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.
A particularly touching sub-genre of love songs is the love song from a father to his spouse once they’ve had children. The Nature Of Me is one of these – it’s got a quality to it that is at once anthemic and intimate, and Michael’s wife and long term musical collaborator Shimrit features on backing vocals.
You might remember Michael and Shimrit from the Israeli national Eurovision final in 2011, where they delighted us with Tou Dou Dou. If you don’t remember that, you should definitely check it out. In fact, check out all his work, it’s delightful.
Michael has a website.
Michael is on Facebook.
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
This is so cute. So colourful and loveable. This is ‘Toi et Moi’ by Lea Lu from Switzerland and it’s notable in being a song that contains a whistled refrain that didn’t immediately prompt me to skip over it – whistling being my musical bête noire – but instead made me go back to the beginning and give it a proper listen.
Then I went to her website and found a picture of her wearing turquoise metallic eyeliner and green eyeshadow in a look that I can only describe as #goals.
Lea Lu is on Facebook
Lea Lu is also quite good at Instagram
Continuing our occasional visits to the littler countries of Europe, tonight we bring you IRINA from Luxembourg. This band grew out of an acoustic duo of songwriters, and are now a six-piece with an accordionist and a full album that is out now. I really like Irina’s singing voice, which has a richness and strength to it that you don’t often hear in a folky singer-songwriter context. Home is a warm but gently sad song, partially in English, partially in French (unless that’s Luxemburgish). I think the French bit sounds like it’s got a bit more welly behind it, and I’d be interested to hear an alternate version all in French.
Irina are on Reverb Nation
Irina are on Soundcloud
Irina are on Facebook
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]