Lyric Video: JOVM Mainstays L’Impératice Teams Up with Cuco on a Woozy Bop

Rising Paris-based electro pop sextet L’Impératice — founder Charles de Boisseguin (keys), Hagni Gown (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), Tom Daveau (drums) and Flore Benguigui (vocals) — formed back in 2012. And in a relatively short period of time, they quickly developed a reputation for being extremely prolific: Within their first three years together, they released 2012’s self-titled debut EP, 2014’s Sonate Pacifique EP and 2015’s Odyssée EP. 

Back in 2016, the Parsian sextet released a re-edited, remixed and slowed down version of OdysséeL’Empreruer, inspired by a fan mistakenly playing a vinyl copy of Odyssée at the wrong speed. L’Impératice followed that up with a version of Odysseé featuring arrangements centered around violin, cello and acoustic guitar. During the summer of 2017, the Parisian electro pop act signed to microqlima records, who released that year’s Séquences EP

Their full-length debut, 2018’s Matahari  featured “Erreur 404,” which they performed on the French TV show Quotidien. They followed that up with an English language version of Matahari and 2021’s Renaud Letang co-produced sophomore album Taku Tsubo.

Deriving its name from the medical term for broken heart/takutsubo syndrome ((蛸 壺, from Japanese “octopus trap”). The condition usually manifests itself as deformation of the heart’s left ventricle caused by severe emotional or physical stress — i.e., the death of a loved one, an intense argument with someone you care about, a breakup, a sudden illness or the like. An untreated broken heart can actually kill you.

Cuco is a Hawthorne, CA-based electronic music producer and artist, whose early stage, earnest bedroom pop aesthetic seemed to immediately connect with audiences online. Home-recorded and then shared through Bandcamp and SoundCloud, his self-released efforts 2016’s Wannabewithu and 2018’s Chiquito EP featured relatable and catchy material in both English and Spanish that openly defied genre restraints with elements of mariachi, R&B and psychedelia helped him win over first generation Latin Americans and young fans of indie singer/songwriters.

As the play counts and stream counts increased, there was a greater demand for him to play live shows in front of increasingly larger crowds on tour and at festivals. “It’ll always be surreal to me,” he says. I never take it for granted if I see so many people at one show, you know, I don’t know the next day that I’m gonna see that again; it’s always appreciated.”

With massive buzz surrounding him, Cuco wound up signing with Interscope, who released his full-length debut, 2019’s Para Mi. His sophomore album, last year’s Fantasy Gateway sees him pushing the envelope of his sound, presenting a new chapter of the young producer/artist’s career in which he takes risks to great results.

The Parisian JOVM mainstays recently teamed up with the rapidly rising producer and artist on “Heartquake,” a collaboration that can be traced back to when they all met during last year’s Coachella. “Heartquake” is a woozy yet breezy bop built around an expansive, mind-melting arrangement that begins with glistening and wobbling synth oscillations, twinkling keys and trap-like beats before briefly morphing into a slinky bit of disco funk before closing out with glistening and wobbling synth oscillations and trap beats . Throughout the song L’Impératice’s Flore Benguigui sings English lyrics with a bemused yet sultry sense of longing and desire.

“It’s the story of someone completely disconnected from their emotions who is on their usual peaceful bus ride one morning. And then, someone sits across from them, and suddenly, their brain freezes, and they fall to their knees, struck by a thunderbolt, a kind of Tako tsubo,” the members of L’Impératice explain. “It’s a sensation that shakes them to the core, and they’re not sure if they can survive it, but they desire it.” Cuco adds: “It’s a pleasure and honor to be working with my friends in L’Impératrice.” 

After becoming a “festival favorite” with rave live reviews for last year’s Coachella and Austin City Limits sets, the Parisian JOVM mainstays will play this year’s Lollapalooza in Chicago and Outside Lands in San Francisco this summer. They also are playing three sold out shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as at this year’s Osheaga Festival in Montréal. If you’re able to catch them, you should. They’re incredible live.

Live dates:
Fri 8.4 – Montreal, CAN @ Osheaga
Sat 8.5 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall (Lollapalooza aftershow) (SOLD OUT)
Sun 8.6 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
Wed 8.9 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre (SOLD OUT)
Thu 8.10 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre (SOLD OUT)
Fri 8.11 – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s 365 Club (SOLD OUT)
Sat 8.12 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands