Friday, 27 February 2015

Calogero: Drôle d'animal (acoustic)

A tasteful acoustic take on the track Drôle d'animal by Calogero.

Calogero was of course one of the winners at the  Victoires de la Musique 2015 earlier this month, with the song  Un jour au mauvais endroit winning the Best original song category.

Drôle d'animal  comes from his 2007 Pomme C album, a collection that reached number  two in France.

The acoustic clip followed the broadcast of his show at the Trianon in Paris, shown on the Alcaline show on France 2.

New Acts: Carpenter Brut - Anarchy Road

An apocalyptic and cinematic video by Carpenter Brut for the track Anarchy Road.

The music is an epic piece of widescreen electro that features on their EPIII release that came out last month.

Carpenter Brut take electronic music to somewhere darker than it normally goes, influenced by 80s horror movies, retro synths and metal.

In a recent interview he said he was inspired  by Depeche Mode for this track.

Carpenter Brut release their debut album trilogy next month, a triple album on on Neuropa / No Quarter records.

Jeanne Added: Deezer Session

A  new Deezer session by Jeanne Added, coinciding with the release of a new EP.

The session was recorded at the Transmusicales de Rennes festival in December last year, where Jeanne Added played five nights at L'Aire Libre venue.

There are three tracks, A war is coming, It and Miss it all.

Jeanne Added released an EP featuring these three tracks earlier this week, and she's got live dates in March including a show at Le Divan du Monde in Paris on March 26.

Her debut album is expected to be released later in 2015.

Festival: Art Rock at Saint-Brieuc

More details have been confirmed about the acts playing as this year's Art Rock festival in Saint-
Brieuc in May.

Last month saw features Shaka Ponk, Placebo and Izia confirmed, along with some other acts.

A host of other big names have now been included, with The Dø, Lilly Wood and the Prick, Etienne de Crécy and Dominique A added to the bill.

Meanwhile, fresh from her triumph at the Les Victoires de la Musique awards earlier this month, Christine and the Queens are set to perform.

Vive le roq favourites  Moodoïd, Grand Blanc and Yelle are confirmed, as are Acid Arab for a DJ set, and there will be a show by C.A.R.

Previous years have seen acts like Thomas Dutronc,  Yann Tiersen and  Gaëtan Roussel perform, along with acts like The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Klaxons, Pete Doherty and Editors.

As well as music events at venues across the town in the Côtes d'Armor department of Brittany, there are art, dance and theatre events taking place.

Art Rock takes place in May 22, 23 and 24.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

New Acts: Manceau - Full Time job

I was lucky enough to catch a set by Manceau during the Bars en Trans festival in Rennes in
December, and thouroughly enjoyed what I heard.

Manceau released their debut album Life Traffic Jam in 2012, their debut EP On a Mellow Day having emerged in 2010.

The album was met with positive reviews, including a nod from the NME as "An adorable, charming little creature ressembling Polyphonic Spree, Allo Darlin, Mercury Rev, Moldy Peaches and all manner of cutesy indie pop classic."

They finished the recording of their new album at the end of last year, and hopefully it won't be long until we can hear more of this kind of thing.

Sneazzy feat Guillaume Griefjoy - SNZ

An interesting track that combines some of France's cutting edge electro with some of the country's top rap acts.

Sneazzy , sometimes Sneazzy West, is one of the six members of rap act 1995, one of France's foremost hiphop acts.

Meanwhile,  Guillaume Griefjoy is from the four piece act that shares his surname, whose album Griefjoy was released in 2013.

The last release by 1995 was their Paris Sud Minute album from 2013, a  number three album in France.

Sneazzy has a solo album scheduled for later this year.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Fauve: Vieux Frères - Partie 2

A number one album in France this week for the new release by Fauve, the collective knocking M Pokora off the top spot with their new collection.

Last year's Vieux Frères - Partie 1 established the act as one of France's most interesting performers, taking spoken word in a new direction. The new collection Vieux Frères - Partie 2 has been met with even more enthusiasm by the French public.

Fauve are touring in March April and May.  Their live dates include a mini-tour of venues in  Paris, with shows at the Nouveau Casino on March 10, the  Gaîté Lyrique on March 11, Le Bataclan the 12th, L'Olympia the following day, Le Casino de Paris on March 17, Le Trianon the 18th, the Trabendo on the 19th, La Flèche d'Or on March 20, La Maroquinerie on March 21.

They also play on May 26 at the Zénith in Paris.


New Acts: The Same Old band - Done me good

A modern reinvention of heavy psychedelic rock by The Same Old band, and a video for the track
Done me good that emerged at the end of last month.

