Friday, 16 March 2018

Julien Clerc: À vous jusqu'à la fin du monde clip

Love this clip from Julien Clerc for his song À vous jusqu'à la fin du monde.

Featuring actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, it starts with the feel of a serious French domestic drama  before moving into surreal comedy.

The video is the work of director Michel Gondry, who has made videos for the White Stripes, Bjork and Beck. He began his film career with music videos before going on to direct films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (where he won an Oscar), Be Kind, Rewind and The Science of Sleep.

The song's a modern pastiche of 60s/70s French pop that is perfect for the veteran chanteur, who has in his long career performed a good many of the more serious French classics.

Clerc's album A nos amours was released in October last year, his 24th studio collection. Produced by Calogero, it features collaborations with Maxime Le Forestier, Vianney, Brigitte Fontaine and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi's sister Carla Bruni. The album's already been met with considerable success, with the songs  Je t'aime etc and On attendait Noël finding an audience still wanting Clerc's brand of chanson.

Clerc's touring to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of his career, following three sold-out shows at l'Olympia in Paris last weekend with three concerts at the Salle Playel starting tonight (March 16, 17 and 18) before continuing around the country until July.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Paris Music Festival 2018

Tomorrow sees the Paris Music Festival get underway, an event across the French capital that sees some well-chosen acts play some of the city's most interesting venues.

The event sees the organisers of France's Record Store Day work alongside the Mairie de Paris, with the intention of creating an event that puts Paris at the heart of international musical creativity. It's as much a showcase for the city as it is for the actual artists playing.

And some of the venues being played are very interesting indeed. With churches, museums and cultural centres hosting events, there are some very interesting and unique live experiences ahead.

Among them, two shows at the archeological crypt on the Ile de la Cité on March 15 and 16 featuring Chapelier Fou and Lenparrot look particularly interesting.

There's some striking footage of Fishbach playing there last year, perhaps not a venue for the claustrophobic, but one with no shortage of history.

There's a wide variety of names taking part, including Yuksek,Yan Wagner and Arnaud Rebotini as well as Barbagallo and Frànçois Atlas.

The Paris Music Festival takes place over March 15, 16 and 17 with ticket prices for each show held down to a very reasonable ten euros.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Mylène Farmer: New album details

Mylène Farmer's spoken in a rare interview, confirming her plans for a new album later this year and another single ahead of it following up her recent release Rolling Stone.

She spoke on TF1's JT programme on Sunday night, where she was on to discuss her new film Ghostland.

She confirmed the new album can be expected in the autumn, with another track emerging beforehand. She's currently working on the album and wasn't able to confirm the final release date yet.

Rolling Stone, a track that saw her work with French DJ Feder, gave her another number one single in a career that's seen her establish a record that few other artists seem likely to match.

Mylène attended the premier of the film in Paris last night alongside others in the cast of the film and its director. It goes on general release in France from tomorrow, March 14.

With Mylène probably now the biggest living French music star, a new album's a kind of a big deal. Farmer's new collection comes three years after Interstellaires and as there was no tour to support that release, fans are hoping that 2019 will see her again take to the stage of the arenas and stadiums around France and beyond.

Indochine: Un été français

A new single from Indochine one of France's most successful rock acts, with a video that gives a breathtaking view of Paris from a vantage point from the roof of the Grande Arche de la Défense on the outskirts of the city.

For all the Grande Arche is one of the capital's most recognisable landmarks, the viewing deck of the 110m tall structure was closed to the public for a number of years. La Défense was constructed as a home for many of France's top businesses and a place where international companies could build their office spaces on the edge of Paris.

The video makes the most of the area's modern strangeness, with its obvious nods towards both the Beatles on the roof of Abbey Road or U2's Where the Streets Have No Name video.

You can't help but wonder what those performances might have looked like if the same drone filming technology had been available in those days. And if they'd had more fireworks.

The song itself is a powerful piece that features on the recent Indochine album 13, Nicola Sirkis inspired by events in the 2017 election that saw the Front National through to the second round of the presidential elections.

Indochine are in the middle of a massive tour with arena dates ahead of outdoor shows this summer, and a second round of shows later in the year including two nights at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris on November 16 and 17.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Orelsan: Défaite de famille

A new single from Orelsan, the third from his  La fête est finie album, one of last year's most significant releases.

Like its predecessors  Tout va bien and Basique it features a striking video, this time with the rapper starring as members of his own extended family. The video was directed by Orelsan himself.

It's a nice piece of film for the post-YouTube and Instagram audience, clever and funny while casually playing with the conventions of film making. It reminds me of some of Stromae's groundbreaking work. I expect it won't be long until we see a UK or US act 'influenced' by this piece.

Orelsan's track La Pluie, a duet with Stromae, has also been picking up significant airplay in recent weeks, but Défaite de famille was the track to get released as a single.

Orelsan picked up three awards at the Victoires de la Musique last month for La fête est finie, and its sales in Fracne have merited triple platinum status, but there's probably a lot more commercial life yet in this album.

Madame Monsieur: Mercy video

The more-anticipated-than usual video for the song representing France in this year's Eurovision Song Content has been released.

The track Mercy by Madame Monsieur was the winner of Destination Eurovision on France 2 in January.  Emilie and Jean-Karl's song has a flavour of the electronic tinged indie folk that proved massively popular for artists like Lilly Wood.

The song - a surprisingly decent piece given the usual quality of Eurovision entries, regardless of country - takes a very human stance over the plight of refugees who find themselves in danger on the seas.

The video takes the streets of Paris, Rome and London as the location. Rather than simply representing what goes on at sea, it helps contextualise the situation of the refugees in the cities of Europe. Without being political, it takes a strong humanitarian stance, like the song itself.

France's place in the final of the contest is already guaranteed due to the country's central role in the support of Eurovision.

Will a song solve the crisis in the seas of the Med? Probably not. But will it raise awareness of those who help save the lives of those at risk and of the desperate stories that have driven people to take those risks? Hopefully.

If it achieves this, even to a small degree, it's already a winner in my books.

Eurovision 2018 is being held on May 12 is Lisbon.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Record Store Day 2018: The French releases #RSD18

The full list of the 2018 Record Store Day releases has been published, and as always it's a mixed (12 inch by 12 inch sized) bag of vinyl.

Amidst the eye-wateringly expensive Grateful Dead box sets and the mountain of novelty content that will still be in the racks in four or five years time, there are some real gems.

And more that a few very fine French flavoured pieces of vinyle.

