Tag: Paris France

Last year, I spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the rising Los Angeles-based indie electro rock act Carré that features:

  • Julien Boyé (drums, percussion, vocals): Boyé has had stints as a touring member of Nouvelle Vague and James Supercave. Additionally, he has a solo recording act Acoustic Resistance, in which he employs rare instruments, which he has collected from all over the world.
  • Jules de Gasperis (drums, vocals, synths, production and mixing): de Gasperis is a Paris-born, Los Angeles-based studio owner. Growing up in Paris, he sharpened his knowledge of synthesizers, looping machines and other electronics around the same time that JusticeSoulwax and Ed Banger Records exploded into the mainstream.
  • Kevin Baudouin (guitar, vocals, synth, production): Baudouin has lived in Los Angeles the longest of the trio — 10 years — and he has played with a number of psych rock acts, developing a uniquely edgy approach to guitar, influenced by Nels ClineJonny Greenwood and Marc Ribot.

Deriving their name for the French word for “square,” “playing tight” and “on point,” the Los Angeles-based trio formed back in 2019 — and as the band’s Jules de Gasperis explains in press notes, “The making of our band started with this whole idea of having two drummers perform together. It felt like a statement. We always wanted to keep people moving and tend to focus on the beats first when we write.” The members of the Los Angeles-based act specialize in a French electronica-inspired sound that frequently blends aggressive, dark and chaotic elements with hypnotic drum loops. Thematically, their work generally touches upon conception, abstraction and distortion of reality through a surrealistic outlook of our world. Their visuals tend to feature geometric shapes and patterns.

The act specializes in a French electronica-inspired sound that blends aggressive, dark and chaotic elements with hypnotic drum loops. Thematically, their work generally touches upon conception, abstraction and distortion of reality through a surrealistic outlook of our world. Their self-titled EP was released last year through Nomad Eel Records — and the EP featured the Uncanny Valley-era Midnight Juggernauts meets Tour de France-era Kraftwerk-like “Freeform,” a free flowing and improvised jam centered around glistening synth arpeggios, shimmering blasts of guitar, an insistent motorik groove, hi-hat driven four-on-the-floor and ethereal vocal samples.

“Freeform” was given the remix treatment by Parisian multi-instrumentalist Alex Tran, a.k.a. A.T.M. and interestingly enough, the A.T.M. remix adds a decidedly French house touch to the proceedings with glitchy sequences, muscular guitars, harder hitting beats, vocodered vocals while retaining the song’s free flowing and improvised jam-like feel and dark industrial vibes while essentially giving the song a dance floor friendly air.


 

 

New Video: Follow Young French Artist Esther Maud on a Wild Adventure in “Etranger Solitaire”

Esther Maud is an emerging Paris-based multidisciplinary artist: Maud is a photographer, videographer and singer/songwriter, who also designs clothes and draws. As a songwriter, the rising French artist records sketches and snippets of melodies and verses as vice memos, that over time eventually become acapella recorded songs that are often simultaneously melancholy and playful. She then sends them off to producers across French to flesh out.

debut EP Puisque rien ne dure thematically touches upon love, particularly lost love, heartbreak, romantic reunions, longing and so on while seemingly drawing comparisons to the great French chanson singers like Françoise Hardy, Jacquline Taïeb and contemporaries like Claire Laffut and Clara Luciani. Puisque rien ne dure‘s latest single “Etranger solitaire” is a hook driven pop confection centered around the rising French artist’s breathy and coquettish cooing and a slick, dance floor friendly production that — to my ears — reminds me a little bit of Daft Punk. But underneath the song’s breezy exterior is a a sweet and swooning tale of reunited love.

French artist flying above the French seaside, hanging out with her best girlfriend and and a group of people attempting a Tik Tok-styled dance on the beach.

New Audio: Emerging French Artist Esther Maud Releases an Infectious Bop

photographer, videographer and singer/songwriter, who also designs clothes and draws. As a songwriter, the rising French artist records sketches and snippets of melodies and verses as vice memos, that over time eventually become acapella recorded songs that are often simultaneously melancholy and playful. She then sends them off to producers across French to flesh out.

