakt festival is held.

They release their second EP The Forest this month, following their debut five track EP Le petit tigre hallucinogene last year.

While showcasing newer acts, the festival also featured bigger names like Jeanne Added and Vitalic.

I suspect by the quality of material released by Novembres it won't be long until they're as well known as acts like those.

Club Cheval: Basement to the Roof (live)

A classy live clip by Club Cheval, presenting their track From the Basement to the Roof at the air and
space museum at Le Bourget near Paris.

Club Cheval is an act that sees four producers, each with their own careers combining forces.
Canblaster, Sam Tiba, Myd and Panteros666 are all established artists in their own right.

The band perfom in the hall devoted to French prototype and experimental aircraft, an appropriate setting for a forward-looking act that are certainly set for take off.

Last month Club Cheval released the track Discipline as a single, the title track from their forthcoming debut album due for release early next year.

Review: Grand Corps Malade: Il nous restera ça

A new album released today by Grand Corps Malade, with Il nous restera ça seeing France's favourite spoken-word slammer sharing the stage with some other big names.

Fabien Marsaud as friends and fgamily might know him collaborates here with others  including  Charles Aznavour, as well as Ben Mazué, Fred Pellerin and Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine.

The collection includes a return of sorts for a genuine French music legend, with Renaud featuring  on the track Ta batterie.

The return of Renaud to the microphone is not without its controversy, his text poetic but his words frail, health problems in recent years all but derailing one of France's most distinctive voices.

Renaud's last release was 2009's Molly Malone – Balade irlandaise collection. The release in recent years of the two La Bande à Renaud tribute albums, where young artists re-interpreted his work, has given a new generation of listeners an insight into his work.

But GCMS puts the focus of the album on the poetry, and the Renaud track in the context of the album is perfect. The variety of voices on the collection, some familiar some less so, gives it a broader scope than GCMs previous work.

The differing voices and styles could leave this collection too disparate to work, but under the not inconsiderable shadow of GCM it holds together well.

He's a big figure, and this latest step leaves quite an impression.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Louise Attaque: Live on Le Grand Journal

A live appearance by the newly-reconvened Louise Attaque on Le Grand Journal last night, with two
tracks including their new single Anomalie.

 Le Grand Journal  is the flagship show on French TV channel Canal +

The bands' new single was released yesterday and comes ahead of a new album and a tour next year. It marks the return of one of France's most popular rock acts.

They reformed with three of the original four members of the band.

To these ears anyway, the live version sounds more like the old Louise Attaque, maybe the violin is just more prominent in the mix than on the studio version.

The band also performed J't'emmène au vent, one of the best known tracks form their 1997 debut album.


Quentin Dupieux: Paris Now! - Being flat

A return to the screen by a genuine French icon, with Flat Eric appearing in a new short film by
director Quentin Dupieux.

The video is part of a series of short films made under the auspices of the Red Bull Music Academy in Paris.

 A series five short films under the collective title Paris Now! were put together by different directors for the event, each showing their own vision of the French capital.

Dupieux  under his Mr Oizo guise was of course behind the Flat Beats track with its memorable video.

RBMA gets under way on Sunday October 25 until November 27 at la Gaîté lyrique, featuring sessions, workshops and club events featuring what they describe as "61 carefully selected producers, vocalists, beat-makers, instrumentalists and DJs."

Artists involved  include  Nicolas Godin, Laurent Garnier, Jean Michel Jarre and  Lætitia Sadier.
It's the first time in four years the event's been held in Europe.

Dupieux, meanwhile, has a new EP out in November entitled Hand In The Fire.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Louise Attaque: Anomalie

A welcome return for Louise Attaque, with the single Anomalie emerging today.

It's the first new material from the band since a new track emerged for a greatest hits compilation Du monde tout autour in 2011.

The track comes ahead of a fourth album next year.

Louise Attaque never outstayed their welcome, with a discography of only three albums , their  1997 met with much deserved commercial and critical success. Their 2000 follow- up Comme on a dit also was hugely successful, but they split the following year.

They blamed lack of inspiration and the pressure they found themselves under.

Louise Attaque regrouped in 2003 and released  À Plus Tard Crocodile in 2005, like its predecessor a winner of a Victoire de la musique award for best rock album.

