Not many left now!
For France, Illy Baze sonically shows us what Serhat thought he was trying to do. The visuals are interesting too: contrasting moody bisexual lighting on a deserted dancefloor with the quotidian details of the blessed Thérése herself. His album is pretty special too – cosmic themes and ASMR noises turn up on Extrateresse and Oumamama, named after the unknown space object moving through our solar system.
Trixie Whitley is a Belgian American pop artist from Ghent whose new single Heartbeat goes on a voyage through multi-layered trip hoppy cascading melodies. The accompanying album will be her 4th – I can’t believe I’d never been introduced to her music before because it is exactly my sort of thing.
Let’s have a bit of summery pop for this sunny Friday afternoon.
For Uruguay we have pop duo Olvidate! (the exclamation point is part of the name). Now, when I’ve been researching Uruguayan chart pop I’ve noticed that the basic reggaeton rhythm has mutated in all sorts of directions. The one you’ll hear in Qué Calor is at the same time closer to a Euro dance rhythm but also contains some jarring moments that would be challenging on the dancefloor.
For France, Therapy TAXI are very interesting indeed. They’ve launched their new album Hit Sale with a sequence of three videos telling a weird and troubling exploitation story, but for today I’ve got you ADENA from their first album.
With the knockout stages upon us, it’s time to go deeper into music. France vs Argentina provide us with great football and great music with its mind on other continents.
For France we have ooTi with J’irai marcher dans l’Atlas (I will walk in the Atlas) whose daydreams about walking around the Moroccan landmarks become cooing, chill acoustic pop.
For Argentina meet theatrical chanteuse Alix, whose twitter account is full of Kafka. Her song is the thematically appropriate I’d Rather Read (Dead Russians)
It’s only the third day of the World Cup and already I’m scrambling to catch up with the cascade of footballing fun.
For France, have something chill and beautiful from PV Nova & Hippocampe Fou. I love a bit of Francophone rap, and I especially enjoyed Hippocampe Fou’s previous song Las Estrellas.
For Australia, I give you the magical sound of Nardean with Creatress. She’s absolutely fantastic and I want to hear more.
How about some totally chill French hiphop just as the temperatures in the UK start rising? Hippocampe Fou, the crazy seahorse, who describes himself as an underwater troubadour brings us a cloud of verbiage including the phrase “I couldn’t make friends with my 3D printer” and name-checking Prince, Queen, GTA and the Kingdom of Hyrule.
Hippocampe Fou is on Facebook
Continuing the party theme that we seem to have spontaneously dropped into on this unseasonably hot week in September, we’ve got a bit of French dance pop that seems to suggest the drinking of cocktails next to perfect azure hotel pools and the wearing of expensive sunglasses on French beaches.
Lockhart is a Parisian DJ/producer and Fishbach is an extremely interesting alt-pop singer songwriter. Together, they conjure up a bit of louche magic.
Lockhart generously has this song available for download on Soundcloud
And here’s the second half of our Grand Final. This time we’re looking at some music that sits somewhere within the broad church that is pop.
The Gift are an alternative band from Portugal who’ve been going for over 20 years. Their most recent single, Classico is an expansive, emotional piece of chamber pop, with a big billowy string arrangement and a weepy chorus. The rest of the band’s work seems to reach from the Jesus & Mary Chain to chart anthems that you could give to the winner of the X Factor. This band should be enormous everywhere, really.
From France we’ve got the new single from Parisian dance chaps, It’s A Fine Line. You’ll recognise the voice on the track as being that of Alex Kapranos. Even after a few listens I’m still not quite sure what this is about, or what it even is. It’s definitely got a film noir slink to it, so give it a couple of listens to sink in.
Clássico -The Gift [Huge, sophisticated widescreen cinematic anthem]
The Delivery – It’s a Fine Line ft. Alex Kapranos.
The end of this marathon of music sharing draws near. Because it’s the final, and because I had some extra tunes filed away for Portugal and France we’re having two posts for this game. This is the heavy post. There’ll be a pop post later.
Astrodome are a Portuguese doom band with very visually appealing merch. To be honest I’m not sure if they’re currently active because their website is down and the mech is out of stock, but their self-titled 2015 record Astrodome is pretty cool and the artwork reminds me of the wedding invitations I spend dozens of hours hand-crafting.
Gojira shouldn’t need any introduction to the long-term metalheads in the audience. They’re a doom metal band of an ecological bent from Bayonne in south-west France. This song, Low Lands is from their new album which came out just this weekend. Share and enjoy.
Into the Deepest Space – Astrodome [Groovy, melting atmospheric doom]
Low Lands – Gojira [Bleak, eschatological atmospheric doom]
And after the disappointment of yesterday’s Wales game, I bring you some good stuff to enjoy during Germany vs France, a game which feels more like the final than the final actually will.
For Germany we have Richard Istel, who I understand to be something of a child music prodigy who is now a grown adult and still a popstar. Unlike The Biebs, Richard appears to have kept it together, but like The Biebs, he’s making vaguely tropical pop – this sounds like you could mix it very smoothly into Era Istrefi’s big song and then top the whole thing off with Margaret. And you would have a nice time.
For France we have something completely different, and one of the more unsettling videos that I’ve posted. Ina-Ich are an alternative rock band formed by Kim Thuy Ngyuen, jazz prodigy and daughter of political refugees. According to their website, their name means ‘persistent and disturbing’ in Vietnamese and that is a good stab at describing their song ‘Ma chair et mon sang’. It’s lovely, have a listen.
Still Mir Dir – Richard Istel [It’s the sound of the summer. Es ist zo schön.]
Ma chair et mon sang – iNA-iCH [Very abrasive French art-metal with a nice guitar solo and UNSETTLING VISUALS – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED]
This one is MASSIVE. What a game. I mean, Iceland could do anything at this stage. Áfraaaaam!
For Iceland we have some distinctly hairy good time party rock from Churchhouse Creepers. It’s called Party, it depicts a party and evokes a party. It is party.
For France we have some more distinctly hairy good time party rock, which I think is probably mocking the aesthetics of the American rock group from a French point of view, but maybe not. Anyway, it’s fun!
Party – Churchhouse Creepers [Fun time rock and roll]
Goin’ Down South – Dirty Deep [More fun time rock and roll]