For all the art house stylings, they're the kind of act fans of bands like Oasis or the Stone Roses can get immediately, experimental and unafraid to take musical chances, but with a deep-rooted understanding of what makes a good song.

The Same Old Band hail from l'Orient and are signed to Last Exit records, the Rennes based label that is also home to Expo and Empire Dust.

They've been around since 2011 and have been in the studio towards the end of last year working on their debut album. If what I've heard so far is any indication, it will certainly be something to look forward to.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

New Acts: Aquila - Paths

Some dreamy indie pop from Aquila, a very fine sounding band with some very distinctive vocals.

The five piece band comes from Chambéry in the Rhône-Alpes region of the south east and have been playing live since 2012.

You can listen to their four track EP can be heard on their soundcloud page

Their music at times touches on jazz, classical, progressive, indie and rock. They are the kind of band that you'll want to hear more of, that's for sure.

They play live at La Bobine in Grenoble on February 28.

Aline: La Vie Electrique.

A new track by vive le roq favourites Aline, with the particularly funky La Vie Electrique.

Last year's album by the band  Regarde le ciel was very much enjoyed around these parts, with songs like Je bois et puis je danse and Elle m'oubliera featuring on this blog.

Prior to then the band went under the name of Young Michelin, releasing a couple of singles and digital tracks before a certain French tyre manufacturer suggested a name change.

The band are from Marseille, and are a four piece led by singer and guitarist Romain Guerre.

The track comes from Aline's new album, also to be entitled La vie électrique, which is due out on June the first.

Aline play at L'Olympia in Paris on February 25.

Tal and Irma: Streets Of Philadelphia

A cover of Bruce Springsteen's Streets Of Philadelphia by French artists Tal and Irma.

The new version of the song comes from a forthcoming collection entitled Les stars font leur cinéma.

Springsteen's song, originally released in 1994 won an Academy Award for Best Original Song as well as a Golden Globe and four Grammies.

It originally featured on the soundtrack of Jonathan Demme's 1993 movie Philadelphia, a film starring Tom Hanks  and Denzel Washington. It was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films dealimng with Aids, and Tom Hanks won the  Academy Award for Best Actor for his role.

The song's previously been covered by a large number of artists, including  Melissa Etheridge, David Gray and Elton John.

This new version features on a forthcoming compilation released to coincide with the 120th anniversary of cinema, and it includes versions of songs from Dirty Dancing, Pretty Wiman, Titanic, Pulp Fiction along with memorable numbers from other films.

Artists involved includeM Pokora,  Maska, Lara Fabian, Amaury Vassili and others.

The album is relased on April 27.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Alexandre Desplat: The Grand Budapest Hotel Academy Award

A much deserved Oscar award last night for Alexandre Desplat for his soundtrack to The Grand Budapest Hotel.

It has to be said that Desplat had a reasonable chance of bringing something home to put on his mantlepiece given that he was nominated for two seperate Best Soundtrack Academy awards.

As well as The Grand Budapest Hotel, he also created the soundtrack for the film The Imitation Game which was also nominated for the Best Soundtrack Academy Award this year.

The Grand Budapest Hote had been nominated or a number of Oscars, but still picked up four in total. The Wes Anderson film  missed out on Best Film and Best Director and best Original Screenplay awards. It also failed to get Best Cinematography and best editing, but won Best Costume design, best production design  and best make up and hair design as well as  Best Soundtrack.

Desplat's no stranger to the Oscars ceremony,  having been nominated six times before.

Previous work that earned him nominations are The Queen (2007), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2009), Fantastic Mr Fox (2010) The King's Speech (2011), Argo (2013) and Philomena (2014).

He has also won three César awards, for The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2006), The Ghost Writer (2011) and Rust and Bone (2013).

He's also worked on some big name Hollywood films in the past, include The Girl with the Pearl Earing (2003), The Golden Compass (2007),  and Zero Dark Thirty (2012) as well as Harry Potter and Twilight movies.

New Acts: My Summer Bee - Lover Lover

One of the bands that attracted some attention at December's Transmusicales festival was My
Summer Bee, who took to the stage of the L'étage venue during the showcase event.

The act who originate from Caen,  have so far released one EP, and are expected to release their next project some time in Spring 2015.

Influenced by UK electropop, the video for the track Lover Lover was released in December 2014.

They played at the Transmusicales festival in Rennes and earlier in 2014 supported Jungle.

So far they've released on EP, with five tracks including three versions of the song Time's Running Out, in November 2013.

They have the track Rosemary available as a  free download from their Facebook page, yours for a simple 'like' of their page.