The new Louise Attaque features three of he four original members, Gaëtan Roussel,  Arnaud Samuel and Robin Feix.

The new album by Louise Attaque is expected to be released in January.

Louise Attaque have a series of live dates next year, with a tour from the end of February and shows at La Cigale in Paris on June 1, 2, and 3.

Gaspard Royant: Marty McFly

A free download from the ever-stylish Gaspard Royant, with the track Marty McFly to celebrate Back to the Future Day.

The song comes from his 10 Hit Wonder album

As Gaspard put it on his Facebook page: "The future is here ! Well, not the one we've been dreaming of, but to celebrate this "Back to the Future Day" I offer you my song MARTY McFLY for free all day !"

There's always time for some Doo-Wop Garage'n'Roll from Haute Savoie, and it sounds as good in 2015 as it would have done in 1985 or 1955.

Gaspard Royant plays in Spain at the BIME festival in Bilbao on October 30.

Rone: Mortelle

A very welcome new clip by Rone, for the track Mortelle.

It features the voice of the legendary Etienne Daho.

The track comes from his 2015  Creatures album, a collection that has with repeated listening revealed itself to be one of 2015's finest French releases.

Rone plays at the Olympia in Paris for a special concert on October 30  with special guests.

He's also got a show at The Vaults on London on November 13.

Festival: Nördik Impakt

The influential Nördik Impakt festival gets under way in Caen in Normandy today, with five days
celebrating digital and independant culture.

Shows are held in venues around the town, others in the larger Parc Expo.

The focus is firmly on electronic music, encompassing electro, techno, hip hop and rock, featuring emerging acts to more established artists.

Among those on the bill this year are Superpoze, Jeanne Added and Flavien Berger. Add dozens of more acts like Môme, Nuit, Killason,l Antigone and Madame.

Festival Nordik Impakt 17 - Teaser - vidéo dailymotion

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

New Acts: In the Canopy

Another of the many acts that featured on the bill of this year's MaMA event in Paris that deserve a
mention on the blog are In the Canopy, a five-piece act based in Paris area formed in 2011.

They released their debut EP Never Return in 2012, following that with the six track The Light Through EP in 2014. It featured their single 1, 2, 3, 4 Hands, their first video clip

The band describe what they do as Art Rock, and they wouldn't be wrong, although their work displays an urgency that you wouldn't automatically associate with that somewhat rarified genre.

But there certainly is art here.

In the Canopy play La Clef in St Germain en Laye on December 10.

Jehro: Acoustic session

A new edition of Acoustic, the music show on TV5Monde, and this week's session comes from Jehro.

The Marseille-born artist released his Bohemian Soul Songs album on 2015.

Since his 199 debut L'arbre et le fruit, he's been nominated for  the Prix Constantin for his 2006 Jehro album, and picked up a Victoire de la musique award on 2012 for his Cantina Paradise collection released the previous year.

The show features brief interview segments conducted by Sébastien Folin.

Songs performed in the session include Everything, Waiting my life, If I could change the world, How long and Tonight tonight.

Michel Berger: Un dimanche au bord de l'eau

An unreleased track by Michel Berger has emerged, 23 years after the death of the French singer

The song Un dimanche au bord de l'eau was broadcast on French radio station RTL on Monday.

It dates from sessions in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, and was originally intended for his Beauséjour or Beaurivage albums, but it never saw the light of day.

Berger's widow France Gall mixed the song earlier this year, and added some of her vocals to the song.

The track will feature in the new stage musical Résiste, a show due to begin next month by  Gall, one of the best known interpreters of his work.

Gall aims to do for her and Bergers' work what Mama Mia did for Abba, setting the music in a whole new context and bringing it to a new generation.

A single Les accidents d'amour by Léa Deleau was released at the end of September.

Résiste is staged at the  Palais des Sports de Paris from November 4, before touring France from January 9 2016.

Monday, 19 October 2015

New Acts: Pavane

Last week I looked at some of the acts playing the MaMA event in Paris, and said I would look in more detail at some of the interesting acts on the bill.

Pavane are one such act,  taking classical French music from the early 20th century and gives it a 21st century update.

 The band consists of keyboard player Damien Tronchot with his brother guitarist Ronan Troncot, from Rennes, and they describe influences as Board Of Canada, Jeff Mills, Rone, Joakim as well as Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, and Gabriel Fauré.

