Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Sébastien Tellier: L'Adulte

Details emerge of the new Sébastien Tellier album, with a video for the track L'Adulte.

There's a strongly Brazilian flavour to the work, and with the eyes of the world on the country for the World Cup this summer that's probably not a bad idea.

Sébastien Tellier's last album was Confection, realeased on 2013, which featured the track L'amour naissant. Much as I enjoyed the album, I thought it was a little disappointing follow-up to My God Is Blue, still my favourite work by Tellier.

This new video was preceded by the track Ma Calypso,  which came out at the beginning of March.

Tellier's new album, his sixth, is a ten track affair entitled L’Aventura comes out on Because Music on July 14 internationally.

Tellier has just announced a series of dates across France in October.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Cascadeur: Acoustic

Another edition of the TV5 Monde music show Acoustic at the weekend, and a particularly strong edition of
the program with a session by Cascadeur.

Songs included Walker, from his last album The Human Octopus, and Ghost Surfer from his most recent release of the same name that came out earlier this year.

There's something very surreal about seeing him performing in full crash helmet.  Somehow you presume the "masked performer" is the reserve of the metal/rock scene, whether Slipknot, Kiss or Alice Cooper.

It certainly adds a stange and otherworldly quality to his rather sensitive piano-driven work.

The helmet and the Mexican wrestler masks suggest something confrontational and aggressive, it couldn't be more of a illusion.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Fauve: Infirmiere

A clip that's been around for just over a week by the mighty Fauve, for the track Infirmiere.

It comes from the collective's debut Vieux frères - Partie 1 which was released in February.

I liked the album, although I have to admit it didn't hit me with the impact that I maybe expected it would, but I have to say it has grown on me and this track is a perfect example of that.

It might not have the drama of some of their earlier songs, but it has a haunting and haunted quality, reminding me more of the likes of Arab Strap.

 It has a similar melancholy and humanity and while I was initially a bit suspicious of their positioning themselves as a 'collective' and a 'spoken word' act, thinking it as a way to present rap without the hip hop stylings, I get the feeling that they're actually being more honest and direct in their approach rather than fulfilling genre expectations.

They've got a huge number of festival dates over the summer all over France and they release Vieux frères - Partie 2 later this year.

Shaka Ponk: Deezer session

A live session by French rockers Shaka Ponk for Deezer, showcasing one of the country's most exciting live

The session features four tracks, Black Listed,   Wanna Get Free , Lucky Girl  and On The Road.

I love these sessions, presenting the acts up close and personal. It feels less showbiz and more about the music. Like being a guest at a particularly well-lit and nicely filmed practice session.

It follows the release of their The White Pixel Ape album last month, the album featuring the singles Lucky G1rl and Wanna Get Free.

Shaka Ponk hit serious success with their previous album he Geeks and the Jerkin' Socks, which even this year saw them win the best music DVD award at February's Victoires de la Musique awards, for the Geeks on Stage collection, which featured their show at Bercy in Paris during the band's tour that followed their last album.

The band are playing live extensively this year, with three nights at the Zénith in Paris at the beginning of June, festival dates across the country and beyond over the summer, and a show at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy in November.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

David Guetta with Showtek feat. Vassy: Bad

Another track by David Guetta, from his forthcoming sixth album.

The track Bad features Showtek feat. Vassy and is very much a dancefloor friendly track.

 Almost inevitably it will be a massive seller, the French DJ having dominated radio, clubs and TV for the last few years.

Nothing But The Beat, his previous album from 2011 spawned the hits Titanium, Turn me on, Sweat, Where them Girls At along with Play Hard and Little Bad Girl.

It saw several re-issues  with extra tracks and made number one in France, number 2 in the UK and number one in the US Dance/electronic chart.

His last song Shot Me Down , which featured Skylar Grey on vocals saw that the DJ build on his achievements with Nothing but the Beat

Guetta's new album is expected before the end of the year.

