french posts

Fredrika Stahl

Monday, December 21st, 2009 by Julija

jazz // pop // chanson

The repertoire of Swedish singer-songwriter Fredrika Stahl consists of elegant jazz compositions and dreamy vocal textures. “Monumental Mismatch”, the opening track of Tributaries (2008), possesses this certain element of playfulness and simplicity that works so well with Fredrika’s flirtatious jazz approach. Accompanied by accordion and delicate piano arrangements, lyrical “Pourquoi Pas Moi” is a true homage to French chanson, while her yearning vocals bring to mind the critically acclaimed Lisa Ekdahl.

Gentle jazz for a wintry afternoon.
Fredrika Stahl – Monumental Mismatch
Fredrika Stahl – Pourquoi Pas Moi
+ Purchase/Visit

Caravan Palace

Saturday, November 7th, 2009 by Paul Irish

electro swing // gypsy django party

If you can judge a group by its influences, try these out: Django Reinhardt, Vitalic, Cab Calloway, Justice, Lionel Hampton, Daft Punk, Billie Holiday. The Paris-based group has been touring since they broke out at the Django Reinhardt Jazz Festival in 2007. They deliver an old gypsy swing, but through a very accessible and fresh dance music production. I hadn’t heard of them until they stole my ears at the Dour Festival in Belgium this summer.

Django Reinhardt is raving inside of a carnival tent.
Caravan Palace – Jolie Coquine
Caravan Palace – Star Scat
+ Purchase/Visit

Jessica Fichot

Monday, June 22nd, 2009 by Julija

chanson française // folk popjessicafichot600

French chanson tradition, Chinese folk motifs, Continental jazz and Latin notes are interwoven together into a colourful collection of songs on Jessica Fichot’s debut album. The versatility of her debut Le Chemin (2007) mirrors her multicultural and multilingual background. Often accompanied by piano and accordion, recalling the rhythms of waltz, polka and cabaret music, Jessica’s elegant songwriting evokes the images of 19th century Parisian coffeehouses and dance halls. “1,2,3” is a fine example of her inventive songwriting, clear vocals and a distinctly French instrumentation.

Delightful arrangements from the heart of Paris.
Jessica Fichot – 1,2,3
Jessica Fichot – Le Grenier
+ Purchase/Visit

Tricot Machine

Thursday, April 9th, 2009 by Julija

indie pop // chanson québécoise

Among the girl-boy indie-pop acts, Tricot Machine, a Montréal-based duo barely known outside Quebec, is worth the wider recognition for their memorable melodies, soft vocals, dynamic compositions and witty lyrics. Throughout their album Tricot Machine’s Catherine Leduc and Matthieu Beaumont tell stories of ordinary life, childhood memories, the animals of the forest as in their song “L’ours” (The Bear) — be sure to check the video. Equally fun “Pas Fait En Chocolate” carries gentle arrangements of keyboard and catchy vocal lines.

Playful, unassuming merriment.
Tricot Machine – L’ours
Tricot Machine – Pas Fait En Chocolat
+ Purchase/Visit


Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 by Julija

french vocal // soft soul

From the very first track of her debut album Jusqu’aux Oreilles (2008), Quebec native Amylie enchants the listener with her soft-toned and subtle sound. The soulful vibes of “Espace” evoke similarities with critically acclaimed Les Nubiennes’ Princesses Nubiennes, while its lush instrumentation and clean hypnotic production reminds the sound of Zero 7. Catchy, uptempo and playful “Mes Oreilles” brings to mind the debut album of French chanteuse Camille.

Fresh, sweet-sounding and vibrant.
Amylie – Espace
Amylie – Mes Oreilles
+ Purchase/Visit

Valérie Leulliot

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 by Julija

folk-pop // french acoustic

Former singer of Autour de Lucie, a rather well-known French indie-pop act, Valérie Leulliot has recorded her solo album entirely in one room, with instruments such as piano, acoustic guitars, banjo, percussions and a computer. Valérie’s “Mon Homme Blessé”, Caldeira (2007), possesses Mediterranean inspired arrangements and soft vocals along with an intimate feeling. In “Au Virage” Valérie meanders and slowly unfolds tranquil soundscapes, creating a beautifully melancholic atmosphere.

Hushed vocals glide between warm, quiet tones.
Valérie Leulliot – Mon Homme Blessé
Valérie Leulliot – Au Virage
+ Purchase/Visit

Coeur de Pirate

Thursday, November 13th, 2008 by Julija

french acoustic // indie pop

The debut album of an 18 years old Quebec-based musician Béatrice Martin delivers a collection of colourful and charming piano-driven pop songs. As the album ranges from melancholic notes to playful tones, the standout track “Comme Des Enfants” carries sincere joyfulness, sweet vocals, whimsical piano, organ and string arrangements. Equally enjoyable “C’était Salement Romantique” offers lovely organic nuances and a delicate instrumentation of the finest kind.

From subtle innocence to mature melodies.
Coeur De Pirate – Comme Des Enfants
Coeur De Pirate – C’était Salement Romantique
buy this cd


Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 by Julija

afro-beat // world // dub

Inspired by traditional African music and hypnotic tribal chants, Quebec natives Doriane Fabreg (Doba) and Carole Facal (Caracol) entwine the ethnic rhythms and modern grooves into a moving sound-journey. As the duo blends a variety of styles with a mixture of French, English and occasional African dialects, DobaCaracol delivers unique and organic arrangements. The standout percussion driven DobaCaracol’s tracks “Étrange” and “Baiser Salé” carry the earthy, warm vibe of afro-beat, dynamic Manu Chao-like nuances and a certain funky, relaxed attitude.

Catchy vocal harmonies and a vibrant quality of sound.
DobaCaracol – Étrange
DobaCaracol – Baiser Salé
buy mp3s

The Delano Orchestra

Monday, March 10th, 2008 by Anne Cloudman

french folk // indie

French ensemble, The Delano Orchestra, use everything from the bouzouki to the glockenspiel to craft their elegant understated tracks, but it’s the soft-spoken, whispered vocals that create their intimate sound. Scratchy electric guitars and soothing trumpets fill out the somber “Between Day and Night” while the melody of “Spread Our Little Wings” exudes a warming charm. Both tracks are from their endearingly-named debut album A little girl, a little boy, and all the snails they have drawn.

Fragile innocence meets textured instrumentals.

The Delano Orchestra – Between Day & Night
The Delano Orchestra – Spread Our Little Wings
buy this cd


Friday, March 7th, 2008 by Julija

lounge dance // chill-out

Legendary Serge Gainsbourg’s works have been interpreted, sampled, re-recorded and used as inspiration by countless talented artists. Focusing on the dance floor enjoyment, French producer, musician and DJ, Minimatic a.k.a. Pascal Houpert remixes “Chez Les Yé-Yé’s”, celebrating his fatal love for stylish tunes and retro soul-funk. Reworking the 80′s music, Minimatic’s cover of successful A-ha’s synth-pop hit “Take On Me” is more about finesse: laid-back grooves of the beach and the sunny coast, smooth arrangements, sleazy hints and romance. [via]

Efficiently and excellently produced.
Serge Gainsbourg – Chez Les Yé-Yé’s (Minimatic Remix)
Minimatic – Take On Me (With A Martini)