Comprised of Marie (drums, vocals) and Lionel (guitar, bass, keys and vocals), the Perpignan, France-based duo The Limiñanas have developed a reputation as one of France’s beloved treasures, as their sound straddles the boundaries of psych rock, shoegaze and yé-yé, paired with fuzzy, distorted and reverb-heavy hooks and effortlessly cool vocals. And while being mischievously anachronistic, the duo manage to do so in an quintessentially French fashion.
“Istanbul Is Sleepy,” the title track of their forthcoming Istanbul Is Sleepy EP finds the renowned French psych rockers collaborating with The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s influential Anton Newcombe, who contributes guitar and his imitable vocals to the track. And as the members of The Limiñanas recall in press notes, the collaboration can trace its origins to last year, when the folks at Mojo Magazine asked them to contribute a track to a Kinks tribute compilation. “We chose ‘Two Sisters,'” Lionel explains in press notes. “Marie and I were thinking for the vocal part, it would be great to approach Anton Newcombe, having opened for The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Le Trianon in Paris. The work began like that. We had an album to record and we decided to finish it with him. During the Christmas week we took our demos, flew to Berlin and recorded at Anton’s studio. Six days later we had a finished album.”
Sonically speaking, the French psych rock act’s latest single features an arrangement that consists of propulsive backbeat, layers of fuzzy guitars, soaring organs and rousing hooks and while possessing a decided garage rock scuzziness, the song has the sort of underlying menace reminiscent of The Black Angels — although interestingly enough, Newcombe was reportedly inspired by Rain-era The Cult.
Naturally, while the Jean Luc Moly-directed video is decidedly psychedelic, it also pays subtle homage to French New Wave films thanks to its attention to split screens and bright colors — as it features a zombie-like Anton Newcombe with the members of The Limiñanas performing the song in a persistent rainy backdrop as a man in a suit struts, dances and bops his head to the music.