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.