Air's iconic Sexy Boy gets a release as a 12 inch picture disc to mark the 20th anniversary (!) of its release. Another high profile act of recent years, Phoenix, gets a limited edition heart shaped red vinyl release of the track Monologue.

Serge Gainsbourg, another uncontested icon of French music, gets his soundtrack of the movie La Pacha released in full on vinyl for the first tine It's a collaboration from 1968 with Michel Colombier that includes Réquiem Pour Un Con, one of his absolute classics, and features a previously unreleased instrumental mix.

Serge's daughter Charlotte also has a significant release, with a 12 inch of remixes from her recent Rest album. Soulwax remix Deadly Valentine, and there are two versions of Ring a Ring O'Roses.

Another interesting archive release features Jean-Jacques Perry, with his debut Prelude au Sommeil getting its first full vinyl re-release after it first emerged 60 years ago.

More up to date are two releases by The Liminanas, one a 12 inch featuring remixes of by Laurent Garnier and Arnaud Rebotini of Dimanche and Istanbul is Sleepy, the other a seven inch featuring Dimanche and a cover of The Kinks song Two Sisters.

Record Store Day takes place on April 21.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Alexandre Desplat Academy Award win for The Shape of Water

An away win for France at the weekend, with composer Alexandre Desplat winning an Academy Award for the soundtrack to the movie The Shape of Water.

It's the second time Desplat has won an Oscar, having picked one up in 2015 for his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel. That year saw him nominated for two different films, the one that eventually won as well as The Imitation Game.

As well as his two wins, he's previously been nominated another seven times for an Academy Award, for films as varied as The Queen, Fantastic Mr Fox, The King's Speech, Argo and Philomena.

He's also previously won two Grammy Awards and three Baftas, as well as three Césars, for the soundtracks for The Beat that my Heart Skipped, The Ghost Writer and Rust and Bone.

The Shape of Water was nominated for 13 Oscars, and picked up four, most significantly the award for Best Picture and Best Director.

Desplat's soundtrack may not have been the critic's favourite for an award this year, that would probably be Jonny Greenwood's work for Phantom Thread. However, The Shape of Water also features a cover of Gainsbourg's La Javanaise by Madeleine Peyroux, hopefully introducing his work to another new audience.

There may have been no French films in the Best Foreign Language category this year, and while Agnes Varda was one of the four recipients of an honourary awards this year, there was no victories on the scale of Jean Dujardin or Marion Cotillard.

But an Oscar for a French musician? Very welcome indeed.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Hyphen Hypen: Like Boys

A new track by Hyphen Hyphen ahead of the release of the electro pop act's second album.

Their 2015 debut Times included the tracks I Need Your Love and We Light the Sunshine which made a significant impact with the French public, while constant touring resulted in them taking home the breakthrough live act at the Victoires de la Musique awards in 2016.

The new video's got a strong flavour of 80s American RnB clips, the song's a serious slice of 21st century girl power that's got its finger on the pulse.

Hyphen Hyphen are now a trio, Zac having left the band which now consists of Santa, Adam and Line.

Hyphen Hyphen's new album is due to be released on May 25

Her: Neighbourhood

A new video with a strong message by Her ahead of the release of the act's debut album at the end of the month.

The release of the album is perhaps more poignant than many others in recent years given the tragic circumstances behind the band. Originally a duo of Simon Carpentier and Victor Solf, Simon died of cancer age 27 last year.

Simon and Victor had been working together for ten years, initially as member of the Rennes based five piece The Popopopops (which we featured on this blog way back in 2013) and had since 2015 worked with considerable success to established Her as one of France's most promising emerging acts.

Their two EPs Tape #1 and Tape #2 showed a band that more than capable of delivering on that promise.

Following the death of Simon Carpentier, Victor confirmed he intended to continue working under the name Her to continue the work they had done together.

In a statement he said: "Together we made a promise. The promise to continue at all costs this magnificent adventure. Today it is his legacy that I carry in me, and it is my wish and that of all the team for Her to continue to carry our music as far as possible."

The track is a positive and uplifting piece, the clip an appropriate one for a world where there are too many walls and not enough neighbourhoods.

As they put it themselves: "We wrote this song a long time ago, and it's still very true today. It's always about hope and unity."

The title track of the new album We Choose came out in January and the album itself is available from March 30

Friday, 2 March 2018

Cats on Trees: Black Lips

Another track by Cats on Trees drops ahead of the release of their much-anticipated new album.

Black Lips sees Nina and Yohan take on a more electro reggae direction. It's tricky for an act to embrace new ideas without diluting their essence, but I reckon Cats on trees retain their slightly wonky charm.

Keep on Dancing, the first track to emerge from the new collection, saw them embrace a more disco friendly focus. The track Blue emerged a short time later.

Their 2013 track Siren's Call established them, a massive selling tune that remained in France's top 20 for months. But their debut album cemented them as something more than a modern indie-folk act that got lucky with one song.

They've taken their time with their second album, by the sound of things they've worked pretty hard defining the essence of their act - sweet piano led indie chanson -  and taken it forward with some new ideas.

The new album by Cats on Trees, entitled Neon, is released on March 16. They've got live dates in April and May and play La Cigale in Paris on May 16

César Awards 2018

France's movie industry gets its big night out tonight with the César awards, and it's encouraging to see some of the country's music getting some recognition.

Obviously it remains to be seen who wins, but with a movie like 120 Battements par minute getting 13 nominations on the back of its Grand Jury prize at Cannes it'll probably make a significant impact. Set in the 80s in the early days of the Aids crisis it tells the story of young French activists, with the music of the era taking a significant central place in the drama.

Elsewhere, there's a biopic of Barbara which has received a total of eight nominations, including best film and best female hope for the star Jeanne Balibar.

But the film I hope does the best is Patient, a movie that is essentially the work of Grand Corps Malade. It's nominated for best film, best debut, best adaptation and best actor. GCM co-directed the movie which is set in a rehabilitation centre for those with disabilities, some as a result of accident, others from birth.

It features the story of Ben, played by Pablo Pauly, who after an accident faces the struggles, despair and resignation, as well as the friendship and hope in the midst of his situation.

I'd be very surprised if it doesn't pick up at least two awards.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is shortlisted for best actress for her role in La promesse de l'aube, and former Nouvelle Star performer Camélia Jordana is a contender for best female hope for her part in Le Brio.