Booba: Tony Sosa

A new clip for the track Tony Sosa from French rap supremo Booba, coinciding with the announcement of a live date at Bercy in Paris.

The track's a nod to the gangsters of the film Scarface, and it comes ahead of the release of his new album D.U.C, which is due to be released in April.

His last full album was 2012's Future, a collection that was a platinum seller in France, a special edition Futur 2.0 gathering more sales.

More recently the new track OKLM, was released in May last year, 3G in September , Caracas in December and the track Billets Violets emerged in January.

D.U.C. looks set to be one the most eagerly awaited  hip hop albums in France of 2015.

Booba plays at Bercy on December 5 2015 and he's likely to confirm tour dates around France before this show.

Friday, 20 February 2015

New Acts: I Me Mine - Waiting for summer.

Two tracks, a limited seven inch and a video from I Me Mine, featuring the song Waiting for

The band say their influences include Supertramp,  The Beatles  and The Prodigy, but given their name and their obvious love of the music of the 60s, I've Got a Feeling that the band's name lets it be apparent that they Dig The Beatles.

Syd Barrett is one of their heroes, and they takes the 60s psychedelic pop sound into the 21st century. There's certainly a Floydian feel to the Waiting for Summer video, although there's a lot more going on than simply trying to recreate the sounds of several decades ago.

The band have released a couple of EPs so far, the Mono EP in 2012, and Life is Strange in 2013.
Earlier this year they were selected as one of the ten finalists for the Ricard S.A Live Music prize.

Their track Waiting for Summer was released as a limited edition seven inch vinyl,  and the band are currently working in the studio on their debut album. They've also got some live dates in March, April and June.

Skip The Use: Être heureux

A new video by French rockers Skip The Use, the song Être heureux accompanied by images of the  worldwide solidarity demonstrations that took place following the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

The band have just relaesed a live album and DVD, Little Armageddon Tour coming out earlier in February as a 2CD and DVD pack, or as a 2CD set or DVD.

The tour followed the release of the Little Armageddon album, a top 20 album in France, which saw them play arenas and festivals around France.

The band are currently working on a new album, a follow up to Little Armageddon , the collection that featured this song.

Acoustic session: Klô Pelgag

A session on TV5Monde's Acoustic music show by French Canadian singer Klô Pelgag.

Klô Pelgag, known to her friends and family as Chloé Pelletier-Gagnon has been active since 2009, releasing her first EP in 2009.

Her debut album, entitled  L'Alchimie des monstres was realeased in 2013.

The session features the numbers La fièvre des fleurs,  Comme des rames, Le silence épouvantail, Les maladies de coeur and Tunnel.

There are also a couple of brief interviews with the young singer/songwriter on the programme.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

New Acts: Colours In The Street - A Thousand Candles

An epic song with an appropriately big screen video for the track A thousand candles by Colours in
the Street.

The four piece band from Niort have just released their debut album.

Last year saw the release of the Paper Child EP, featuring four tracks and three remixes of the title track which encouraged comparisons to the likes of Coldplay end Two Door  Cinema Club.

They've got some live dates in France next month, including a  show at the Forum des Halles on March 5, and a show in Poitiers on March 19, the city in Vienne close to their Deux-Sevres home town.

Other shows are scheduled for Nantes and Marseilles.

Their debut album Royaume was released earlier this month and it's available from the usual online sources like iTunes,   Spotify  and Deezer.

Awards: Globes de Cristal 2015 shortlist

Another French award ceremony for your diaries, with the shortlist published for the Globes de Cristal 2015 ceremony next month.

It's the tenth anniversary of the award,  which has categories across the world of arts and entertainment, including cinema, theatre, literature, music, television, exhibition  and style.

There are two music shortlists, for best male artist and best female artist.

The male artists are Alain Souchon and Laurent Voulzy for their eponymous release, Black M for Les yeux plus gros que le monde, Calogero for Les feux d'artifice, Johnny Hallyday for Rester Vivant and Kendji Girac for Kendji.

The female list features Brigitte for A bouche que veux-tu, Carla Bruni for A l'Olympia, Christine and the Queens for Chaleur Humaine, Indila for Mini World and Zaz for Paris.

Last year's winners were Ayo and Stromae.

The Globes de Cristal 2015 is held on April 13.

Julie Zenatti: Les amis

A new single by Julie Zenatti, Les Amis, coming out ahead of the release of her new album.

Zenatti first came to prominence for her role as Esmerelda in the stage musical  Notre-Dame de Paris, since then she's gone on to a successful career, with a number of successful albums under her belt.