David Guetta & Showtek feat. Vassy - Bad... by NteamMusic

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Cheveu: Johnny Hurry Up

A classy video for the track Johnny Hurry Up by Cheveu.

The track comes from the band's album Bum, released earlier this year. I suspect the title refers more to the American English meaning of the word.

It's the band's third album release, with their debut having come out in 2008.

The three piece mine a rich seam of outsider rock, as difficult to categorise as it is imaginative, where the likes of Ween or Butthole Surfers hang out.

There's a lot going on here, psychedelic, lo-fi and indie but served with a side order of class. Their album deserves your attention.

They are on Born Bad Records, which is also home to La Femme and Wall of Death, two acts that are no strangers to this blog.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Jeanne Cherhal: Acoustic

French weekly music show Acoustic is great at makings its content available on YouTube and allowing it to
be shared internationally, so I'm happy to be able to pass it on via this blog.

There is regularly material worth catching, and it's a great opportunity for French artists to get access to a wider international TV audience.

Jeanne Cherhal is a singer-songwriter originally from Nantes, who released a self-titled debut in 2002, her second album Douze fois par an establishing her in France after it hit the top 20.

In 2005 she won the Revelation of the year award at the Victoires de la Musique.

 Her 2006 album L'Eau reached the top ten.

The performance features the songs J'ai faim,  L'échappé  Quand c'est non c'est non, Noxolo  and Femme debout, as well as a brief interview.

It follows the recent release of her album Histoire de J, a collection inspired by French chanson of the 1970s, which reached the top 20 in France

Acoustic is available to watch internationally on TV5 Monde.

Superets: Veuve Mécanique

A great new song and video by Superets for the track Veuve Mécanique.

This track is every bit as catchy as its predecessor 160 caractères pour te dire adieu, and like its predecessor shows French language pop in a healthy state.

When I last wrote about Superets, I said that I was looking forward to hearing more by them this year, and this new track certainly lives up to expectations.

It's clever, catchy and doesn't take itself too seriously.

Superets were one of the live highlights for me last year, catching them at the Rencontres Trans Musicales in Rennes in December, and their live adventures have continued this year, with a set in Paris to mark Disquaire Day on Saturday.

They play at the Prentemps de Bourges event on April 25, and have dates around France in May.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Coeur de pirate: Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais

A great cover of the Serge Gainsbourg classic by Coeur de Pirate.

There's a strong argument that Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais was Gainsbourg's last really great song. I don't know if I'd totally agree, but it's certainly possible. It is an outstanding piece of work.

The interpretation by Coeur de Pirate shows how well Gainsbourg's work stands up to the test of time, and how different artists can add their own style to his work, bringing out both something new in the original song and bringing out something in the artist too.

One thing that I love about Gainsbourg is that despite listening to his music for decades now there still seems to be much still  to discover. He covered  so much ground in his career that there are all kinds of interesting areas that I'm still finding out about. His films, his soundtracks, his acting...before we even get to the dusty corners of his discography.

Coeur de Pirate's most recent release was a soundtrack collection for the Canadian TV series trauma earlier this year, an album of cover versions of songs by the likes of The Rolling Stones, Tom Waites and Amy Winehouse.

Her 2011 album Blonde reached the top five in France.

More recently she's composed the soundtrack for a video game entitled Child of Light, her second major release in what look set to be a busy year for her.

This video's been around since 2011, I'm just surprised I've not heard it before but sometimes with the best will in the world and an open pair of ears I miss out on hearing some great material when it first appears.

 No excuses now, this deserves a listen.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Review: Sudden Death of Stars - All Unrevealed Parts Of The Unknown

I've been a fan of Sudden Death of Stars since I caught their debut album Getting Up, Going Down and it
was a real pleasure to catch them live in December in Rennes last year, one of the (many) highlights of the visit to the city during the Transmusicales and Bars en Trans events.

It doesn't get much better than a great band in a packed venue in front of a local crowd.

So I was looking forward to their new release, All Unrevealed Parts Of The Unknown, which came out last month on Ample Play Records. Although when you look forward to a release there's always a bit of a worry that it doesn't quite live up to expectations.