Maud’s debut EP Puisque rien ne dure thematically touches upon love, particularly lost love, heartbreak, romantic reunions, longing and so on while seemingly drawing comparisons to the great French chanson singers like Françoise Hardy, Jacquline Taïeb and contemporaries like Claire Laffut and Clara Luciani. Puisque rien ne dure’s latest single “Etranger solitaire” is a hook driven pop confection centered around the rising French artist’s breathy and coquettish cooing and a slick, dance floor friendly production that — to my ears — reminds me a little bit of Daft Punk. But underneath the song’s breezy exterior is a a sweet and swooning tale of reunited love.

New Video: Mackenzie Leighton Returns with a Playful Visual for “Mona by the Seaside”

Mackenzie Leighton is a rising San Diego-born, Paris-based indie folk singer/songwriter and musician. Leighton’s family moved to a small, seaside town in Maine, where she grew up and spent her formative years. Interestingly, the San Diego-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter […]

New Video: Paris’ Ligne Quatre Releases a Feverish and Nightmarish Visual for Woozy “A Trois”

Deriving their name from one of the busiest lines of the Paris subway system, Ligne Quartre, which starts in the Porte de Clignancourt section towards the north, passes through the the heart of the city and ends in the Mairie de Montrouge section, just outside its limits, the rising Paris-based hip-hop collective — Dr. Lulu, Pif Au Mic, Koco and Exil — are inspired by  Nepal, Sopico, NTM, Saian Supa Crew, Pablo Servigne and the films of Wong Kar-wai and Jim Jarmusch. Interestingly, the individual members of the French hip-hop collective can trace both the origins of their careers and the collective to over a decade ago: Koco and Dr. Lulu started rapping about a decade ago in Rouen while Pic Auc and Exil started rapping in Brittany.

Bonding over their mutual inspirations, the act eventually moved in together, living in an 18th century home, off the Chateau Rouge stop of Ligne Quatre. Last year, the collective released their debut EP Arrent Demande, which featured, the Jurassic 5-like “Trop de Temps.” Thematically, the EP touched upon lost loves, failure, global warming and a series of other concerns.

Building upon a growing profile, the act’s follow-up, sophomore six-song EP is slated for an early September release. In the meantime, the forthcoming EP’s first single “A Trois” features each of the collective’s emcees spitting effortlessly dexterous and densely worded French over an uneasy and woozy production centered around skittering, tweeter and woofer rattling trap beats, a looped, plucked guitar figure and rumbling low end paired with an enormous hook.

Directed by Le Labo — Lucas Le Roux, Elsa Milovanovic and Yann Omnés — the recently released visual for “A Trois” is a gorgeously shot yet surreal fever dream that finds Ligne Quatre’s three emcees seemingly lost in an unforgiving terrain that they all try to desperately escape, only to be trapped. Their hell is constant, infinite and renders each of them small and vulnerable.

New Audio: Mackenzie Leighton Returns with a Breezy New Single

Mackenzie Leighton is a rising San Diego-born, Paris-based indie folk singer/songwriter and musician. Leighton’s family moved to a small, seaside town in Maine, where she grew up. The San Diego-born, Paris-based artist can trace much of the origins of her music career to her father taking her to classical piano lessons as a young girl. When Leighton turned 18, she attended my alma mater, New York University — and while in New York, she played in several jazz and folk inspired bands. 

Upon graduation, Leighton relocated to Paris. She landed a day job as a florist and launched a solo career with the release of 2017’s self-titled EP, a singer/songwriter folk effort that was released to praise and comparisons to Phoebe Bridgers and Julia Jacklin. Leighton’s sophomore EP, last year’s Tourist(e) was a decided change in sonic direction that found the rising American-born, French-based artist working with French musicians and producers while pairing folk-inspired songwriting with lush yet contemporary instrumentation and production. Leighton has supported both of her recorded efforts with shows in and around Paris, as well as with tours in Italy, Belgium and here in the States. 

Earlier this week, I wrote about EP track “Un jour la vie.” Centered around Leighton’s coquettish vocals, a sinuous yet propulsive bass line, thumping beats and shimmering guitars, “Un jour la vie” is a playful and infectious invitation to dream of an escape to Italy, to drink endless Aperol Spritzes and to dance the night away without a care in the world. A wondrous dream considering the last 18 months, eh? The EP’s third and latest single, EP title track “Flueriste” is a hook-driven pop confection featuring shimmering synths, a buoyant bass line and Leighton singing the song’s lyrics in a gorgeous and breezy English. The song manages to address the plight of contemporary musicians unable to work — but hoping for a bright future of live shows, and all of things we missed so very much.

Acclaimed Malian-born, Paris-based kora player Ballaké Sissoko comes from an equally acclaimed and deeply musical family: Sissoko is the song of the late, legendary kora master Djelimady Sissoko, best known for his work with Ensemble Instrumental Du Mali. Drawn to the kora at at a very young age, the younger Sissoko was taught the instrument by his father.

Tragicaally, Djelmady died while his children were very young — and Ballaké stepped up to take on the role of the family breadwinner, eventually taking his father’s place in Ensemble Instrumental Du Mail.

Interestingly, Ballakè Sissoko has had a long-held fascination with genres and sounds outside of the scope the Mandika people — i.e., flamenco guitar, sitar and others — which has inspired and led to a series of critically applauded collaborations with a diverse and eclectic array of musicians across the globe including Vincent SegalToumani Diabaté, legendary bluesman Taj Mahal and Ludovic Einaudi.

Now, as you may recall Nø Førmat Records released Sissoko’s 11th album Djourou earlier this year. The album features solo compositions while continuing upon his long-held reputation for collaborating with a cast of diverse and unexpected artists including Nouvelle Vague’Camille, African legend Salif Keita, young, leading female kora player Sona Jobareth, the aforementioned Vincent Segal and Malian-born, French emcee Oxmo Puccino among others. 

Deriving its name from the Bambara word for string Djourou can trace its origins to when Sissoko approached Nø Førmat label head Laurent Bizot with the proposition of blending solo kora pieces with unexpected collaborations. Interestingly, the label and Sissoko mutually agreed that he taake teh time to confirm enriching and challenging parternships with artists, who were also fans of Sissoko’s work. The album took a painstaking yet fruitful two years to write and record.

Over the past couple of months I’ve written about three of Djourou‘s released singles:

  • Frotter Les Mains:” Deriving its title from the French phrase for “rub hands,” the mediative track is centered around the simple percussive element of Sissoko rubbing his hands back and forth, shimmering plucked kora and Malian-born, French-based emcee Oxmo Puccino’s dexterous and heady bars in French. While being a much-needed bit of peace, thoughtfulness and empathetic connection in a world that’s often batshit insane, the two artists make a vital connection between the ancient and the modern, the West and Africa — with an important reminder that hip hop is the lingua franca of post-modern life. 
  • Album title track “Djourou,” which sees Sissoko collaborating with leading Gambian-born, female kora player Sona Jobarteh. Centered around the duo holding a musical conversation by trading expressive and shimmering, melodic kora lines paired with ethereal interwoven vocals, the track finds its collaborations making connections with across both contemporary African borders and through time. Interestingly, Sissoko sought out Jobarteh with a specific wish to connect with the younger generation of kora players — to rejoin with their common forebears, to weave a connective thread across borders that were unknown and unimagined to the griots of the Malian Empire’s presence over much of West Africa. 
  • Kora,” a collaboration with Nouveau Vague’s Camille centered around the electric and playful interplay between Camille’s coquettish vocals and Sissoko’s expressive yet melodic bursts of kora. The song itself is a love letter to the kora that suggests that the instrument holds an ancient, mystical power.

Djourou‘s latest single “Jeu Sur La Symphonie Fantasique 2” is an album bonus track that features Patrick Messina (clarinet) and frequent collaborator Vincent Segal (cello). This particular collaboration can trace its origins back to when the trio were all playing at the annual Berlioz Festival held in France: The trio were invited to create a piece to mark the 150th anniversary of Hector Berlioz’s death. The end result is a gorgeous re-imagining of “Symphonie Fantasique” that focuses on the composition’s “March To The Scaffold” segment that manages to draw parallels between the martial themes of the original composition and the historic battles of Sissoko’s Mandinka people. Interestingly, while being breathtakingly gorgeous, the track feels like a witty and playful conversation between three masters of their craft.