She's currently best known as a judge in the French version of the X-Factor.

Her most recent release was a live EP of her performing five songs accompanying herself on the piano.

The track comes from the singer's sixth album, entitled Blanc, which is expected to be released in March.

It follows the release of the previous single  D'où je viens, which came out last year.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

New acts: Stokolm

Some very fine indie rock from Brest-based act Stokolm.

The band are poised for the release of their debut album at the end of this month, to be entitled In the Echo Chamber.

Stokolm  have actually been around since 2010, when they released their debut EP entitled Stranded.

The band recruited a new drummer in 2012, and say that since then they have become more electric, more influenced by bands like Joy Division and the National.

Since then a seven inch single Moon/The Tide has been released by the band, in a limited edition that still has some copies available. Check their bandcamp site for details

Echo Chamber is available from February 23.

Festival: Chorus des Hauts de Seine

Details have been announced of some of the acts playing at the Chorus des Hauts de Seine 2015 festival at La Défense, the business district on the outskirts of Paris.

The event runs over ten days,  from March 27 to April 5, but the main events are two weekends of music on the esplanade of La Défense, in the shadow of the skyscrapers.

Each weekend there are free shows and a later show that requires a paid ticket.

Friday March 27 sees Mina Tindle and Dusk Totem play free, while Charlie Winston, Feu Chatterton, Caudou Game, Ayo, Camp Claude, Jambina and Jain play.

Saturday the 28th sees free sows by Sianna de Georgio, while the main show features Joke, Bigflo & Oli, Youssoupha, Joey Starr, DJ Pone, Bagarre, Rejjie Snow, Coely, Cut Killer and Nathy Boss.

The sunday features free gigs by Jeanne Added and Guillaume Perret, while Shaka Ponk, Anakronic, Lizzo and Bombay play the main stage.

Friday April the third includes free shows by Songhoy Blues, Push Up and Klarence Vertigo. You'll have to buty tickets for La Roux, Joycut, La Mamie's, Alo Wala and Verveine.

Saturday the fourth has a free show featuring The Amazing Keystone Jazz Big Band, Rich Aucoin and Encore. Tickets are available for Rone, Thylacine, Skip & Die, Chassol, Yuksek, Kate Tempest  and Den Sorte Skole.

The final day has a free show featuring The Joe's , and ticketed show featuring  Biga Ranx, Asian Dub Foundation, Clinton Fearon and Pierre Kwenders.

Between the two weekends, other acts play at La Défense, and elsewhere in the towns of Hauts de Seine, and there are some big names involved there too.

Grand Corps Malade plays on March 27, Miossec on March 29 at Colombes and Cats on Trees at Chatenay-Malabry.

Izia: La Vague

A new single with a clip by Izia, revealing a new musical direction for the singer.

The new track, La Vague, comes from her fourthcoming third album and it sees her with a surprisingly pop and dance style a singer much more associated with a rock sound.

She commented on her Facebook page: "I saw that many of you are surprised, even confused with a view to the new direction The next album but know that i made it all with a huge sincerity.

"These new choices are mine, nobody other than a deep desire  pushed me to change  course and I am extremely proud to present my work.

"I love more than anything my first albums, and most importantly, I loved to share with you live."

Izia released her eponymous debut album in 2009, and followed it with 2011's So much trouble.
Along the way she's picked up three Victoires de la musique awards.

Recent years have seen her move into cinema, a move that has seen her nominated for a César award later this month in the 'best supporting actress' category for her part in the film Samba. She already won a César in 2013 in the best female newcomer category for the film Mauvaise fille.

The song Hey emerged online earlier this month as a teaser for the album.

Izia's new album is released on April 13, and she wll be undertaking a tour to coincide woith the new CD, with a show at Le Trianon in Paris on May 5.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Dø: Deezer session

A classy Deezer session by The Dø, giving an up close view of the band performing live.

The Dø of course have just won a Victoires de la Musique award last week for their 2014 album Shake Shook Shaken, which took the Best rock album prize.

The session features the tracks A mess like this, Anita No! and Keep your lips sealed.

The Dø are touring at the moment,and play in London at Koko on Marcc 19 and in Paris at the Zénith on March 27


Kyo: Poupées russes

A new video for the track Poupées russes by French rock band Kyo.

It's the third track to have been taked from the 2014 L'équilibre album, a collection that marked the comeback by the band.

The four piece originally released their self-titled debut in 2000, it's 2003 follow up Le Chemin reaching number two in the French charts and selling over 1.5 million copies.

They won three Victoires de la musique awards the following year, along with four NRJ Music Awards inclluding Best French song, Best French Album and Best French Band.