Pavane released an EP L'échappée two years ago, and it shows that the world of classical and 21st century electronics need not be so far apart after all.

Superpoze: Opening

A nice piece of video compliments perfectly the track Opening by Superpoze.

It is the title track of the debut album by the artist, known to friends and family as Gabriel Legeleux.

He's quickly established himself as one of France's key producers and musicians, experimental but immediately accessible.

His debut album followed releases including the From the Cold EP in 2012 and Jaguar EP in 2013

Superpoze plays at La Gaité Lyrique in Paris on November 26.

Emji: Lost

A new EP by singer Emji, with the track Lost released as a clip to promote it.

The 27 year old Parisian was a winner of the most recent series of TV series Nouvelle Star.

The new EP, entitled Préliminaires, follows her debut EP which came out at the end of April. It featured some of her performances on the series, with versions of the songs Toxic, Crazy in Love,  Chandelier, The Show Must Go On along with the the title track Toboggan.

Her appearance in the final saw her interpret Toboggan, as well as Kiss song I Was Made for Lovin' You, the Bjork track Bacherlorette and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. An eclectic selection for sure.

Her debut album, Folies Douces, is expected to be released in January 2016 and before then she has a series of live dates, including  a sold-out show in Paris at the Café De La Danse tonight and another at L'Alhambra on April 6.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Feu! Chatterton: Ici le Jour (a tout enseveli)

Another significant album release today, with the debut collection by Feu! Chatterton finally

Ici le Jour (a tout enseveli) may not be the easiest title for an anglophone audience,  but the charms of this collection are easy for anyone to grasp.

Feu! Chatterton present a sound that's soaked in French musical heritage,  while being sharp enough for a 21st century post-indie audience.  Effortlessly classy.

This album should establish them as one of France's finest.

I'll be very surprised if there's not some recognition for this band and this album in next year's Victoires de la musique awards, at very least.

Feu! Chatterton are on tour at the moment, with a sold-out show at Le Trianon in Paris on October 19, and anther show there on December 11.

Last night, meanwhile, saw the well-turned out Frenchmen perform on the Canal+ flagship show Le Grand Journal.

Jean-Michel Jarre: Electronica Volume One

A big day for album releases today, with Jean-Michel Jarre's long-awaited Electronica Volume One - The Time Machine collection finally coming out.

It's been trailed heavily over the past few months, with tracks emerging as limited edition releases and the single If..! featuring Little Boots, probably the most mainstream pop track on the collection, getting a  video clip.

The list of collaborators remains interesting,  and while at first there might not seem much to link the likes of Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter, Laurie Anderson and Little Boots, they put Jarre very much in context as an artist whose work can crossover from the more rarified experimental areas to commercial pop, a musician whose influence is as evident in the nightclub as it is in the concert hall and film soundtrack.

In recent years, despite electronic music becoming massively popular, Jarre has been a surprisingly low profile figure. His pioneering work in popularising what was a far from mainstream music unacknowledged by most.

Hopefully this release will give him some of the recognition he deserves.

Fakear: Animal

A new video by Fakear, for the track Animal.

Fakear's music is steeped in the sounds of Asia, and the video reflects this influence.

The video was shot in Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma.

His most recent release was the four track Asakusa EP in June this year, which featured the track Skyline.

Animals comes from the forthcoming debut album by Fakear, which is expected to be released in March 2016.

Fakear played a solod-out set at the Olympia in Paris earlier this month, and at the end of this month he plays dates in North America before returning to France, Switzerland and Luxembourg in November.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

The Dø: Miracles

A new video - or short film even - by The Dø entitled Miracles.

The video features songs from their Shake Shook Shaken album, constructed into a short movie.

The 12 minute long video was directed by Reynald Gresset and it was shot in Montana USA

The band said in a statement: "This takes us back to the roots of The Dø when we used to write music for films, but in this case, our music inspired images."

Shake Shook Shaken was released in September 2014, and went on to win the best rock album award at the Victoires de la musique awards in Paris in February.

The Dø have a massive tour on the horizon, that sees them play dates in France and elsewhere in Europe.

