It’s a cruel, cruel Summer, but someone was telling me the other day that it actually felt like May. This has nothing to do with the weather whatsoever — the customary heatwaves that global warming has made increasingly more frequent over the past few years have indeed been making their casual appearances, but it’s more to do with the fact that our perception of time, already considerably warped by default, has been disrupted by a major hole left by the lockdown most European countries underwent last Spring. In a way, it’s like those months never happened at all, and suddenly we find ourselves in mid-July, closer to Halloween than to that bizarre Easter Sunday, lives suspended in what seemed to have been a matrix error that is yet to be resolved.
As many musicians, faced with the inevitable touring cancellations and subsequent rescheduling (or attempt at), opted for delaying previously announced releases, it quickly became fairly obvious that Autumn wouldn’t a) be able to accommodate that many albums, and b) constitute a de facto return to live shows. So some of these are already beginning to emerge, duly crowned by an involuntary melancholia that seems transversal to “these unprecedented times.” Here’s more new French music to help you pretend you actually managed to travel and spend a long weekend sunbathing in Nice or eating croissants in Paris; and don’t forget to buy from the artists themselves or via Bandcamp — it’s that time of the month again.
La Chica shares new track “La Serpiente“
After having dropped “Venezuela” earlier this Summer, Paris-based musician La Chica returns with the hypnotising “La Serpiente”, a track she dedicates to “everyone who has undergone transformation,” but also to her brother, who is currently in the hospital. Slightly smoother than “Venezuela”, the new tune serves as a taster of La Chica’s new EP, which is expected to arrive sometime in the fall; the forthcoming release succeeds to last year’s self-released LP Cambio.
Space Dukes release debut EP Clear The Air
From the very first chords of EP opener “Blast” it becomes fairly obvious how much Parisian quartet Space Dukes overindulged in early Tame Impala. However, that doesn’t stop Clear The Air from being a very interesting exercise in neo-psych-jazz, underlined by an impeccable mastery in instrument-playing and production that echoes the best from 70s French prog. Infinitely spacey as the band name itself indicates, Clear The Air grabs your attention on a first listen; it’s out now via Nice Guys.
KLON unveil debut track “Noise”
Communal living might be a bit of a challenge sometimes, but not for seven-piece collective KLON, who defend their lifestyle and creative process as being irrevocably connected. “Noise” is their first sonic offering, a quirky electropop tune that comes accompanied by a lyric video whose central figure is heavily reminiscent of Laloux’s cinematic chef d’oeuvre Fantastic Planet. You can stream the clip above, and add it to your playlists via almost every platform.
Pierre III releases debut solo album Cluster
Twenty minutes and twenty seconds is the running time of Cluster, Pierre III‘s debut solo LP which came out last month after an uncanny process (which one isn’t, at this point) that even involved drums being recorded in Australia. Comprised of eight tracks created under lockdown in Paris, Cluster is described as “an array of ideas, an action painting of notes, a juxtaposition of moods.” Part dream-psych part catharsis, Cluster is a glimpse into Pierre III’s own coping mechanisms: “I reconnected with the simple pleasure of making music for myself,” he explains. “Music as a shelter, the kind that gives you chills. When it’s dark outside, the light you look for is within.”
FOTOMATIC return with cover of “Take A Ride“
After having revealed first single “Bipolarity” last year, Toulouse-based FOTOMATIC seemed to lay relatively low music-wise — even though the tune made for some of the most interestingly addictive French punk/new wave in a while. All has changed now with the proper release of “Bipolarity” for Record Store Day: gracing the B-side is “Take A Ride”, a song originally by all-female pop-punksters The Lou’s whose only recorded testimony is a performance in 1979 cult movie La Brune Et Moi. It’s now available digitally and in vinyl as a special RSD release via Pop Superette’s Bandcamp page.
You favourite Summer/every season playlist just keeps on growing, so don’t forget to like/share/subscribe for the latest updates. It’s also the time for that friendly reminder that if you’re reading this on the day it was published, Bandcamp is waiving its fees again so you should go and spend some of those plane ticker vouchers on fine fine music, directly from the artists.