Their 2004 album 300 lésions was a number one in France, before the band announced they were taking an indefininte break in 2005.

Singer Benoît Poher and guitarist Florian Dubos  continued to play together in the band  Empyr, Kyo confirming that they wouold get back together in 2013, releasing L'équilibre last year.

The album reached number two in the charts following its release in March, the tracks Le Graal and L'Équilibre being released as singles.

they've beenm touring since autumn last year, and are coming to the end of their tour.

Monday, 16 February 2015

New Acts: Sunday Night Syndrome - Ahead

A freshly released track with a video by the band Sunday Night Syndrome.

Sunday Night Syndrome are a pop/electro act from Lyon, featuring Clément Dumas & Jonathan Maurin.

The new song, Ahead , is their first release and it came out at the end of last week. It's a strong debut and if it's anything to go by, they'll be worth keeping an eye on.

Vocals on this track are provided by  Elyne Schielke.

If you like what you hear, you can download the track free from the band's Bandcamp page.

Les Victoires de la Musique 2015: Who won what

A brief look back at who won what at the Victoires de la Musique 2015 on Friday, and equally a look
back at where I thought the honours might have gone.

For all it's easy to criticise award ceremonies as glossy events that don't really reflect the reality of the music scene, they certainly give acts a platform that they might not otherwise have, and bring a massive potential audience to them.

With awards for Cascadeur and The Dø , as well as Christine and the Queens this year, it was a ceremony that saw some well-deserving acts get appropriate recognition.

Nice again to see much of the video available to watch internationally.

Male artist: Julien Doré
Thought that this would have gone to Johnny Hallyday, although I said "Personally I think Julien Doré might deserve it" So nice to see this.

Julien Doré – « Chou Wasabi » Victoires de la... by france2

Female artist: Christine and the Queens
As I predicted, saying "hopefully one of several much-deserved awards" It's been an extraordinary year for Christine, hard to believe the impact that her debut album has had.

Christine & The Queens – « Christine... by france2

Breakthrough album: Indila - Mini World
Again, predicted right. Would have been nice if it went to The Dø , but not surprised it went to this massive selling act.

Indila – « Dernière danse » Victoires de la... by france2

Breakthrough act or artist: Benjamin Clémentine
Called this right, with a "Certainly deserves to win this. " Clémentine is an extraordinary artist who'll certainly go on to be a massive star.

Benjamin Clémentine – « Nemesis » Victoires de... by france2

Best chanson album: Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy - Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy
Predicted this one, and despite what was probably a close fight I said "I think this might go to the old guard though."

Alain Souchon et Laurent Voulzy – « Derrière... by france2

Best rock album: The Dø Shake, Shook Shaken
Though this would go to Shaka Ponk - The White Pixel Ape as they were the more commercial act, but did say: "I thing The Dø would be worthy winners, even though they might not be 'rock'; enough for many folk." So delighted by the result

The Do - Despair, hangover and extasy by rtl-fr

Best urban album: Akhenaton - Je suis en vie
Went for Black M - Les yeux plus gros que le monde, on account of its massive success, but the Akhenaton album probably had more hip hop credibility.

Akhenaton – « Souris, encore » Victoires de la... by france2

Best world music album:  Rivière noire - Rivière noire
Called this one right.

Best electronic album: Cascadeur - Ghost surfer
Had hoped for Yelle - Complètement fou here, but was right to say it wouldn't go to Guetta.  A well deserved winner.

Cascadeur – « Ghost Surfer » Victoires de la... by france2

Best original song: Un jour au mauvias Endroit - Calogero
Had gone for Black M - Sur ma route, but this was always going to be one of the most difficult categories to call.

Calogero – « Un jour au mauvais endroit... by france2

Show, concert or tour:  Stromae
Thought this would have been another for Christine and the Queens, but the Stromae juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down.

Stromae – « Carmen » Victoires de la Musique 2015 by france2

Best video: Christine and the Queens - Saint Claude
Called this one right with a "Of the shortlisted videos, probably the one that stands out. "

So seven out of twelve. A pass, including getting Best Female artist, breakthrough acts and album and Best chanson album and best video.

Turzi: Condor (Moodoid remix)

A tasteful new remix by Moodoid of the track Condor by Turzi.

Romain Turzi from Versailles is behind Turzi, and like Moodoid they cross the borders between electronica, psychedelia and the likes of Krautrock with ease.

They've released two albums so far, their debut album in 2007 entitled A , its 2009 follow-up B featuring an appearance by Bobby Gillespie.