They have two sold-out shows at L'Olympia in Paris on November 13 and 14, and have a show in
London at Brixton Electric on December 16.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

New Acts: Pain-Noir

Another of the acts going on stage tonight as party of the MaMA event in Paris, where for three days
the city hosts 40 gigs in venues around Montmartre and Pigalle.

The event sees showcase gigs taking place as well as discussions and meetings for music industry professionals.

Pain-Noir, a three-piece led by François-Régis Croisier who hail from Clermont-Ferrand, play a  set tonight at the Théâtre de l'Atalante.

He's a literate and intelligent songwriter, There's little doubt he'll be regarded as one of France's finest before too long.

He previously worked  under the name St Augustine, and the debut album by Pain-Noir is released on October 23

New Acts: Radio Elvis - La Traversée

This week I'm going to take a look at some of the artists playing at the MaMA event in Paris, where for three days the city hosts 40 gigs in venues around the Montmartre and Pigalle quartier.

Tonight sees a set by Paris based trio Radio Elvis, a group who, led by singer Pierre Guénard reached the finals of the Sosh Les Inrocks Lab 2014 contest for emerging talent, where they were compared to Bashung and Noir Désir.

While the contest might have been won by Feu! Chatterton, the other acts  that got there also benefitted massively from the well-deserved opportunity and the exposure.

The show at La Boule Noire tonight comes as part of their autumn tour around France, with 25 dates across  the country.

The Live aux [PIAS] Nites digital EP was released earlier this month and it follows their four track Juste avant la ruée EP released in March.

Festival: MaMA 2015

Today sees the start of the MaMA 2015 event in Paris, three days of gigs, meetings and discussions where the music industry and fans get the opportunity to see acts up close in Pigalle and Montmartre.

There are around 40 concerts each day, across over a dozen venues. Amongst the places holding shows are venues like La Cigale , La Boule Noire  and Le Divan du Monde.

WhHile there are acts from around the world, there is an overwhelming presence of French talent on the bill, as the event's an important showcase for emerging talent.

Acts on this year include some of the acts that have been fetured on his blog, including Kid Wise, Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree family, Las Aves, Acid Arab and Chapelier Fou.

Dad Rocks!, Aaron, Les Innocents  and Shake Shake Go are also playing.

I'll feature some of the acts on the bill later today and over the next couple of days.

Louane: Nos Secrets

A new single from Louane, with the track Nos Secrets getting issued.

She's unquestionably one of France's most successful pop stars this year, having initially come to attention in the second season of The Voice in France.

Her most recent album Chambre 12 is being reissued next month with bonus material. It's already sold over 500,000 copies since its release earlier this year.

 Nos Secrets is one of the bonus tracks, and it was written by Louise Attaque and Tarmac legend Gaëtan Roussel.

It comes as Louane embarks on a tour in November, with two sold-out nights in Paris at Le Bataclan and L'Olympia in December. She's added more dates for early next year.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree family: Journey Man

Nice use of some Nasa footage by Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree family for the track Journey Man.

The Paris-based act use vintage footage of the Apollo 11 mission for the track, a nice match for the music with its occasional nod to the rock music of the late 60s and early 70s.

The video and the music share the sense of optimism of that era, a feeling that the moon landing was just the start, coinciding with a post 60s idealism that the music that shaped society in that decade was going to continue to make things better.

Obviously that optimism was somewhat misplaced, giving a look at that time from the 21st century a touch of melancholy.  It's a situation the band sound like they are well aware of.

Tahiti Boy & The Palmtree Family released their second album Songs of Vertigo in March earlier this year.

La Grande Sophie: Acoustic session

A new edition of Acoustic, the music show on TV5Monde, with the spotlight this week on La Grande

The session follows the release of her Nos histoires album, her seventh collection since her 1997 La Grande Sophie s'agrandit.

 Her last album, 2012's La Place du fantôme reached the top ten in France.

 She's touring at the moment with dates scheduled until February, including a show at the Trianon in Paris on November 26.

Tracks featured on her session are Les portes claquent, Hanoï, Ma colère, Maria Yudina and Ne m'oublie pas.

Lou Doillon: Weekender baby

A new album released this week by Lou Doillon, the follow up to her massively successful 2012
album Places.