The Céar awards always get overshadowed by the Oscars, taking place the same weekend, but the Césars are an important annual reminder that there is a vigorous cinema outside the Academy's 'Best foreign film' category.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Editorial: March 2018

A successful February on the blog here, the highlight for me being the number of visitors to the site. An absolute record by quite a margin in the last month, not bad especially when you're considering it was the shortest month of the year.

That's all very well, but its the content here that matters at the end of the day. I'm pleased with what I managed to do. As always, could have done more, but there are always a huge number of competing demands on my time and spending time writing planning and organising posts on this blog can often take a back seat.

But on the whole, a successful month. Mostly down to some great releases and news, from Mylene Farmer dropping a new single unexpectedly, to Barbagello touring (most of) the UK, via this year's Victoires de la Musique awards in France.

There was plenty happening last month, and it certainly looks similar in March. The month gets under way with more awards, the César awards on Friday have a serious amount of music related content with Grand Corps Malade up for four awards and 120 battements par minute leading the nominations.

Elsewhere, there are live appearances from Charlotte Gainsbourg in the UK at the end of the month, as well as shows from Kid Francescoli at London's 100 club. Significant releases include the new album from Cats on Trees and Julien Doré, and events in March include the Paris Music Festival which brings musicians to some of the French capital's more interesting locations.

As always, you can contact us at johnkilbrideAThotmailDOTcom, with the appropriate punctuation where you'd expect it to be.

I'm always pleased to hear from record companies, PR companies and promoters, so do drop me an email. I'm always keen to hear new things, and relay information about acts I already know and love.

The blog is also on Twitter as @viveleroq, although that's pretty much just an autofeed when we update with a new article. You can usually find me on my personal Twitter account quicker, @karnag

If you're around Facebook, remember to like the French Music Podcast UK page, where you can get regular updates with both fresh and vintage French music.

Thanks as always to the good folks at Oui Love Music From France.

John K

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Runaway

A memorable performance by Charlotte Gainsbourg on French music show Taratata, with a cover of Kanye West's Runaway.

It's been a busy month for her, having scooped the Victoires de la Musique award for best female artist at the ceremony at La Seine Musicale on the outskirts of Paris earlier this month.

She was on the shortlist with Catherine Ringer and Louane. There's pretty much no doubt in my mind that she was the obvious victor.

She's also just begun her tour, promoting her Rest album, with a date in Geneva so far. Dates are scheduled for Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium next month.

She's also got a show in Paris at La Cigale on March 28 and a sold-out gig in London the following day when she plays the Village Underground on March 29 .

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Grand Corps Malade on C à Vous

Is there a bigger figure at the moment than Grand Corps Malade?

With his new album Plan B released earlier this month, GCM shows his style remains as poetic and his delivery as unique as ever.

If Leonard Cohen had been a French slam artist, he's probably have sounded a lot like GCM.

He appeared on French evening TV show C à Vous as a smooth yet fiery digestif following dinner in the studio.

Beyond the release of his sixth album, GCM is walking tall after his film Patients picking up four nominations for next months César Awards.

The film is shortlisted in four categories in the French equivalent of the Oscars, best adaptation, best first film, best male hope and best film. The films already been a success, an award would be an exceptional achievement.

Mylène Farmer: Rolling Stone video

A new clip by Mylène Farmer is kind of a big deal.

The release of the new music video for Rolling Stone, unveiled in full on TF1 on peak time on Saturday night after a series of short teaser clips were broadcast, gives some idea of her iconic status in France.

She's now probably the country's  biggest musical star, and videos have always played a big part in her career from the 80s to the present day.

Produced by French DJ Feder, Rolling Stone went to number one on its release at the end of January, adding to her record number of chart topping tracks in France. The video should give the song even more attention.

The song's release came as some surprise. It dropped in January, just as final details of the release of Mylène's latest film were emerging. Ghostland, a horror film scheduled for release on March 14, is her first movie role since the 1990s.

Fans will no doubt pick through each frame of the new clip for clues as to where they reckon Farmer's art is at. By the looks of things she's probably been playing a lot of Assassin's Creed. As is her style, Mylène is unlikely to say much.

She is apparently working on a new album, a follow up to 2015's Interstellaires, with rumours of live dates next year. The album is expected later this year, and more details will inevitably emerge over forthcoming months.

Fishbach: Eternité video clip

Fishbach's album gets a UK release, just as a new video emerges for the track Eternité emerges in France.

The video's great, a post-snapchat montage capturing an artist at the top of her game but who doesn't take things too seriously. We'll hopefully be seeing a lot more of over the next year or so.

She deserves some serious promotion in the UK, she's the kind of artist who could establish herself quite firmly here and in the USA. 

Christine and the Queens proved beyond a doubt that there is a potential audience for francophone artists in an English speaking audience that has perhaps been overlooked for too long.

Record companies are now much more conservative than ever, and they'd rather market an artist who has already established themselves than take a chance spending money and nurturing entirely new talent that might or might not deliver in the future.

Fishbach has certainly proved through her success in France with À ta merci that she's an artist already capable of attracting both commercial and critical success. An appearance on the shortlist for the 2018 Victoires de  la Musique for breakthrough live act gave her a platform to a wider public that she certainly made the most of.

She's got shows in Germany at the end of this month followed by dates in north America.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Petit Biscuit: Live in London

If you're in London this weekend, there's a chance to see one of France's finest young DJ/Producers as Petit Biscuit plays at the O2 Forum on Saturday night.

He's just released the track Problems, featuring Lido, as a single. The track comes from his Presence debut album which came out last year.

Speaking about the release, he says: "Me and Lido met in Paris in July 2017. At that time I didn't know him a singer but I loved his production.

"He made me listen to some toplines and I immediately felt like his voice could fit perfectly with a track I made a few months before, drawing inspiration from my first US tour: something between house, pop, and funk.

"There's a mysterious and sensual atmosphere, kind of like a seduction game."

His album's one of those shortlisted in the breakthrough album category of this year's Victoires de la Musique 2018 awards, with the winner announced at the ceremony in Paris tonight.

2017 was quite a year for the Rouen-born 18-year-old, the year closing with him playing arenas around France, including a sold-out show at the Zénith in Paris.

Petit Biscuit has more dates in mainland Europe in forthcoming weeks, before he heads over to north America for a series of shows including the Coachella festival in April.

Barbagallo: UK Tour

A reminder, if any reminder is needed, that Barbagallo begin their UK tour on Monday with a show at the Borderline in London.