Along the way they've remixed the likes of Kavinsky, Phoenix and Sebastien Tellier.

The Moodoid remix is one of several versions of the track that appear on a new EP that is released today.

Their new album, C, is expected to be released on March 16.


Friday, 13 February 2015

Victoires de la Musique 2015: Who might win

Tonight sees the Victoires de la Musique unfold in Paris, so I thought  a list of who I thought might
win would be in order.

It's not necessarily who I'd like to win in each category, just who I think might swing it.

I reckon it will be a big year for Christine and the Queens, but we'lls ee how it goes.

Male artist
Johnny Hallyday

A strong year for Johnny with the release of Rester vivant and live shows. Personally I think Julien Doré might deserve it but I reckon they'll give this to Jojo.

Female artist
Christine and the Queens

Outstanding year for Christine, hopefully one of several much-deserved awards

Breakthrough album
Indila - Mini World

Massive selling album by an artist who could go on to international success. Would personally prefer The Dø to take this one, but I think they'll got for the more commercial act

Breakthrough act or artist
Benjamin Clémentine

Certainly deserves to win this. 

Best chanson album
Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy - Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy

Close to call this one, Christine and Calogero are both serious contenders. I think this might go to the old guard though.

Best rock album 
Shaka Ponk - The White Pixel Ape

Again, I think this will go to the more commercially successful act, again I thing The Dø would be worthy winners, even though they might not be 'rock'; enough for many folk.

Best urban album
Black M - Les yeux plus gros que le monde

Rap album with Sexion d'assaut credentials, but with massive crossover popularity.

Best world music album 
Rivière noire - Rivière noire

Best electronic album
Yelle - Complètement fou

Fingers crossed. Guetta might be the obvious one here, being such a big seller, but hopefully Yelle will get what they deserve.

Best original song
Black M - Sur ma route

Another one that's very close to call. All four songs here are impressive. Hip hop is massively popular and this is a hugely likable track that went well beyond his own (massive) fanbase.

Show, concert or tour
Christine and the Queens

Probably Christine's year at the Victoires. 

Best video
Christine and the Queens - Saint Claude

Of the shortlisted videos, probably the one that stands out. 

Black M: On s'fait du mal

A new clip by Black M, for the track On s'fait du mal, one of the new tracks on the special edition of
his album Les yeux plus gros que le monde.

The new edition of the collection, which originally came out in November last year, sees eight bonus tracks.

Les yeux plus gros que le monde originally came out in March, reaching number two in the French album charts. The deluxe edition, with the title Le monde plus gros que mes yeux alsom included the single Je garde le sourire.

The original album's already provided a major hit with the track Sur ma Route, a number r one single in France for Black M.

The Sexion d'assaut rapper is just about to embark on a tour of France's Zénith arenas with some of his Wati B labelmates.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Victoires de la Musique: Best clip shortlist

A short list of three videos for the Victoires de la Musique best clip award this year, so I thought a look at the three videos in question was worthwhile so we could have a more detailed  look and compare the finalists.

Indila - Dernière danse

Probably the biggest commercial success of the three songs shortlisted, with this single making it to number two in the French singles chart in 2013. It also made the top of the charts in several other European countries.

It was the first single from her Mini World debut album, a massive selling collection that reached number one in France following its release in February 2014.

The video has so far had almost 175 million views on YouTube

The Dø - Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy

Although perhaps the outsider in terms of commercial success compared to the other two clips, there is much to like about The Dø.

It was the third single from their Shake Shook Shaken collection,  a top ten album in France

Christine and the Queens - Saint Claude

Saint Claude comes from Christine and the Queens's 2014 Chaleur Humaine album , which reached the top five in France.

Saint Claude was the second single from the album, reaching the top five.  Of the three videos, it's probably the most striking.

It's had almost 5.5 million views on YouTube.

Who do I think will win? Probably Christine and the Queens. Who would I like to win? Probably The Dø.

We will find out on Friday.

Julien Doré: LØVE LIVE

A new live collection has been released by Julien Doré, documenting his tour that followed the release of his 2013 LØVE album.

That album spawned the hit singles Chou wasabi and Paris-Seychelles and went on to sell over 200,000 copies.

An extensive tour followed, and the show at the Bikini in Toulose in 19 juin 2014 has now been released as a CD and DVD, the new collection being somewhat aptly entitled LØVE LIVE.

Doré is of course a previous winner of the Nouvelle Star TV series, coming first in 2007. Since then he's developed into one of France's most interesting artist

If you like what you see and hear, Doré is playing live over the next few months in France and Switzerland.

