Beginning his career in the 1990s as the drummer and frontman of French alt rock act STICKBUZZ multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and composer Christophe Menassier over the past two decades has crafted scores for movies, TV, online features and ad campaigns for some of of the word’s most prestigious fashion brands, including Louis Vuitton, Jaeger-Lecoultre, Bulgari, Yves Saint Laurent and others.
Over the past two decades the French multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and composer has been rather prolific, releasing material through a number of collaborative projects and as a solo artist: In 2003, he founded COLLECTIF K, a ten member band, which released one album, Resurrection. The following year, he released his solo debut, Marseille Marseille, a ten song album featuring compositions that were written to evoke life in the French Mediterranean city.
2008’s Picture Shop, was a collaboration with Quentin Leroux inspired by American movies that managed to further establish Menassier’s sound and overall aesthetic. In 2011, Menassier and his spouse Anne-Laurence Loubiginiac started the electro pop act LOO & MONETTI, an act that has released a handful of EPs and two full-length albums — 2012’s Marla’s song and last year’s Broken Inside. During that same very busy period, Menassier created the film score for Vianney Lebasque’s 2012 film Les Petits Princes.
Released earlier this year, Menassier’s latest album The Unknown Movie is arguably the most personal album of his lengthy catalog. He had originally started writing the album’s material back in 2015 with the bulk of it written between 2017 and 2020. The album’s material is the culmination of Menassier’s search for cinematic and atmospheric textures and sounds, particularly crafted to be the soundtrack of its creator’s “inner film.” Since its release in April, The Unknown Movie has been praised by the French press while receiving airplay on international radio stations across the States, the UK and Italy.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve written about two of The Unknown Movie‘s singles:
- “Melancholic Therapy,” a track centered around twinkling piano arpeggios and atmospheric synths, which evokes an aching sadness, particularly, over the passing of time, of our impending mortality and of the impermanence of all things.
- “There from the unknown movie,” a track centered round twinkling, arpeggiated keys, shimmering synths and metronomic beats that evoked lonely and contemplative, late night drives while recalling Mogwai and Remember Remember.
The album’s latest single “Kings all die one day” is a brooding composition featuring twinkling piano arpeggios, a gorgeous string arrangement that sounds as though it could be part of the most dramatic and heart-wrenching scenes of an epic drama. And unsurprisingly, the accompanying visual is a loop of a walking, cowboy hat wearing man superimposed over a Western-like landscape.