Dates follow in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle over the next few days before some shows on the European mainland. Pity he's not playing more dates as a show in Scotland wouldn't go amiss. Maybe next time.

While obviously better known as part of Tame Impala, his work as a solo artist and as part of  Aquaserge secures his place as one of the key figures in France's contemporary psychedelic scene.

Last month saw the release of the track L'échappée, the first to emerge from his forthcoming third album.

His new album  Danse dans les ailleurs,  is due for release at the beginning of March and it already looks like being one of 2018's most significant releases so far.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Victoires de la musique 2018 Best video shortlist

I thought a quick post looking at the three contenders for this year's best video award at the Victoires de la musique 2018, being held in Paris on Friday night.

It's the French music world's big showcase, a televised big budget presentation giving a showcase to the country's talent and introducing many to talent that they may not have previously known.

Yeah, it's pretty mainstream, but always interesting and worth following.

The Best Audiovisual Creation category, to give it its correct title, features three videos, by Orelsan, Gauvain Sers and The Blaze. Each is in their own way a pretty interesting piece of work.

Orelsan: Basique

OrelSan's return was marked with one of 2017's most impressive videos. Shot on a bridge in Ukraine, the rapper made quite an impression with the clip that has so far racked up almost 50m views of YouTube.

The video was by Greg&Lio, who have also made clips for Jain, Booba and Casseurs Flowters.

Gauvain Sers: Pourvu

A more traditional chanson, with a video that plays it straight but with some very nice subtle touches. It comes from Sers' debut album, a number one in France in June.

The video is by French film director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, creator of movies like Delicatessen, Alien Resurrection and Amelie. He's also created music videos for the likes of Etienne Daho, Julien Clerc and Jean-Michel Jarre.

The Blaze: Territory

A video that feels more like a French movie that I want to see more of. The clip illustrated the track from the EP that emerged in February. It's already won the best international dance video and best styling awards at the UK Music Video Awards in October.

Earlier in the year it picked up the Film Craft Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

So who is my money on? I'll have to say Orelsan. It's a striking clip, immediate and taking the artist far beyond his usual audience. It's a simple idea, done well, which tends to be a good guide for a successful video.

We'll see tomorrow evening who picks up the awards.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Paris Music Festival 2018

I thought a quick look ahead to next month's Paris Music Festival was in order, bringing together as it does some of the artists I've featured here recently.

The Paris Music Festival takes place over March 15, 16 and 17 with gigs held at some interesting venues across the city, with ticket prices for each show held down to a reasonable 10 euros.

While some of these take place at regular music haunts, some of the city's more unusual venues open their doors to live music over the weekend. From the American Cathedral or the Bibliotheque Historique de la ville de Paris, museums, churches and cultural centres are among the venues hosting artists.

I like particularly the look of Chapelier Fou and Lenparrot playing at the archeological crypt on the Ile de la Cité on March 15 and 16. Quite a setting for shows.

Other acts playing include Yuksek, playing a DJ set at the Musée Bourdelle, Yan Wagner and Arnaud Rebotini at the closing event on the 17th at L'aerosol.

The festival has come together as a collaboration between the city authorities and the organisers of France's Record Store Day, to create an unmissable event and to put Paris at the heart of international  musical creativity.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

MC Solaar: Eksassaute

A new video by MC Solaar, with the track Eksassaute the latest track from his recent album to get promoted as a single.

The track comes from his Géopoétique album, released towards the end of last year, and one of 2017's most significant hip hop releases. Solaar hadn't released an album in ten years so the appearance of his new collection in November was met with some anticipation.

A number one album, the previous single Sonotone attracted considerable airplay confirming that Solaar had lost none of his poetic touch,

If there's a somewhat nostalgic tone to the start of Eksassaute, it quickly displays an energy and an electro feel couldn't be more 2018.

Solaar's got nothing to prove, he's a pioneer of French hip hop who effortlessly retains his crown.

He's touring extensively towards the end of 2018, with a show at the Accor Hotels Arena in Paris on November 22.

Festival Beauregard

The full line-up for this summer's Festival Beauregard - a four day event in Normandy - has been unveiled, with some great names playing this year.

Depeche Mode are at the top of the bill, which is kind of a big deal, and also at the top are Jack White, The Offspring and Macklemore.

While international acts seem to dominate the top places, there are plenty of French acts throughout, with some of France's most interesting artists taking part.

Orelsan and Nekfeu are two rappers at the top of their game right now, and both are playing. Charlotte Gainsbourg, while a very different artist, is also enjoying something of a critical and commercial glow at the moment on the back of her recent album.

Also on the bill are Girls in Hawaii, Petit Biscuit, Hollysiz and Carpenter Brut. All artists that have been mentioned here in the past, all well worth seeing and all delivering strong new material in recent months.

It remains a difficult economic time for festivals, with competing events taking place over a crowded summer season and prices increasing, but organisers who select the acts well can still succeed and a good mix of respected French acts and some big name international acts is a pretty decent mix for an event line Beauregard.

Its location - close enough to the UK for a weekend visit - and its ticket prices that compare favourably to similar events in the UK makes Beauregard a real proposition for British music fans. Let's not forget it's in France, the weather will be better and the atmosphere will be pretty fine as well.

This year marks the festival's tenth anniversary, and while that might make it a comparative new event compared to some of France's other music festivals, it's certainly proved there is a place for it in the French summer music events schedule.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Voyou: Seul sur ton tandem

Love this video for the song Seul sur ton tandem by Voyou.

The track is one of five that feature on his recently released debut EP On s'emmène avec toi.

The EP's a lovely piece of work by the man known to friends and family as Nantes-based artist Thibaud Vanhooland.

He's previously worked with the likes of Pegase and Rhum for Pauline, acts I've featured on this blog before.

Voyou is signed to Disques Enterprise, one of my favourite French labels and home to talents like Fishbach, Bagarre and Moodoïd.

Looks like he's found a natural home with some like-minded artists.

The video for Seul sur ton tandem is by Vincent Castant who previously directed Jacques' video for the track Dans La Radio, another strange and wonderful visual treat.

Voyou play La Maroquinerie in Paris on April 19.

Angèle: Je veux tes yeux

A striking video by for the track Je veux tes yeux by Belgian singer Angèle.

It follows her debut releae La loi de Murphy which emerged in October last year, a slice of electro pop that attracted considerable attention as much for its franco-english Lily Allen stylings as for its equally memorable video clip.

