It’s been a tougher winter than most of us anticipated (or at least hoped for), but despite all confusing rules and regulations we’ve managed to stay strong (-ish) and hey, it’s paying off: the OMS is optimistic regarding the end of the pandemic’s emergency phase soon, summer festivals are now beginning to share their line-ups in a less timid manner, and even Bandcamp announced its famous Fridays would be returning for a new season. Things are shitty, yes; but they could be way worse.
Over here in fromage land we’ve been laying relatively low in terms of live shows and clubbing, with the former only happening with severe restrictions and the latter not happening at all. This, however, is set to change by mid-February—although some insist it’s still premature to talk about lifting most of the current measures with the ongoing critical situation. And with the presidential election happening in April, many accuse Macron’s government of using this as a strategy for his political campaign.
While this emotional and psychological rollercoaster may at times feel too much to deal with, the musical outpouring hasn’t stopped. So here’s another selection of the finest new French releases for your listening (and, if you can, purchasing) pleasure; let’s hope you can get a chance of experiencing all of these live pretty soon.
Palo Alto unveil video for “The Tears of Nietzsche”
They may have been around for over 30 years, but it’s safe to say Palo Alto have managed to lay relatively low in terms of appearing in international radars. Their sound, however, is unique—a mix of literature, industrial, electronica, and improvisation that is brilliantly showcased by their 10th LP Difference and Repetition / A Musical Evocation Of Gilles Deleuze. Although the album was released back in 2020, the band has now unveiled the visuals for (an edited version of) opener “The Tears of Nietzsche.” And yes, the video is as bonkers as the track; check it out above, and head over to label Sub Rosa’s Bandcamp for the full album.
Clara Le Meur releases debut cassette Hier À La Plage
Any creative person knows sometimes a single outlet or media is simply not enough, and Clara Le Meur is a living example of that. The Paris-based artist and designer has just released her first solo musical experience, the wondrous result of an intense love affair between her and a synth in her bedroom that oscillates between glitch pop and retrowave. Hier À La Plage is available for free download via label Le Syndicat Des Scorpions’ bandcamp, but the cassette is already sold out.
Variéras announces Bakélite Reworks EP
Back in 2020 Paris-based Variéras released his Variables album, which featured a gorgeous track called “Bakélite.” Fast forward a year and a half later, and he’s putting out an EP of remixes and variations of “Bakélite,” appropriately titled Bakélite Reworks. This is an amazing treat for fans of ambient/experimental and serves as the perfect introduction to Variéras’s musical universe. Head over to label Kowtow Records’ Bandcamp for EP stream and purchase.
Rebeka Warrior shares clip for “La Valise”
Last October Rebeka Warrior released a six-track EP titled Showgirl, The Play (Original Soundtrack Recording) via her own label WARRIORECORDS, which she founded back in 2020. Now she has unveiled the visuals for “La Valise,” one of the tracks from Showgirl that features Marlène Saldana (who also directed the video) and whose rhythm and mood fit brilliantly with the retro-bizarre imagery. You can check out the clip above, and head over to the label’s Bandcamp page to stream the full EP.
Johnnie Carwash unveil visuals for “Slut Skirt”
With a debut LP Teenage Ends freshly released via Howlin Banana Records, Lyon-based trio Johnnie Carwash have just shared a video for single “Slut Skirt,” an animated fantasy by Margaux Jaudinaud that tells the story of feminist superhero Johnnie. The visuals fit the band’s contagious garage-punk like a glove, making “Slut Skirt” the perfect gateway drug for Johnnie Carwash’s brilliant album. Watch the video above, and check out the full LP on Bandcamp—where you’ll also be able to purchase a vinyl copy.
Ok so here’s the deal: the ongoing Bonjour Motherfuckers Spotify playlist is only supposed to work as a sampler, and you should be buying the music directly from the artists whenever possible—especially today, Bandcamp Friday. Be sure to check it out the titles and vibes below, and then go do the right thing.