But no worries here, this collection hits the spot and more.

The Void opens with a languid early Pink Floyd feel, all sitars and wide spaces, but the's a more muscular garage vibe to other tracks.

It's a psychedelic collection for sure, but Sudden Death of Stars don't get too hung up on recreating the past.
Nor are they too worried about whether or not it's what the 2014 hipster feels they should be listening too either. It's playful and fun, exactly like it should be.

All Unrevealed Parts Of The Unknown stand as a colourful and imaginative work of any time, whether in the West Coast of the USA in 1965 or on the West Coast of France in 2015.

Time to get an order in for a copy on vinyl.

Fingers crossed that their next one is a double or triple vinyl full-on concept album.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Coeur de Pirate:

Some new music from Coeur de Pirate, just a matter of months since her last album.

The Canadian singer, known to her friends as Béatrice Martin, released a collection of covers on the album Trauma, a sountrack for the firth season of the Canadian TV series.

She's now composed the music for  a new video game, entitled Child of Light, to be released at the end of the month by digital entertainment giant Ubisoft.

Child of Light is a role playing video game based on fairy tales, and Coeur de Pirate's music is based principally on piano with orchestra backing.

It's a very different release to her earlier release this year.

Trauma included covers of songs by Bill Withers (Ain't no sushine), Lee Hazlewood (Summer wine), Amy Winehouse (You know I'm no good) and the Rolling Stones (Dead Flowers) Previous serieses of the show featured covers by acts from Quebec including Martha Wainwright, Ariane Moffatt and the Pascale Picard Band.

Coeur de Pirate's 2011 album Blonde reached the top five in France and featured the track Place de la République.

Looks like 2014 will be a busy year for her.

Cats on Trees: Jimmy

A new video by Cats on Trees, with the song Jimmy getting a clip to support its release as a single.

Unfortunately I can't find a version that plays internationally yet, so until then I've added  a performance version of the song.

It comes from their eponymous debut album which was released in October last year.

The band, a duo of Nina Goern and Yohan Hennequin were previously behind the single Siren's Call, one of last year's most memorable tracks.

The new single, like Siren's Call, will no doubt also worm into your conscience and soundtrack your dreams for months.

The song was performed at this year's Victoires de la musique awards ceremony in February, introducing the act to a huge audience.

If there's any justice 2014 should be the year that Cats on Trees become huge.

They play a sold-out show at La Cigale in Paris on May 6, and are playing at the Trianon on November 6.  Before then they're playing at a number of festivals around France over the summer.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains: Live at the Gaîté Lyrique

Need some live Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains? Who doesn't!

Nice to see the Franco/German TV Channel capturing their show at the Gaîté Lyrique on April 9 and making it available to watch online.

I love their Piano Ombre album, and for those who haven't seen them they're a compelling live act, as the footage shows.

Also nice to see a band who, while not perhaps the biggest draw in the music world, getting this type of exposure.

I'm pretty sure this year we'll see Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains become the breakthrough Francophone act for the anglophone audience. Fingers crossed, they certainly deserve it.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Stromae: Tous les Memes (Aeroplane remix)

A new version of the Stromae hit Tous les mêmes has emerged, in a  new form remixed by Belgian DJ

The original version featured on Stromae's Racine Carrée collection, probably the most successful album in France last year in both commercial and critical terms.

It was a number one single in France, its video showing Stromae at times as a woman complaining about the men in the female Stromae's life.

Stromae announced the remix by saying on Twitter "What an honor to be remixed by @VitoAeroplane"

Aeroplane, known to family and friends as Vito de Luca, has previosuly remixed the likes of Grace Jones, Friendly Fires, Cassius and We Were Evergreen.

It certainly adds a new level to the track.

Yuksek: Spider man Evian advert

A new advert for French mineral water Evian, continuing the 'live young' theme that they've been running over the past few years.

This time they've taken Spider Man and a young doppelganger to advertise the apparent rejuvenating properties of the water.