Doré plays Le Grand Rex in Paris on March 4, and returns to play at the Zênith on April 11.

Before then though he is set to perform at the Victoires de la musique awards on February 13.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine: Acoustic session

A session by Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine for Acoustic, the music programme on TV5Monde.

Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine has had a long career since the late 1970s as a songer-songwiter, from his 1978 debut Tout corps vivant branché sur le secteur étant appelé à s'émouvoir, a collection with a typically lengthy title.

His most recent album was 2014's Stratégie de l'inespoir album, some of the titles from that album are performed during the session

Songs in this session included Stratégie de l'inespoir, Fenêtre sur désert,    Angélus, a French cover of the Cat Stevens song Father and Son, retitled Père et fils and La Ruelle des morts.

There are also brief interviews with Thiéfaine by presenter Sébastien Folin.

Baden Baden: Virgin Radio session

A new album has been  released this week by Baden Baden, and a great live session by Virgin Radio
features the band playing up close.

The track Hivers comes from the album Mille éclairs, a collection that features their two previous singles J'ai plongé dans le bruit and A tes côtés.

Amazing to see a band with only three members make such a full sound in such a small place.

By rights they should be filling the largest concert halls, and I'm sure that can only be a matter of time.

Meanwhile, the band are touring and play at the café de la danse in Paris on March 25.

Simon Nogueira: How I See Paris

It's always fun to watch a Parkour video, especially when it gives an entirely new perspective to  Paris.

This video features Simon Noguei on the rooftops around Place d'Italie, and it's appropriately breathtaking.

 While the GoPro footage - Noguei apparently held the camera in his teeth - becomes dizzying after a while, the final shots are quite simply stunning.

The video's been online for just over a month, and it certainly deserves to be seen by more people.

Music for the video is by hiphop/electro act Dooz Kawa, with the track Utopistes debout, a track from their Narcozik #1 EP from 2013.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Hindi Zahra: Any story

A new single by Hindi Zahra, with the track Any story.

Zahra's first album Handmade was released on Jazz label Blue Note in 2010, reaching the top 20 in France.

The album won the  Prix Constantin for Best Album in 2010, and went on to win the  Victoires de la Musique award for the best World music album the following year.

A special edition of her debut album, featuring unreleased songs, was released in 2011.

Her new album is expected to be released on April 15

She's touring to support the release of the album with dates in Istanbul and a few in France, including a show at La Cigale in Paris on May 20.

Father John Misty: Blogothèque session

Not a French artist by any means, but a tastefully made-in-France session by Father John Misty filmed in a Paris restaurant.

The song I went to the store one day comes from the second album by former Fleet Foxes member Joshua Tillman under his Father John Misty nom de plume, entitled I Love You, Honeybear.

Tillman's has had a low-key solo career since 2004, releasing his debut  and its follow-up himself.

His 2006 Minor Works collection was his first to be available commercially, his two earlier works getting a subsequent proper release as well.

From 2008 - 2012 he played drums with Fleet Foxes, although continuing to release solo work.

In 2012 he released his first album as Father John Misty, entitled Fear Fun, on Sub Pop records.  I Love You, Honeybear was released earlier this week.

The session was recorded at Le Bon Georges restaurant, on Rue St George in the 9th arrondisement of Paris.

It certainly provides a tasteful backdrop for this session.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Brigitte: J'sais pas

A new video by Brigitte, for the track J'sais pas.

Very much a 70s disco feel to the tune from Sylvie Hoarau and Aurélie Saada, experts in exploring and exploiting French retro kitsch that they are.

The track comes from their A bouche que veux-tu album, which was released last year. t's their third album, their 2011 debut  Et vous, tu m'aimes ? selling over 200 000 copies.

The new video, directed by Aurélie Saada, follows one for the track À bouche que veux-tu that was also directed by Saada.

Brigitte are touring extensively in France in coming months, with shows in Spain, Belgium and Switzerland.

They play two nights at L'Olympia in Paris on May 5 and May 6. They've got some festival dates over the summer including the Solidays festival on June 27 before undertaking a tour of France's bigger venues in November, including the Zénith in Paris on November 21.


The Dø: Keep Your Lips Sealed (remix)

A new remix of the track  Keep Your Lips Sealed by The Dø, as the pair release their Shake Shook Shaken album in the USA and in the UK at the end of last month.

The album, the third by Olivia Merilahti and Dan Levy, came out in France towards the end of 2014, with the original version of Keep Your Lips Sealed ahead of it.

It's quite a radical remix, particularly with the rap by US rapper Goldie Slim.

The album reached the top ten in France, and they have three nominations for this year's victoires de la musique awards, best rock album of the year, best female artist (?) and best video for the track Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy.