That album saw the daughter of director Jacques Doillon and iconic singer/actress Jane Birkin pick up the  Victoires de la Musique award for best female act the following year.

The new collection Lay Low follows that debut and subsequent tour, and it shows her maintaining her position as an artist in her own right, with a distinctive voice and a mature style.

Weekender Baby was released as the third single from the album, emerging last week just days ahead of the album. It followed Where to start and Good Man.

She's got a massive schedule of live dates in November and December, including a show at the Casino de Paris on December 8.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Mylène Farmer: Stolen Car clip

Finally the clip emerges for the new Mylène Farmer track, the duet with Sting for the track Stolen Car.

The video was made by Bruno Aveillan, who previously worked with Farmer on the tracks  Dégénération and  Si j'avais au moins.. It was filmed in Paris at the beginning of September.

The song, which  was originally a track on Sting's 2003 album Sacred Love, has also emerged on physical formats after being available as a download since the end of August.

A CD and vinyl version are available, both with an instrumental  version on the B side.

The track was produced by French DJ The Averner.

The new version of the song features on Farmer's forthcoming album Interstellaires.

Farmer is expected to appear at the NRJ Music awards on November 7, the say after the release of the Interstellaires album.

Johnny Hallyday: De L’Amour

A surprise new album's due out next month by the indefatigable Johnny Hallyday, with an
announcement at a show on Friday that his 50th collection is in the pipeline.

A video clip has come out for the title track De L’Amour.

The song's a surprisingly fresh slice of modern rockabilly. Maybe we've grown used to power ballads from Johnny in recent years, but an upbeat rockabilly number comes as a pleasant surprise.

Johnny's in mid-tour following the release of his Rester Vivant album last year, and has been touring since he undertook a series festival shows over the summer.

He unexpectedly unveiled new material in his set on Friday, with the song De l'amour debuting at Lille on October 9.

It's the title track of a new album Johnny had been working with Yodelice, and Yodelice joined him on stage to perform the track.

The album was apparently recorded over a ten day period, a collection he's described as his most personal. Songs on it apparently tackle subjects including the Ferguson shooting and the Charlie Hebdo killlings.

The new album De l'amour is due to be released on November 13.

Johnny's got three sold-out shows at Bercy in Paris on November 27, 28 and 19, and two more dates there on February 2 and 3.

Les Wampas - Never trust a Best-of

A greatest hits album released this week by French punk legends Les Wampas.

For a band who have been around so long, it's no small achievement that it's their first Best Of album.
They've been around since the early 80s, and  released their first studio album, entitled Tutti frutti, in 1986.

Since then they've carved their own idiosyncratic path led by Didier Wampas, one of the most unlikely and distinctive front men in music.

the title of the collection is of course a nod to their 2003 album  Never trust a guy who after having been a punk, is now playing electro. That album included their hit Manu Chao.

Their most recent album wsa 2014's  Les Wampas font la gueule.

The best of CD includes 27 tracks, and a special edition includes another disc of unreleased material and rarities,as well as a DVD.

Friday, 9 October 2015

New Acts: Baston - Maybe I'm Dead

I mentioned the announcement of the return of the Bars en Trans festival in December earlier this
week, so a link to a video from last year's event seemed appropriate.

Baston are a very fine garage rock act from Rennes, who released their debut single Maybe I'm Dead in July, following it with a seven track EP last month.

The EP, which includes Maybe I'm Dead,  is available as a limited ten inch vinyl from Howlin Banana records.

You can hear Maybe I'm Dead from Baston and a selection of tunes from their label mates on a free sampler download

Baston are supporting CJ Satan in Rennes on November 25.

Christine and the Queens: Jonathan

More from Christine and the Queens, ahead of the US release of her debut album.

Chaleur humaine, already a massive seller in France, is being released under the titles Christine in North American.

The track Jonathan follows  No Harm Is Done, released last month.

The new track features a collaboration with Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, an American solo artist who's released three albums, his debut Learning coming out in 2011. His most recent, Too Bright, was released in 2014.

Christine spoke about the new song, and about how she was inspired by Klaus Nomi, and his death from aids in the 80s,  and how the queer community has confronted shame.

Christine speaks about Perfume Genius, saying ""He cannot be ignored, because his voice melts every stone, because he doesn't hide; without him, the song felt like dying, but now, it's more like the promise of something healing through the pain."