The tune is a remix of Here Comes The Hotstepper by Yuksek,  continuing the brand's relationship with French musicians that previously saw them feature a version of the Tom Tom Club track Wordy Rapping Hood by DJ Mehdi and Uffy.

The song was originally a hit for Jamaican reggae artist Ini Kamoze in 1994.

Evian used the tune in a  previous campaign last year, as featured on this blog  previously

The original song has featured in advertising campaigns a few times over the years, so no reason why the Yuksek version shouldn't do the same.

Détroit: Horizon

A new clip for the band Détroit, and this time its the title track (almost) from their debut album Horizons.

The song Horizon follows the track Le creux de ta main as the fourth track from the collection that came out in November last year by Bertrand Cantat and Pascal Humbert.

If there was an initial suspicion that the duo was little more than a brief project for Cantat, their subsequent single releases and touring schedule seems to suggest that Détroit intend to be a permanent fixture.

Détroit are playing live extensively this year, with the first round of shows beginning next week culminating in five sold-out shows at La Cigale in Paris in June.

They've also got three nights at the Olympia in Paris in October and a show at the Zénith in Paris in December amongst their forthcoming shows.

The new video gives a flavour of the band live, and if it is anything to go by the tour might be one of the most interesting of 2014.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Bon anniversaire Serge Gainsbourg

Today would have been Serge Gainsbourg's birthday, the man who for many embodies French music was
born on April 2 1982.

He would have been been 86

Many decades have passed since then, and many have passed since his death, but his legacy remains undiminished.

In 1958 Serge made his first appearance in French TV with the song Le Poinçonneur des Lilas.

It's amazing to think that a song that would still stand up as a classic so many years later was in fact his first solo success.

For an artist who initially found fame with a song about a metro ticket collector, the fact that decades later he is set to have a Paris metro station named after him is another posthumous chapter of his Vie Héroique.

Picture by Claude Truong-Ngoc.

Le Vasco: Les Indiens

A new video for the track Les Indiens by Le Vasco, one of the most promising acts in France at the

The track features on their Passion Things release that was released in December last year. The seven track collection is available as a free download. 

Their track In Your Dreams featured on a  recent compilation CD by Les InRocks Lab, which for which they selected 18 of the best new acts from 2013.

Le Vasco are one of the acts that are taking electronic music somewhere interesting and 2014 will hopefully be a year that sees the gather the critical and commercial recognition that they deserve.

There are many electronic-based bands that are reaping the rewards from unimaginative work that sin

Le Vasco are one of the many French acts to play at the Great Escape festival in Brighton next month. I'll write more extensively about that later this month.

Le Vasco have been touring extensively in France, and have been playing dates with Fauve, which would have been a great evening's entertainment for sure.

Editorial: April 2014

A new month here at Vive le Roq and everywhere else, March having been another fine month for traffic and number of posts I've managed to get online.

I'm always struggling to find the time to write about the majority of the great material I get the opportunity to hear when I'm putting this blog together, but do my best. To those deserving of coverage here who I have not been able to cover, it's not that I'm unwilling or ungrateful, just doing my best with what I have to work with.

But with that being said, we're doing better than ever in terms of the number of posts and the number of visitors, and while not a record month like March was for traffic, it's continued to grow.

There were some strong releases last month, with the likes of Francois and the Atlas Mountains an early contender for album of the year, and more material coming out over  the next few weeks worth a mention here.

I've managed to be reasonably regular with the longer weekend review pieces, and hopefully I'll continue this. I'll be away for a break over Easter, but hopefully I'll have a few pre-written pieces on the site to keep things  ticking over.

As always, I can be contacted on johnkilbrideAThotmailDOTcom, with the appropriate punctuation where you'd expect it to be.

We're also on Twitter as @viveleroq or you can find me at @karnag

Thanks again to the French Music Office in London and to the Institut francais in London for their help and encouragement  and also to the various record companies and promoters who have helped.

Merci et à bientôt

John K