Thursday, 23 November 2017

BB Brunes: Live set on Acoustic on TV5Monde

I've not followed TV5Monde's Acoustic show as regularly as I should have in recent months, and as a consequence I've been looking back at some of the recent sessions that I've missed.

Standing out is the set from October by BB Brunes, one of France's brightest modern rock acts.

This year marks ten years since the band released their Blonde comme moi debut album, a top ten hit in France that established them as one of France's most popular rock bands of their generation.

It's been five years since they released Long Courrier, an album that featured regularly on this blog.
BB Brunes recently released their fourth album entitled Puzzle, described as a more dance-orientated collection.

BB Brunes are touring France extensively form January until April next year and play the Elysee Montmartre in Paris on February 14.

The Acoustic show also an interview with Berald Crames and Adrien Gallo.

The tracks played during the session include Pyromane, Éclair Éclair, Lalalove U, Coups et blessures and Terrain vague.

Lamomali: Solidarité

An uplifting new video that features -M- and a cast of thousands is the latest release from the
Lamomali album, a collection that sees him accomplish his ambition of creating an album that celebrates the musical heritage of Mali.

M has been inspired by Mali since he was young, and for this collection that came out earlier this year he's working with some of the biggest names in that country's music, kora player Toumani Diabaté, Sidiki Diabaté and Fatoumata Diawara. 

The new video features contributions from Nekfeu, Santigold and Youssou N'Dour.

Lamomali are about to release a live album, Lamomali Airlines, in a few days time.

Lamomali have been playing at festivals over the summer, and are just about to undertake a series of live dates at Arenas around France. They've got two shows at the AccorHotels Arena on December 18 and 19.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Louane sings Johnny Hallyday

The various artists tribute to Johnny Hallyday has emerged - just in time for Christmas - featuring a
number of younger artists taking on their versions of classics by Le Rocker National.

On a tous quelque chose de Johnny, released last week, includes contributions from Benjamin Biolay, Nolwenn Leroy and Garou, with 16 tracks, all of which are so well known in France that they have become of standards.

You'll hear then on TV talent shows, and they're regularly covered by other French artists, and it remains a source of bewilderment to many in France that the songs popularised by Johnny are not better known to the Anglophone music world.

Johnny is again fighting serious health problems, but remains indefatigable. 2017 saw a tour with les Vieilles Canailles, and he's recording a new album with Yodelice and Yarol Poupaud, the team behind his most recent studio collection De l'amour.

That 2015 album - his 50th studio album - was a number one seller in France, and went on to pick up the Best Chanson award at the Victoires de la musique 2016 ceremony.

There's also the prospect of a 2018 tour by Johnny on the horizon.

In the meantine, the new collection puts the focus on new interpretations of his work

Louane, who is currently the number one selling album artist in France, has a version of Toute la musique que j'ame. It's a very bluesy take of the song and while she might not have the power of Johnny's voice,  she makes it very much her version of the track.

Bjork to headline We Love Green 2018

Nice to see it confirmed today that the We Love Green festival next summer will feature Bjork as the
headline act.

It will be the iconic singer's only French date in 2018 and she plays on Sunday June 3.

We Love Green is being held at the Bois de Vincennes in the east of Paris, the largest public park in the city.

The festival featured Justice, Solange and Benjamine Clementine in June 2017, with artists playing three stages over two days, two other stages hosting events that reflected the festival's green credentials, including talks and films.

It aims to be ecologically sustainable, and features events to raise awareness of environmental issues as well as hosting a well-curated selection of musical artists from indie-rock to dance and electronic.

Bjork is a natural act for an event like this, a cutting edge artist whose heart is always in the right place.

It's a perfectly sized event, and its location in the city means it's easy to access and to find accommodation for the weekend.

We Love Green 2018 is being held on the weekend of June 2 and 3 and tickets go on sale on November 29.

Melody's Echo Chamber: Some welcome news!

Delighted to see some good news from Melody Prochet, singer with Melody's Echo Chamber following a serious accident earlier this year.

In June she was involved in an accident that resulted in her being in hospital for several months. Her tour was cancelled and the release of her album which was expected to be released this year was postponed.

Melody's 2012 self-titled album was a key release in recent French psychedelia, as much informed by dream pop as it was by the retro future sounds of Stereolab.

The album was produced by her then partner Kevin Parker, from Tame Impala, and was met with a serious amount of critical praise and attention. Noticeably it got a great deal of favourable press in the English language media from the likes of Mojo and the NME.

The track Cross my heart was released earlier this year, ahead of the planned release of her follow-up album Bon Voyage. However, these plans were put on hold as a consequence of her accident.

With her attention fully on her recovery in recent months, a recent update on her Facebook page has been a very welcome piece of good news.

I'm delighted to see things going well for her, and hopefully the message marks the beginning of a new phase in her career that sees health and success for her in equal measure.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Orelsan: Tout va bien

A new video for the track Tout va bien by Orelsan, from his recently released La fête est finie, a
collection that looks like being one of 2017's key releases.

The track was co-produced with Stromae, the video reflecting perhaps a more thoughtful and reflective tone. Stromae, one of the biggest names in francophone rap, has been quiet recently due to health issues, but his presence is on both this track and on the track La pluie.

La fête est finie is Orelsan's third solo album. He resumed his career as a solo artist after working again as half of Casseurs Flowters. The track Basic introduced the album in some style, its video like the one for Tout va bien shot in Ukraine.

The new album has been the biggest selling release of his career so far. Basic has had over 30 million views on YouTube so far. While Tout va bien might have some work to catch up on this total, it's certainly an impressive piece of work in its own right.

Orelsan has got dates in arenas around France and bordering countries from February, and has a gig at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris on March 15

Hollydays: Léo

A very psychedelic flavoured video by the duo Hollydays for the track Léo.

Hollydays, a duo of Elise Preys and Sébastien Delage, recently signed to Polydor in France, are a duo who have been working together since 2014.

They released an EP in 2015, Les insatisfaits, a classy five track affair that followed Les Animaux the previous year.

I featured them in this blog in 2015, and it's encouraging to see their talent being recognised. They've got the potential to make a considerable commercial impact, and to hopefully continue to do some interesting things.

Hollydays release a four-track EP in January.