Angèle, who is the sister of Belgian rapper Roméo Elvis, is currently working on her debut album, which if the strength of her two singles so far is any measure, will be one of 2018's most anticipated releases.

The video for Je veux tes yeux was directed by photographer Charlotte Abramow

Angèle spent much of the closing months of 2017 touring in France and Belgium, and has her first ever show in Paris at Le Trianon on May 22.

Juliette Armanet: L'indien

A new video by Juliette Armanet for the track L'indien marking the release of a special new edition of her Petite amie debut album.

The album, which came out last year and has already been a gold seller in France, is being re-issued this month as a deluxe edition featuring four extra tracks.

2017 was a pretty big year for Juliette, the release of her album being backed by extensive touring of France and sold out shows including La Cigale in Paris. Her work's been compared by some to that of the classic French singer songwriters of the 60s and 70s.

Previous songs from the album including Manque d'amour and L’Amour en Solitaire have helped establish her as another of the current generation of female artists in France that look likely to have long and successful careers.

The new single, with its disco flavour and distinctive video directed by Moodoïd's Pablo Padovani should help draw a little more attention to her quirky but approachable style.

Her album's on the shortlist for the 2018 Victoires de la Musique awards, in the Breakthrough album category.

We'll see at the end of the week if the success she's had in 2017 was only the first step towards greater commercial and public recognition.

Regardless of the outcome of the awards ceremony, Juliette's got more live dates ahead of her all over France including two shows at the Olympia on March 6 and 7 and a festival appearance at Les Francofolies de La Rochelle on July 15.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Editorial: February 2018

If 2017 went out with a sombre note with the passing of Johnny, 2018 seemed to continue that theme with the death of France Gall. 

A few years ago I noticed that in my day job I was having to write an increasing number of obit pieces for stars of the 60s and 70s, as time began to take its toll. Inevitably there will be more losses to the music scene over 2018, that's part of life and there's no escaping it. But no point in getting too maudlin, I've always been keener to celebrate what's happening now and in the future than to dwell on what has been. The likes of Johnny and France Gall will never be forgotten, but those who continue the work these pioneers began deserve our attention.

As I mentioned elsewhere, 2018 has so far been a year of acts I've previously featured on this blog returning with strong new material. Bagarre, Cats on Trees, Feu! Chatterton, Dominique A and Owlle to name just a few.

It's also been worth noting how France's female artists have been getting some serious recognition. Maybe it's a consequence of Christine and the Queens carrying the flag for French music to an international audience like few others have done in recent years, but maybe France has been a more fertile place for female artists over the preceding decades.

While the likes of Mylene Farmer, Jane Birkin and France Gall have been measured by critics in terms of their male collaborators, their enduring careers tell a story of a popular audience that perhaps welcomes the female artist more that the male music critic does.

Did you notice, incidentally, the run of posts featuring female artists in January? It actually wasn't intentional and just unfolded that way, with the likes of Cats on Trees, Mylene, Owlle etc all getting my attention over a period of time and before I noticed there was more than ten female artists in a row.

One other female artists who will hopefully be attracting some attention in the UK in the near future is Halo Maud, who plays live dates across the country supporting Baxter Dury. Many of the shows are already sold out.

Also taking to the road around the UK is Barbagallo, ahead of their new album to be released in March. Their L'echappee video was one of January's real delights, and their album is likely to be one of 2018's real highlights.

There are also London shows from a few key French acts, with Petit Biscuit at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town on February 10, Kungs playing Ministry of Sound on February 17 and a sold-out show from Ibeyi on February 28 at the Electric in Brixton.

Weird statistics this month in terms of visitor numbers, but the only statistic that really matters to us here is the number of posts we managed to make. I know we're a long way from delivering anything like the number of short pieces we did a few years ago, but any month that sees more than 24 posts leaves me happy that I've been doing my job here.

Why 24 posts? Because that was the total we managed to do on the first year of the vive le roq blog. That's right. 24 posts over A WHOLE YEAR. So more than that in a month always feels like some kind of victory!

As always, you can contact us at johnkilbrideAThotmailDOTcom, with the appropriate punctuation where you'd expect it to be.

I'm always pleased to hear from record companies, PR companies and promoters, so do drop me an email. I'm always keen to hear new things, and relay information about acts I already know and love.

The blog is also on Twitter as @viveleroq, although that's pretty much just an autofeed when we update with a new article. You can usually find me on my personal Twitter account quicker, @karnag

If you're around Facebook, remember to like the French Music Podcast UK page, where you can get regular updates with both fresh and vintage French music.

Thanks as always to the good folks at Oui Love Music From France.

John K

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Grand Corps Malade and the César Award nominations

The César Awards shortlist is unveiled today.

It's a prestigious event, like its American equivalent The Oscars, and among the music related nominations, it's a real pleasure to see one of the biggest figures in France's music scene at the receiving end of four nominations.

His film Patients is on the shortlisted for four awards, best adaptation, best first film, best male hope and. most significantly, best film.

Patients is set in a rehabilitation centre for those with disabilities. Some, like the film's protagonist Ben played by César nominated Pablo Pauly, as a result of an accident, others from birth. It tells of the struggle, despair and resignation they face, as well as the friendship and hope they experience as a consequence of their difficulties.

The film was directed by Grand Corps Malade and Mehdi Idir.

Elsewhere in the César shortlist, music related films are at the forefront of this year's main contenders.

A biopic of the chanteuse Barbara is nominate in eight different categories, including best film and best female hope for Jeanne Balibar who took on the lead role.

Elsewhere, 120 battements par minute is set in the early years of the 80s Aids outbreak and tells the story of activists involved in the early fight, with Bronski Beat's anthem Smalltown Boy taking on a central part in the film. It's got 13 nominations and previously won the Cannes film festival Grand Jury prize.

Meanwhile, singer Camélia Jordana, star of TV reality show Nouvelle Star is in the running hfor best female hope for her role in the movie Le Brio, where she starred alongside Daniel Auteuil.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is nominated for best actress for her part in La promesse de l'aube.

The César awards ceremony takes place on March 2 in Paris.

Eurovision 2018: Madame Monsieur

It often feels like a duty to report on France's Eurovision Song Contest involvement. Despite its high profile, it reflects little of what's actually going on in French music, and as a showcase for talent it leaves most international viewers with the impression that things haven't really moved on since the Eurotrash 80s and that Anglo pop remains the measure by which contemporary music from other countries is compared and found wanting.