She added: "This is what I learnt with artists like Klaus Nomi, and still love with ones like Perfume Genius: you're never as strong as when you allow yourself to be the most vulnerable person you can be."

Christine and the Queens have dates across North America from October 19 until November 9 supporting Marina and the Diamonds, and a headline show in New York on Noevmber 11.

Shy'm: Tandem

A new track by Shy'm, with the song Tandem one of two bonus tracks n a new Best Of album
marking the ten years of her career.

Her debut album  Mes fantaisies was realsed in 2006, her most recent 2014's Solitaire, a platinum selling album in France.

The song is of course a cover of a track initially recorded by Vanessa Paradis on her 1990 Variations sur le même t'aime album. It was written by Serge Gainsbourg.

The new version of the song comes from a forthcoming greatest hits CD by Shy'm, who is embarking on the second leg of a major tour.

The album À nos dix ans is released today amd Shy'm plays at Bercy in Paris on November 17 and 18.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Etienne Daho: Paris sens interdits

A new(ish) track from Etienne Daho ahead of a best of album, due out next month.

The track Paris sens interdits is one of two new numbers to feature on a forthcoming greatest hits album entitled L'homme qui marche.

Daho's most recent studio collection was 2013's  Les chansons de l'innocence retrouvée, which was followed by a live album the following year.

Paris sens interdits originally appeared on a 1989 album by US producer Arthur Baker. The song has been re-recorded for the new album.

The second previously unreleased track is the song La ville, a duet with Daniel Darc recorded in 1988.

L'homme qui marche is released on November 6.

Superbus: Un autre monde

The cover of the Téléphone classic Un autre monde by Superbus emerged at the beginning  of last
month, and now the clip for the track has been revealed.

It comes alongside the release of more information about the new Téléphone tribute CD  entitled Ça, c'est vraiment toi, featuring 15 tracks originally by the 80s stars re-interpreted by contemporary French acts.

Among those on the track listing are Gaëtan Roussel, Olivia Ruiz, Skip the Use, Zaz and Plastiscines.

Tracks on the compilation include La bombe humaine, New York avec toi, Argent trop cher, Cendrillon and Hygiaphone.

Jean-Louis Aubert, Louis Bertignac and  Richard Kolinka from Téléphone have been playing live, albeit under a different name  with shows so far in Paris, Lille and Lyon.

A deluge of Téléphone reissues are also in the pipeline, all marking the group's 30th anniversary.

Whether there's more on line or if the return of Téléphone will be cut off remains to be seen, but for the moment the sound of the Téléphone will certainly  be ringing out around France.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Zaza Fournier: Acoustic session

A new edition of Acoustic, the music programme on TV5Monde.

This week the spotlight falls on Zaza Fournier, a singer songwriter with a jazz styled modern take on chanson.

The Paris based artist released her third album Le Départ in March this year.

Her self-titled debut was released in 2008, and she followed it with 2011's Regarde-moi.

Tracks featured in the session include 16 ans et demi, Paupières closes, Garçon, La jeune fille aux fleurs and Hôtel des Acacias, all songs that feature on her recent album.

Bagarre: Macadam

Another new clip by Bagarre, with a video for the track Macadam emerging.

The clip follows a similar style to their other recent videos, the focus on one member of the band, minimal and crisply  photographed.

It's the fifth and final track from their most recent EP Musique de Club.

Bonsoir, Le Gouffre and Claque-le and Ris Pas all came out in recent weeks.

Bagarre play a sold-out show at Le Badaboum in Paris this evening, and have dates elsewhere in France over coming weeks.

Bars en Trans festival 2015

Some details emerging of this year's Bars en Trans festival in Rennes this December, an event that
sees night clubs and pubs in the city host a huge number of acts.

It coincides with the annual Trans Musicales event in the city, running almost like a Fringe event showcasing some of the more emerging talent alongside the major international event.

Sharp festival goers can catch a few acts performing in the afternoons or evenings in the bars, before heading out to the Parc Expo on the edge of the city to catch the headline acts at the Trans Musicales, many taking to the stage well after midnight.

The two events compliment each other well.

My report from the 2014 Bars en Trans is here on this blog.

