We just can’t seem to give this old world a break, huh? Two years into a global pandemic that ripped our society apart in all imaginable ways (and whose long term effects we’re still largely uncertain about), a war breaking in Europe was the last thing we needed—to put it mildly. Watching the news can very much be the straw that breaks our camel’s (aka mental health’s) back, so don’t feel guilty if you need to alienate a bit in order to cope with all this—if you’re not the one being invaded and dropped bombs on, that is.
On a lighter note, concerts are finally back to the City of Light, but a couple of venues sadly didn’t make it to the other side and will be keeping their doors permanently closed. One of them is the legendary Pigalle club Le Bus Palladium, which despite having undergone many a bumps along its five decade existence always managed to stay relatively afloat. However, gentrification won this time and the club will be demolished to give room to a fancy boutique hotel—although rumour has it the actual concert room could be preserved. This is a move somewhat similar to what happened to Les Bains Douches a decade ago, another Parisian night club transformed into bourgeois playground.
February also saw the 2022 edition of FAME – Paris International Music Film Festival return to La Gaîte Lyrique, which featured docs on Poly Styrene, Emmanuelle Parrenin, Dinosaur Jr., Poni Hoax, Karen Dalton, and many others. A definite highlight was doc-drama Why Versailles?, a Marc Collin film on Versailles as an impromptu epicentre for French Touch.
And of course, there’s our monthly selection of the fine fine music being made in France right now, along with the reminder that Bandcamp Fridays are back so do give back to your favourite artists when you can. We’re not out of the woods yet; and sometimes we wonder if we’ll ever be.
Société Étrange release new album Chance
After a debut LP cheekily titled Au Revoir (“goodbye”) released on S.K Records back in 2015, Lyon-based trio Société Étrange is back with a brand new full-length. Composed of “6 love songs without words,” as the Bandcamp liner notes describe it, Chance is a captivating trip throughout the experimental terrains of new French kraut composed entirely in the studio. The album is now available via Swiss label Les Disques Bongo Joe in digital, vinyl, and CD formats.
Miss Kittin and the Hacker announce The Third Album
I keep telling people electroclash is bound to make a return anytime soon, and the signs of its impending return are now beginning to be fully visible. The most recent is Miss Kittin and the Hacker‘s return with their first LP since 2009. Appropriately titled The Third Album (the first two were called First Album and Two), the upcoming release was previewed by industrial-tinted “Ostbahnhof,” whose video you can watch above. The new LP is due out on March 25th.
Alain Dorra unveils new album États Mouvants
If you’re a fan of ’90s-sounding house-jazz chillwave, then you’re in for a major treat. Alain Dorra‘s new album États Mouvants, out now via La Souterraine, is the perfect soundtrack for a throwback dance floor incursion, or simply a cocktail by the Seine at sunset. With 10 sonic landscapes to captivate you, États Mouvants may just be the missing mood link between winter and spring—although you’ll likely be listening to it throughout the whole year. Stream the album in full above, where you can also download it on a “name your price” basis.
Fontanarosa shares video for “Oh Id“
After a debut EP released in 2019, Lyon-based Paul Verwaerde aka Fontanarosa has announced a proper album should see the light of day later this month: Are You There? is due out on the 18th via Howlin Banana Records, and its first taster “Oh Id” has just been unveiled. Featuring an exciting pop-driven beat halfway between the UK and France, “Oh Id” is illustrated by the cool animated video you can see above, courtesy of Documavision. Keep an eye on Howlin Banana Records’ bandcamp for more info on the album.
Coeur-Joie release debut EP Allumettes au Bout des îles
Initially a one-man project started a year ago by Martin Meilhan-Bordes, Coeur-Joie has quickly expanded to include a full band featuring musicians Bordes played with in Bootchy Temple and Sex Sux. The result is debut EP Allumettes au Bout des îles, a 7-track release that mixes jangly garage with French pop rawness inspired by the likes of Brigitte Fontaine or Alain Bashung. You can stream it above via label Hidden Bay Records’ bandcamp, where you’ll also be able to purchase the cassette.
I know I already mentioned it’s Bandcamp Friday, but in case you forgot: use the Bonjour Motherfuckers playlist below as a sampler, and then head over to the artists’ bandcamp pages so you can give them proper love.