So a bit of a surprise that France chose a song this year that isn't actually too bad. This year's representative is the song Mercy, performed by Madame Monsieur, a duo of Emilie and Jean-Karl.

The song speaks about the European migrant crisis, a first person tale of one child born in the midst of it, and the volunteers who help. It's a positive song that doesn't shy away from a difficult contemporary issue.

In an interview the performers said it wasn't a political lesson, they made clear their attitude wasn't about politics but about humanity. They worked with volunteers from SOS Méditerranée in creating the song.

It will be interesting to see how it stands up in the contest. France as always will be automatically in the final round of the competition.

Eurovision 2018 is held in May in Lisbon.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Goldman, 40 ans de chansons

A typically star-studded musical spectacle on TF1 tonight paying tribute to songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman on the 40th anniversary of his career.

Goldman, who now lives a quiet life in London, has all but retired from the music scene but the 2012 Generation Goldman tribute album and its follow up collection rekindled a massive interest in his work after a younger generation of artists covered his songs.

The show tonight features many of those involved in Generation Goldman, with a bill including Nolwenn Leroy, M Pokora, Vianney, Christophe Willem and Garou amongst many others.

Ahead of the show, some of its stars have recorded a version of Goldman's Au bout de mes rêves, a track from Goldman's 1982 self-titled album album.

Slimane: Solune

January 25 sees the release of the second album by Slimane, a follow up to his 2016 debut  À bout de rêves.

Slimane Nebchi was the winner of season five of The Voice: La plus belle voix in 2016. Of the four judges who wanted him after the blind auditions where he performed Vitaa's À fleur de toi, he chose to work with Florent Pagny.

He won the popular vote in the final after performing songs by Francis Cabrel, Christophe Mae and a duet with Florent Pagny.

His debut album was a number one in France and Belgium, the single Paname reaching the top ten.

While there are plenty of questions about whether or not reality TV shows are a valid platform for emerging artists, it does seem to me that these shows in France have produced some quality acts. True, many of these might have made a commercial breakthrough by other means, but we no longer live in a situation where music companies can readily invest in artists over a matter of years. A TV show can raise the profile of an artist in ways that many years of expensive promotion cannot.

Slimane has tour dates around France from March, and he plays the Zenith in Paris on April 7.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Judah Warsky: La Voiture Ivre

As I noted last week, this year has so far been marked by the return of artists I've featured on this blog early in their careers releasing new material that has surprised and impressed me.

The idea of the artists facing a 'difficult album' after their debut seems to have gone, with artists producing confident works that show they have developed their skills displayed in their earlier work, taken things to a new level and gone beyond expectations.

I was looking back at a previous post about Judah Warsky and I found that it was posted within a few days of an earlier post about Owlle.

Judah Warsky is already onto his third album, with La Voiture Ivre the first single from the recently released Avant/Après album.

2012's magnificently titled Painkillers and Alcohol and 2014's Bruxelles showed Warsky was a singular talent among electronic artists, Painkillers and Alcohol described right here on this blog as 'a strange and unique piece of work.'

I was delighted to get his track Bruxelles, capital de l'europe featured on the soundtrack of a Scottish political news programme on a report about European politics. A lot has changed since then, but that distinctiveness he's always displayed remains to the fore Avant/Après.

There's no one like him and long may that continue.

Barbagallo: L'échappée

A sparkling piece of modern French psych from Barbagallo with the track L'échappée coming ahead of a new album.

While Julien Barbagallo is these days pretty well known as a member of Tame Impala, his work as a solo artist and as part of Aquaserge puts him at the centre of France's contemporary psyche scene.

The track comes from his forthcoming album Danse Dans Les Ailleurs, his third solo album, following 2016's Grand Chien and 2015's Amor de Lonh.

Unlike his earlier solo works, which were created on the road with Tame Impala, his new album was recorded in a studio. He chose to record in the Lot area of France, in a studio located in a converted historic building in a rural setting, a former medieval farm where Nino Ferrer lived and worked in the 1970s.

He said: "I wanted a place that would encourage contemplation and whose atmosphere would leave a subtle mark on the recordings.

"The Barberine studio in the Lot district of France met my expectations all contributed to the magi I needed to record those new songs."

Barbagallo have four live dates in the UK next month, with shows in London, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

The Limiñanas: Shadow People on C à Vous

Lovely to see an appearance by The Limiñanas earlier tonight on French TV chat show C à Vous.

It's hard to imagine in the UK an early evening light entertainment show aimed at the widest teatime audience putting on such impressive musical acts.

The Limiñanas have recently released their latest album, Shadow People and while the kind of act that have a cult following and critical acclaim, they're a long way off from the mainstream.

That being said, their 60s psyche infused pop goes down a treat and there really is no reason whatsoever for them to have the widespread acclaim they deserve.

The performance sees a guest appearance by actress and singer Emmanuelle Seigner on vocals.

The Limiñanas are touring extensively, and play at Rough Trade in London tomorrow. They're back to France for dates around the country and play at Le Trianon in Paris on March 29.

Mylène Farmer: Rolling Stone

After months of speculation that new material  was on its way, Mylène Farmer has dropped a new track.

The trailer for the film Ghostland, Mylène's first since 1994, came out last week and was quickly followed by a brief video suggesting the imminent release of the track Rolling Stone.

That track has now come out, a slice of Bollywood flavoured electro pop that sees Mylène working with French DJ/producer Feder. 

Feder's debut single Goodbye was a number one in France and a massive hit elsewhere in 2015, and he's gone on to release more deep house flavoured tracks.

Following the release of Rolling Stone, Feder said on his Facebook page: "Congrats Mylene, glad to be part of the adventure!"

Where that adventure goes next, there's little official word but as always with Mylène there's plenty of speculation. Worth remembering that she's probably France's biggest living music star now, so any new album or tour by her is kind of a big deal. 

Her last album, 2015's Interstellaires, which featured the track Stolen Car - a duet with Sting produced by French DJ The Avener - was a triple platinum seller in France and a top ten hit in 16 countries. It also featured her 14th and 15th number one singles in France.

Since then she's quit Universal Music, where she had been since the start of her career, and signed to Sony Music.

There's no video as yet for Rolling Stone, but one is apparently being shot in Prague and is likely to come out in early February

Ghostland, meanwhile, comes out in France on March 14, with a two days before that at the Grand Rex in Paris. Mylène Farmer expected to attend the event along with the other stars of the movie.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Girls in Hawaii: Indifference - Bruxelles Ma Belle session

A tasteful new session by Girls in Hawaii shot at Brussels Central Station for Bruxelles Ma Belle.