Club Cheval have previously remixed the likes of Usher, Rihanna and Nero, as well as Vitalic and Birdy Nam Nam.

The Dø play at Koko in London on March 19


2015 Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards unfolded in Los Angeles last night, and while there was no repeat of Daft
Punk's sweeping victory last year for French artists, there was at least one French artist on the list, and a French flavour for another.

Alexandre Desplat picked up the award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for the soundtrack of The Grand Budapest Hotel.

There was one award interesting award, with a Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella  award for Texas vocal group Pentatonix for a track entitled Daft Punk, a work that pays tribute to the French duo.

Meanwhile Daft Punk associate Pharrell Williams took home a prize for Best Pop Solo Performance for Happy and Best Urban Contemporary Album for his album Girl. He also took home the Best Music Video award for Happy.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Playlist: Paradis

I featured Paradis on the blog just over a week ago, with the track Sur Une Chanson En Français, and though that further investigation was called for.

Here's a playlist they put together for Brain magazine a couple of weeks ago, giving a pretty good picture of their outlook.

Some crate-digging undertaken by the pair has brought together some house, electronic and techno, perfect listening for a weekend afternoon.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Luce: Polka

A new single and clip by the singer Luce entitled Polka.

Luce, Lucie Brunet to give her full name,  was one of the artists who originally came from the Nouvelle Star TV show, winning  through the 2010 season of the programme

The Perpignan born singer , performed songs by France Gall, Dutronc and Édith Piaf in the rounds of the show, along with songs by Tina Turner, Christina Aguilera and The Mamas and the Papas.

She performed Brel's Ne me quitte pas and -M-'s Je dis aime in the final.

She released her first album, Première Phalange, in 2011, reaching number 11 in the French charts.

Polka is a quirky and likeable number, not a million miles away from the likes of Zaz, with an appropriately charming video.

The song features on her album, entitles Chaud, which is expected to be released on February 23.

Festival: Solidays 2015

Another summer festival unveils its line up, and today it's the turn of Solidays.

Solidays is a three-day  event on June 26 - 28 at the Longchamp Racecourse in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris.

For their 17th festival, organisers have announced the nine first  acts including Brigitte and The Avener.

Also there are  Franco-American folk act  Moriarty  and  Israeli s folk rocker Asaf Avidan, along with Damian Marley and Zoufris Maraca.

Solidays, while a massive music fesival welcoming over 150,000 fans, is also an event that focuses attention and funds to organisations fighting Aids.

Last year, the event was orgainsed under the theme The Fight Must Go On, in homage to Nelson Mandela, and featured the likes of Fauve,  Shaka Ponk,  Christine and The Queens, Vanessa Paradis and Woodkid.

Tickets for Solidays 2015 go on sale on Monday.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Carl Barât Culturethèque interview

Nice to see a brief interview with Libertines legend Carl Barât talking about his French favourites.

He namechecks Brel, Dumas and Méliès, and discussed his working with Vanessa Paradis and Benjamin Biolay.

Barât  featured on the title track of Biolay's 2012 Vengeance album and on the track The Dark, It Comes from Paradis's 2013 Love Song album.

The interview was done by the good people at the Culturethèque French cultural website, who also posted an interview with Barât's fellow Libertine Pete Doherty in September last year.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Dead: Nøthing 03

A track by Dead, the Rennes-based band I've featured a couple of times on this blog has emerged on a new compilation by music/art collective nøthing.

The 20 tracks feature Side Effects (FUTURE Remix) by Dead , alongside work by the likes of Soft Blonde,  Dead Horse One and Marble Arch.

Music from the more experimental end of the indie/rock spectrum dominates, from psychedelic to more noise influenced, there's quite a variety of styles and Dead sound in good company.

The other bands involved are French, so I'll be featuring a few more of them here in the future before too long I'm sure.

Dead, meanwhile, play Paris on February 20 and open for The Ex in Caen on March 19.


Editorial: February 2015

Another month older, and the Vive le Roq French music blog has embraced 2015 with a vengeance.

February sees award season in full effect, with the Oscars, Césars and  Victoires de la musique, and a number of interesting releases over coming weeks.

We'll be takinga  careful watch over these events as well as everything else that's goingon.

Our features on new acts last month was well worth doing,  and hopefully provides a platform for musicians who might struggle to get a mention in the anglophone press.

As always, I can be contacted on 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 get in touch.

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

Thanks as always  to the good people at the French Music Office in London and to the Institut francais in London for their help and encouragement.

Merci et à bientôt

John K