Sunday, 23 September 2018

Mylène Farmer: Sentimentale

A new track from the forthcoming new album by Mylène Farmer has emerged, with a video for the track Sentimentale the week ahead of the release of Désobéissance.

It's a fairly basic video, mostly a graphic with what looks like home movies of  Mylène enjoying some down time alone with her dogs. It's perhaps a lower key clip than usual,  no costumes, no locations and no rich cinematography. Instead it has the feel of something more relaxed, perhaps to show a more approachable side to Mylène, or perhaps it was just put together quickly to accompany the release of the track.

Fans will no doubt still be scouring it in minute details to determine exactly the state of Mylène's art.

The single is availeble from all the streaming and legal download platforms. No word as yet on a physical release, but that can't be far away.

Sentimentale is the third track to come out ahead of the release of Désobéissance, following Rolling Stone and N'oublie pas. It was produced by Feder, who aso produced Rolling Stone and is involved in many of the other tracks on the new album,

Désobéissance will inevitably be one of the biggest releases in France this year. The two previous singles have both added to Mylène's impressive collection of number one singles in France since the start of her career in the 80s. It's a fair bet that this one will also make a significant chart impact.

But the real test will be with the release of the new album. It is Mylène's first release on a new label, Sony, so there will perhaps be more eyes measuring its impact than before as well as determining her next moves.

More singles? More film work? A tour? Mylène always keeps her plans well guarded, but the success of the new album may play a significant measure in what Mylène does next.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Lomepal: 1000°C clip

Love this video by Lomepal, taking French rap to far stranger territory than it might normally go.

It's the first track from his forthcoming new album which is due out in December and features a contribution from Belgian rapper Roméo Elvis.

Lomepal's debut album Flip was released in June last year and was one of the biggest selling rap albums of the year.

The Paris-based artist, known to his family and friends as Antoine Valentinelli has attracted a huge number of views to his work on YouTube, released his first EP  20 mesures in 2011, following it with Le singe fume sa cigarette in 2013.

His rigourous live schedule has helped him build up a massive following ahe he plays at the Détonation festival in Besancon at the end of the month.

He's got a sold-out show at the Olympia in Paris on October 4, and he recently announced a tour of the arenas around France, Belgium and Switzerland early next year including the Zénith in Paris on February 20.

Christine and the Queens: La marcheuse

A new video by Christine and the Queens emerges just days ahead of the much anticipated new album.

It's interesting to see Heloïse Letissier portrayed as a bullfighter in the video, albeit one who makes friends with a bull. She's had a bit of a fight so far with critics of her new material and new image, but this track certainly shows more of the crisp electo-pop that made Chaleur Humaine so irresistable.

Like the bull in the video, she'll inevitably win them over.

An English language version of the song - entitled The Walker - will feature on the international version of the new album

Three clips have already come out ahead of the release of the new collection, due at the end of the week in two versions - a French version with 12 tracks and an international version, predominately in English, with 11 tracks.

Extensive tour dates are scheduled around Europe and North America from next month, with shows in the UKand Ireland in November before dates in Switzerland and France in December ending with two nights at the Accorhotels Arena in Paris on December 18 and 19.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Jain: Souldier on French TV

An appearance by Jain on the France 2 TV show On n'est pas couché at the weekend, with an interview and an acoustic performance of the title track of her recently released second album.

I've probably not mentioned Jain's album as much as it deserves. Her debut album Zanaka was a massive seller, leading to her actually making some inroads with an English speaking audience, with appearances on Later with Jools Holland in the UK and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert in the USA.

If there's a French artist likely to follow Christine and the Queens into the uncharted waters of anglo-saxon recognition in the near future, it's a fair bet that it will be Jain.

Her new album was released last month following the release of Alright and the title track as singles.

She's a charming artist who is quite startlingly talented, as the acoustic solo performance on this appearance shows.

She's got a full schedule of live dates ahead to support the new album, with shows in North America next month and two gigs in the UK - Manchester on November 26 and London on November 27 and an extensive tour ahead around France next year.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Rachid Taha at the Trans musicales de Rennes, 21012

Great to watch the live set by Rachid Taha that he performed at the Trans musicales de Rennes, in memory of the huge talent that we recently lost.

Rachid Taha died on September 12, leaving a legacy that few will match. He took the sound North Africa into new places, inspired by (and according to legend inspiring) the Clash, electronica and rock.

From his early work with Carte de Séjour to his 2013 album Zoom, Taha was the kind of iconoclast most artists can only aspire to being.

The set in Rennes was filmed by Arte, and having a performance like this on tape really shows the value of filming these events.

Vanessa Paradis: Ces mots simples

A new single from Vanessa Paradis, with the track Ces mots simples emerging ahead of the release of a new album later this year.

The song was written by her husband, film director Samuel Benchetrit. The couple met during the making of the movie Chien in 2016, Paradis starring in the film that Benchetrit directed.

While musically best remembered in the UK for a hit single she had in 1987 at the age of 14, Vanessa Paradis has gone of to a career that has seen the release of six studio albums so far, collections that have included collaborations with Serge Gainsbourg, M, Benjamin Biolay and Lenny Kravitz.

She's won multiple Victoire de la Musique awards over the years, including best female artist, best pop album, and best music video.

As an actress she's had similar success, from her César award for Most Promising Actress in 1990's Noce blanche to multiple awards for her performance in Café de Flore.

Her new album follows 2013's Love Songs, a double album produced by Benjamin Biolay that reached number one in France.

Les Sources is released on November 16.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Jean-Michel Jarre: Equinoxe Infinity

So no sooner does Jean-Michel Jarre release the massive retrospective set Planet Jarre - a four disc, 41 track collection - than he announces the release of a new album in just a matter of months.

November sees the releas of Equinoxe Infinity, marking the 40th anniversary of the 1978 release of his original Equinoxe album.

I've always liked Equinoxe, and while it perhaps doesn't get the same level of respect as Oxygene does, it really was the work that confirmed Oxygene was no one-off piece, and that as an artist he had more to offer.  

Given the scale of the impact of Oxygene, and the attention it received again with the later two volumes in the trilogy, it's perhaps understandable that Equinoxe has perhaps been slightly overlooked. Time to put that right.

Oxygene's themes were developed over subsequent decades in the two other volumes, and its legendary status secured.  But if you had to pick two Jarre albums that defined his aesthetic, it would probably be Oxygene and Equinoxe rather than any of the other volumes in the Oxygene trilogy.

The concept of Equinox, of anonymous and ambiguous observers watching over us is one that certainly rings true today. Technology might have advanced, but so do the questions that it provokes. Jarre, as always, ahead of his time.

The new collection features two different covers, one showing a future vision of man in harmony with nature, the other showing a potentially more destructive future.

Equinoxe Infinity is released on CD, vinyl and a deluxe box set on November 16.