The city's central station isn't normally the most scenic part of Brussels, even though it sees its fair share of tourists.

But a well shot video blog, a great band with a  great song can make all the difference.

Girls in Hawaii have been around since 2003, building up a serious reputation in Belgium and France, with several albums in the top ten in Belgium and 2008's Plan Your Esape making the top 40 in France.

Girls in Hawaii released their Nocturne album last year, and have a schedule of dates around France  from now until their appearances at festivals over the summer.

Halo Maud: Du Pouvoir/Power

Halo Maud's UK debut EP Du Pouvoir/Power features a version of the title track partially re-written in English. It's a powerful track and it works in whatever language you speak.

The EP with its new version of the song is released on Heavenly Recordings, one of the UK's finest purveyors of tasteful indie tunes.

The four track Du Pouvoir/Power EP follows the Paris-based artist's track Baptism.

She said: "It is all about the beginning and the end: Baptism being the second birth (START), Du Pouvoir dealing with self-confidence and how to find your place in the world (CONSTRUCTION), and À La Fin (literally "At The END"), about what we keep and lose after love has gone.

"Dans La Nuit is actually the very first song I wrote in French, and has all been written during the night, and dans la nuit, we float, we escape until the next day is coming.

"The fact that I finally refused to choose between French and English ended up making sense when I signed to Heavenly Recordings, a double sign from heaven!"

Halo Maud has got dates around the UK next month supporting Baxter Dury with her very first show in London on February 23 before returning to France for shows around the country for the next two weeks.

Fishbach: Mortel

A new video by Fishbach, with the clip for the track Mortel capturing some of her live performances.

If there's an artist who deserves to move things up to the next level it's Fishbach. Her A ta merci was one of the highlights of 2017, and she's built on the critical acclaim it generated with a solid audience thanks to her indefatigable touring.

The clip for Mortel was shot at the Les Eurockéennes de Belfort festival, Fnac Live, Le Cabaret Vert and at the Bataclan in Paris.

She's in the shortlist for the breakthrough artist award of this year's Victoires de la Musique awards, giving her an even bigger showcase for her work in front of the French public.

It an only be a matter of time until she's got the same mainstream recognition as Christine and the Queens.

In the meantime, she's still on tour with a series of dates around France continuing until next month.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Coeur de Pirate: Prémonition

A new track and accompanying video marking the return of Coeur de Pirate ahead of an album that marks the tenth anniversary of her career.

Coeur de Pirate's last album was 2015's Roses, an album that reached the top five in Canada and in France.

Since then she's spoken about the possibility of stopping making music, finishing her career and her wish to return to anonymity.

Recent months have seen something of a change of heart though, as since November she's appeared as one of the judges on Nouvelle Star on France's M6 channel.

The high-profile reality show is the French version of Pop Idol, and its 13th series on French TV saw Coeur de Pirate alongside Benjamin Biolay and music industry figures Nathalie Noennec and Dany Synthé.

The show came to its conclusion with the victory of Xavier Matheu in a public vote on December 20.

Her new album, her fourth proper colletion, is expected in the spring. She's confirmed a live date at the Olympia in Paris on October 9.

Laura Cahen at the IFRU

A reminder that this week sees French artist Laura Cahen perform at the Institut français du Royaume-Uni in London as part of the Night of Ideas event being held there on January 25.

Cahen will be performing in the IFRU's reading room, and will then take part in a question and answer session with the audience.

The Night of Ideas at the Institut français features experts from a wide variety of fields, with debate and discussion in areas from music to science, literature to politics with names as varied and as significant as film maker Ken Loach and astronaut Tin Peake.

Laura Cahen's debut album Nord was released last year, a follow up to her five track EP from 2015.

She operates in a unique space that takes elements of jazz, chanson and folk music to make something quite distinctive with a voice that is as surprising as it is haunting.

The Night of Ideas event takes place on January 25 and is free, but advance booking his required. There's more information here.

Charlotte Gainsbourg: I'm a lie

Another new video from Charlotte Gainsbourg, with the track I'm a lie the latest to come from her Rest album.

The song actually makes me think more of Gainsbourg père than most of her other reent work. Something about the repetition of the haunting classical refrain.

I could imagine old Serge performing to a 21st century electronic soundtrack. He always kept across what was happening musically so it would be no surprise for him to have gone in that direction if he was still around.

Charlotte's Rest album really is an outstanding piece of work, each video demands a fresh listen to the track it features, and each listen gives you a bit more from the track that you maybe didn't previously catch. It's a dense and rewarding work.

The video, like the previous clips from the album, was directed by Charlotte herself. And again, she's made a pretty fine job of it.

Charlotte has announced a series of live dates from February, with shows in Switzerland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Japan and the UK.

She plays at La Cigale in Paris on March 28, and at Village Underground in London the following day.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Le Prince Miiaou: Closure

I'm still catching up with some of the releases that came out towards the end of last year, and the track Closure by  Le Prince Miiaou is certainly one that deserves a mention here.

Maud-Élisa Mandeau, as she's known to her friends and family, is one of the many striking female solo artists to emerge in France in recent years.

She's released four albums so far, the most recent being 2014's Where is the Queen? , a sharp collection that featured the likes of Happy Song For Empty People and JFK.

Closure is the first taste of her new album expected later this year, and while the edgy and epic electronics of Closure suggest a move from her earlier indie rock based sound, the distinctive voice with a quirky and smart style remains.

Le Prince Miiaou certainly deserves her crown, and if there's any justice 2018 will see Le Prince Miiaou take her rightful place on the throne.

Owlle: In the dark

If there's one trend that seems to be emerging in 2018, it's the return of acts I've previously featured on this blog returning with new material that's every bit as strong as the work that first grabbed my attention.

Another of these acts is Owlle, with the new tack In the dark. Owlle - known as France Picoulet to her friends and family - is one of the many impressive female artists that have emerged in the last few years in France.

Owlle first got our attention with songs like Ticky Ticky, followed by her debut album France in 2014.

Speaking about the new release on Facebook, she commented: "I'm back and ready to shine." There's no argument with that.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Mylène Farmer: Ghostland film

The trailer has come out of a new horror film Ghostland starring Mylène Farmer, who is now, following the death of Johnny, probably France's biggest music star.

Farmer's last excursion into film was in 1994, with Giorgino, a movie described as a horror/adventure directed by Farmer's regular collaborator Laurent Boutonnat.

