Friday, December 19, 2008

Les Filles on Le Pop Musik

In the ‘70s and ‘80s you could always rely on the British media, especially the music media, to point out that the French had no real pop music of their own, that their interpretation of youth culture was heavily slanted by a dated reverence for Americana. This was based on the fact that in the English speaking world the only artists of note at that time were crooners like Charles Aznavour. There was a certain amount of xenophobia in these opinions, which bolstered the eminent position of the British as the first, finest and most current interpreters of American musical culture.

This was before the French fairly beat the British around the head with Daft Punk, Motorbass, Julien Jabre, Pepe Braddock et al. and their visionary versions of house music, executed before they handed the baton to Justice so that duo could shred the music through a refractive lens of irony, hair metal and good fun. However, the French always had their own, traditional popular music and song called Chanson, the origins of which dated back to the twelfth century and epic poem songs like The Song of Roland. This tradition has lasted up to this day, and is undergoing a renaissance as it looks to modern artists like Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel for inspiration.

Now there are a host of new French artists creating music in this vein and thankfully there is a German label that is championing it with individual artist releases and reliable compilations. The label is called Le Pop Musik and it is based in Cologne and one of its latest offerings is a compilation called Les Filles. It drops in Europe on January 26th and in the US on February 1oth. It is an excellent sixteen-track collection containing music by female artists. These include Barbara Carlotti, whose stirring “Mademoiselle Opossum” opens the record. Other stirring offerings include Fredda’s “Barry White,” the beautiful “Clash Dans La Tempo” by Constance Amiot and the girlish and irresistible “Cupide Et Stupide” by Austine. The risqué, joyful and hilarious video above is by Marianne Dissard, a French woman living in Tucson, Arizona, who has collaborated with both Calexico and Giant Sand, and whose husband, Naim Amor, has done likewise.

I was introduced to this label via Le Pop Musik’s Le Pop 4 collection in the sping of last year. I do like what I hear as it is perfect listening music and isn’t it nice to hear pop music sung in a different language (I get guilty pleasure from some J Pop too). Plus Jeanne Cherhal’s closer “Si Tu Reviens J'annule Tout” is magic and the album just gets better and better with each listen. Check this, it came out and if you're keen on fragile girls singing in French and making you sigh, then you might want to check this blog on the regular,


1 comment:

Guuzbourg said...

Very nice post, thanks for mentioning my blog. I also compiled two cd's with French singing girls, see But Rolf & Oliver are the OG's of modern French pop promotion, all hail Le Pop!