Recent years have seen Cats on Trees, Bagarre, H Burns and  Gaspard Royant play.

This year the focus for Bars en Trans is Quebec, home to many interesting acts.

Bars en Trans takes place on December 3, 4 and 5.

Details of the acts playing at the Bars en Trans festival will be announced on October 29.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Housse de Racket: The Tourist

A new video by Housse de Racket, with the title track of their forthcoming album The Tourist emerging.

The Paris-based duo of Pierre Leroux and Victor le Masne first found success with the track Oh Yeah! which featured on their Forty Love debut in 2008.

That album was followed by the collection entitled Alesia in 2011. While they may not have achieved the commercial profile of some of the other contemporary French acts, they remain one of the key acts in the French music scene in recent years.

A new release by Housse de Racket is something worth waiting for, and should be a destination worth a visit. The band put it this way: "Music is a trip and we're all tourists."

The Tourist is released on October 30.

They play at Le Trianon in Paris on November 28.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Stromae takes America: Ave Cesaria in San Francisco

Another installment of Stromae's trip to the USA, with a version of Ave Cesaria from San Francisco.

The version sees Stomae accompanied by musicians on the back of a truck being driven over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Or at least it would, if they weren't pulled over by police for not wearing seatbelts.

But the concern for healt and safety didn't prevent a version of the track from Racine Carrée being performed. Although perhaps not quite in the circumstances the director had originally intended.

The work he's put in to making inroads in the US have obviously paid off, as Stromae played a sold-out show at Madison Square Gardens on October 1,  no small achievement for a Francophone act.

Cœur de Pirate: Carry On (remix)

A dance remix of the Cœur de Pirate track Carry on has emerged, as she makes inroads to an
anglophone audience.

The track is an English version of her song Oublie-moi, and it comes out ahead of an American release of her Roses album.

Roses is her third proper album, following her Trauma soundtrack album last year. It cavme out at the end of August amd the track Crier tout bas was relased as a single least month

The remix, under the name Cherry Cherry Boom Boom, was by Martin Kierszenbaum who has recently been working with Mylène Farmer on her forthcoming Interstellaires album. He's previously worked with the likes of Lady Gaga and Far East Movement, and is also the boss of Cherytree Records, the label Cœur de Pirate recenty signed to.

She's been playing live in the USA in recent weeks and plays in France in November, with a show at the Olympia on November 5.

Thomas Dutronc: Qui Je Suis

A new single from Thomas Dutronc, with the song Qui Je Suis from his recently released Éternels jusqu'à demain collection getting its turn in the spotlight.

It follows the previous single Allongés dans l'herbe.

It's a catchy number, the kind of classy pop that his father would approve of. Punchy and with his own distinctive style.

Éternels jusqu'à demain was met with critical acclaim on its release earlier this year, and Tomas Dutronc has quietly in recent years established him self as one of France's established acts, an artist in his own right whose reputation is entirely his own.

Dutronc takes to the road from the end of November, with shows at the Casino de Paris on December 14 and 15.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Lilly Wood And The Prick: I Love You

A new song by Lilly Wood And The Prick, ahead of the release of their third album.

I Love You follows the track Shadows that came out in June.

Lilly Wood And The Prick had a massive international hit last year with Prayer in C, the track from their 2010 debut album Invincible Friends that was remixed by Robin Schulz. The track reached number one in the UK, a rare event for a French act.

Their last album was 2012's The Fight, and Benjamin Cotto and singer Nili Hadida spent some time working on the new album in Mali

Lilly Wood And The Prick are touring from the end of November , and play two sold out shows at La Cigale in Paris on December 15 and 16, and at the Zénith in Paris on March 31 2016.

 Shadows is expected to be released in November 13.

Yelle: Moteur Action

A new single from Yelle, with the track Moteur Action getting a feature release.

No video clip as yet, but a teaser has been realsed for what will no doubt be appropriately technicolor and cinematic. Popcorn and corny pop at the ready.

It's the fourth  track from last year's Complètement fou collection to emerge as a single, following Bouquet final, the title track and Ba$$in.

Yelle have established themselves to a big-screen audience in recent years, hopefully Moteur Action will give them the blockbuster they deserve.

Yelle play at the Casino de Paris on October 10, supported by Grand Blanc. Should be quite a night.