Ghostland is directed by Pascal Laugier, a French horror movie director behind movies like Saint Ange, Martyrs and 2012's The Tall Man.

More recently he directed Farmer's City of Love video for the track that featured on her 2015 Interstellaires album.

There was talk of a new Mylène album before the end of 2017, but that came to nothing, but there remains a possibility of a new release later this year with rumours of a 2019 tour to follow an album. We'll see what happens.

Ghostland has a release date of March 14 in France with a premier on March 12 at the Grand Rex in Paris with Mylène Farmer expected to attend the event along with the other stars of the movie.

Brigitte - Palladium on C à Vous

A live appearance on French TV chat show C à Vous by Brigitte, with a track from their most recent album.

Aurélie and Sylivie take their knowing homage to 70s Euro easy listening to a teatime audience, and serve up something cheesier than a raclette.  

Palladium comes from their most recent album Nues, released in November last year. It's their fourth album, and while looking like a novelty act, they've managed to create an impression since their 2011 debut Et vous, tu m'aimes? , an album which reached the top five in France.

Their most recent, 2014's À bouche que veux-tu saw the videos for the singles directed by Aurélie Saada, and a mini album of orchestral versions of tracks from that album came out the following year.

Brigitte are about to set off on tour, with dates in France from January 20 including a run of shows at the Olympia in Paris in May.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Dita Von Teese and Sebastien Tellier: Bird of Prey

A new track from burlesque artist Dita Von Teese from her forthcoming album that sees her collaborate with Sebastien Tellier.

Tellier has often found himself labelled with the 'new Serge Gainsboug' title in the Anglophone media. Mostly  I suspect - because the Anglophone media can't name many other French artists apart from Gainsbourg.

But writing an album for a female artist who wasn't much previously known as a singer was exactly the kind of thing Gainsbourg did, from Brigitte Bardot to Isabelle Adjani, not forgetting the album he wrote for his partner Bambou and the first album by Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Bird of prey follows the track Rendez-vous which emerged in November, and sounds very much like something Tellier would have cooked up, even with unfamiliar vocals. Exotic, with a psychedelic flavour and a tasteful retro yet very modern feel.

Von Teese is of course much better known to an Anglophone audience, especially in the USA where she's a proper A-list celebrity. Working with Tellier shows she's got a pretty high standard of musical awareness, I'm sure there's no shortage of artists who would work with her, and if it giver Tellier a higher profile in the US, all the better.

The debut album by Dita Von Teese is released on February 16.

Cats on trees: Keep on dancing

Remember Cats on Trees? Of course you do. Siren's Call was a charming piece of French indie appropriation of a very English style song, and it quite rightly became a massive hit in 2013, reaching the top three in the French charts.

Their self-titled debut was released that year and it made the top ten in France, the following year singer Nina Goern and musical collaborator Yohan Hennequin picked up a Victoires de la Musique award for best breakthrough album for the collection.

But other than a stint as coaches on The Belgian edition of The Voice, there's not been a lot to report in terms of new releases since then.

So it's good to report a new track with an accompanying video, and a new album due out shortly.

Keep on dancing take the duo in a slightly different direction. More dancefloor, less Belle and Sebastain perhaps, but the charm that helped establish them is still there.

The new album by Cats on Trees, entitled Neon,  is due out on March 16. They play at La Cigale in Paris on May 16.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Feu! Chatterton: Ginger

Delighted to see another new track from Feu! Chatterton emerge ahead of the release of their second album. Ginger following the tracks L'ivresse and Souvenir, both of which emerged towards the end of last year.

Their new album is to be titled L'oiseleur and comes out on March 9.

No video this time, but not a problem. This is a strong release, and will sit well on any album.

Their Ici Le Jour (A Tout Enseveli) debut was one of my favourite releases in recent years, an eloquent work carried off with character and style.

Les Inrocks website, an authority on such matters, described them this week as 'one of the most interesting French groups of their generation', something we could only agree with.

The prospect of a new Feu! Chatterton album really makes me thing that 2018 is quietly shaping up to be a vintage year for French music. It's just one of a number of albums by some of our favourite acts with releases scheduled over the forthcoming weeks. It's a long way from Easter and there are already three or four that I reckon could be pretty significant ready to come out.
Feu! Chatterton are touring extensively across France in March, April and May and play at the Bataclan in Paris on April 9 and 10.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Bagarre: Danser seul (ne suffit pas)

We always enjoy a bit of a Bagarre here, so it was a real pleasure to see a new video from the band emerge over the weekend.

Danser seul (ne suffit pas) is the second track to appear ahead of the release of their debut album in February.

It follows the track Béton armé which was released in November but which we featured here just the other week. We really can sometimes be that lazy.

Like all their previous videos, it's a striking piece of work. Bagarre have really an instinct for matching their brand of smart indie/electro with the absolutely correct video. Humorous, ironic and clever, without trying too hard and unafraid to make themselves look ridiculous, the tone is always absolutely right.

Their debut album Club 12345 is released on February 23, and Bagarre play La Cigale in Paris on April 10.

Dominique A: Toute latitude

A new song with a striking video by Dominique A. Toute latitude is the title track of his forthcoming album, due to be released in March.

The video by Sébastien Laudenbach is one of four that will accompany the album, the other three being released in the run-up to the album's release. The four videos for Toute latitude will fit together to a larger complete video.

Laudenbach previously created the award winning animated film La jeune fille sans mains and also created the sleeve for the new album.

Toute latitude is Dominique A's 11th studio album, and it follows Éléor, released in 2015. That album featured the song Au revoir mon amour, a favourite of this blog. Éléor built on the critical and commercial success of 2012's  Vers Les Lueurs, which saw him picking up the best male artist award at the following year's Victoire de la musique award ceremony.

Despite his long and successful career, Dominique A is not taking it easy by any means. He said recently that following his tour for Éléor he found himself inspired by contradictory ideas for new sounds and writing. He was drawn towards rhythmic and repetitive versions of older texts, while the electric atmosphere of live performance giving him the opposing desire for melody and acoustic songs.

The consequence of this is that he's now got two albums set to come out in 2018, the first - Toute latitude - a rock album in the spring, the second - La fragilité - a more acoustic set scheduled for the autumn. There will also be two tours corresponding to the different collections.

Dominique A announced the first of these tour dates last month, and has lined up a series of shows around France in March, April and May.

He has two special shows in Paris on April 14 and 15, when he plays a la Philharmonie de Paris