Look, there’s no point in calling a month “weird” anymore. I think we’ve collectively accepted that this is our reality now, and even though we’d have chosen a totally different fantasy world if given a chance, this is what we have to deal with so might as well make the most of it.
In France (and probably most of central Europe) we recently had a pretty intense heatwave that made everything seem even more unreal and out of time; although this will most likely become the norm in the near future (hello global warming!) it will never not make you feel like you’re existing underwater. And there’s also a heaviness in the air that the upcoming legislative election is doing nothing to help alleviate: yes, Macron won the presidency, but Mélenchon and a few other left-wing parties have joined forces as a new coalition called NUPES in the hopes of preventing him from getting full power. Whatever the result, the simple fact that all those parties were able to put considerable differences aside and unite for a common cause feels like a victory. If you’re into French politics and want to learn more about it, check out this section of the English version of Le Monde.
If you’re not (or simply need a breather from the cruel cruel world we’re living in), we’ve got you covered as well. Dombrance’s excellent album République Électronique is out now, and there’s also plenty of new (and old, previously unreleased) French goodness below. Dig in.
Pop Supérette releases Mitzpah’s long lost album
In 1981, Hervé Zénouda and Gregory Davidow got together to form the shortly-lived duo Mitzpah. Although they did record a couple of demos, the project was abandoned and they went their separate ways. Forty years later, Zénouda decided to re-record all tracks with Davidow on vocals, and the result is the ten-track LP Lonesome Harvest: Re – enactment N°1 (Paris 1981), which has just been released by Pop Supérette. French retro post-punk/new wave at its best; check it out above.
Poltergeist signs to Citizen Records, shares first single “Ich Bin Ein Kämpfer”
He may be only 20 years old, but French musician Ari Girard aka Poltergeist is already threading an auspicious musical career. Having just signed to Vitalic’s Citizen Records, he has released his debut single “Ich Bin Ein Kämpfer” which serves as a preview of a full LP due out this Summer. Highly recommended for fans of cold wave/industrial halfway between Manchester and Berlin, “Ich Bin Ein Kämpfer” is a definite must-listen. You can stream it above.
Healees announce debut album
And now, for some sun-kissed shoegazing: Paris band Healees are releasing their debut LP this summer via Hidden Bay Records. The self-titled album comprises eight tracks that include previously-unveiled “The Garden” and will instantly captivate you with its referential jangly guitars and post-punk vocals. Keep an eye on the label’s Bandcamp page for further info on the release, and be sure to check out the band’s Facebook page to see if they’re playing near you soon.
Bad Pelicans unveil new single “Paris” ahead of new LP
Avant-garde artrockers Bad Pelicans are the newest signing of Géographie Records, which will be releasing their new LP Eternal Life Now later in the year. The new album was recorded in Seattle with Dylan Wall and is previewed by lead single “Paris” and its monochromatic video directed by Diane Sagnier that you can watch above. A delight for fans of Nirvana’s Bleach era and other nihilistic punk delicacies; keep an eye on the label’s bandcamp for further news.
We Want Sounds to release Pierre Barouh anthology
One of the most exciting anthologies of the season is We Want Sounds‘ retrospective of French producer Pierre Barouh and his label Saravah Records, founded in Paris in 1966. Featuring tracks by Brigitte Fontaine, Jacques Higelin, Michel Roques, Maurice Vander and many more, Pierre Barouh and the Saravah Sound is a must-have compilation for fans of ’60s and ’70s jazz/soul/pop/world fusion. It’s out in July on digital, CD, and vinyl formats.
All roads lead to our Bonjour Motherfuckers sampler, where you’ll be able to get a taste of most artists we’ve been highlighting here. Be sure to like/subscribe/show some love below, but do buy the good stuff directly from the bands whenever possible.