New Audio: DeLaurentis Returns with a Cinematic and Expansive Single

hing her father play music. As a young girl, she understood that music notes would spring up and fly away from her arms, hands and fingers — that music was essentially a part of her. 

where she began working on material with keyboards, sequencers, computers and other electronics. Inspired by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Max Richter, Brian Eno, Oneothrix Point Never, and Laurie Anderson, DeLaurentis developed and honed a lush and cinematic sound featuring modern and vintage analog synthesizers, piano, loop machines and arpeggiators paired with her ethereal vocals. 

After developing her sound, she relocated to Paris, where she released her first two EPs, which featured some attention grabbing videos. Several tracks off those early releases wound up being placed on commercials and American TV shows. Building upon a growing profile, DeLaurentis began working on the material that would become her full-length debut Unica in a spacious and luminous Paris studio, where over the next two years, she intensified her relationship between her instruments and modern technology. As for the album, Unica is a concept album that tells the tale of the fusion between woman and machine. While Unica finds DeLaurentis collaborating with Dan Black, Yaron Herman, Daymark and Fabien Waltmann, the album prominently features a track recorded with artificial intelligence, supervised by Benoit Carré, a pioneer in A.I.

Late last year, I wrote about the album’s incredibly cinematic first single “Life,” which featured shimmering, Giorgio Moroder-like synth arpeggios, soaring strings, skittering, tweeter and woofer rocking trap beats and DeLaurentis’ ethereal and plaintive vocals singing lyrics that draws from one of the more famous lines in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “It is a tale/Told but an idiot, full of sound and fury,/Signifying nothing.” Seemingly inspired by Thematically seeming as though it were influenced by Spike Jonze’s Her or Steven Spielberg’s AI, “Life” tells the tale of Unica coming alive and bursting out from the screen that contained her. The song goes on to have the fictional DeLaurentis and Unica meeting each other and observing each other with curiosity — and a bit of fear of what may be next for both. 

Unica’s latest single “Be A Woman” continues a run of densely layered and incredibly cinematic material. Centered around looped classical-like piano arpeggios by Yaron Herman paired with arpeggiated synths, soaring strings, handclaps, soaring vocal harmonies the arrangement serves as a sumptuous and satiny bed for the French artist’s plaintive vocals, which manage to express awe, confusion and fear — within a turn of a phrase.

“I got the idea for this song after a hypnosis session, where I relived the same scene 3 times. First in a subjective way, then in a meta position (by being outside the scene, in observation) then a third time by imagining a double, a new version of myself that would take me by the hand, getting me out of this situation and took me to Sunset Boulevard where we would rollerblade towards the beach and the sunset!” DeLaurentis says of the inspiration behind the song — and the album. “This double is UNICA, the one I call my digital sister. It was in this state of hypnosis that I first met her. In this initiatory journey, she guided me and whispered to me these words “You’ll be more than kings, more than gods… you’ll be a woman” in reference to the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling “you’ ll be a Man, my son!” but in a feminine version. I had the chance to collaborate on this song with the talented jazz pianist Yaron Herman where during an improvisation session he had the idea of ​​this piano arpeggio. This sequence of chords evoking momentum, awakening was the ideal ground to illustrate our rollerblading descent with Unica on Sunset Boulevard. And also with the English producer Dan Black with whom we explored all the roughness and sounds hidden behind this arpeggio. Using multiple effects pedals, we re-recorded analog synths (oberheim / prophet) in arpeggiator form by playing them back in amps, with old RE20 type mics. The goal was to bring as much life as possible to the digital parts by integrating randomness into them and giving rise to what are called ‘happy accidents.’ These so-called ‘human’ errors. This piece is therefore the result of a long musical and philosophical reflection and of beautiful human and artistic encounters.”

New Video: Mackenzie Leighton Releases a Breezy and Escapist Pop Confection

Mackenzie Leighton is a rising San Diego-born, Paris-based indie folk singer/songwriter and musician. Leighton’s family moved to a small, seaside town in Maine, where she grew up. The San Diego-born, Paris-based artist can trace much of the origins of her music career to her father taking her to classical piano lessons as a young girl. When Leighton turned 18, she attended my alma mater, New York University — and while in New York, she played in several jazz and folk inspired bands.

Upon graduation, Leighton relocated to Paris. She landed a day job as a florist and launched a solo career with the release of 2017’s self-titled EP, a singer/songwriter folk effort that was released to praise and comparisons to Phoebe Bridgers and Julia Jacklin. Leighton’s sophomore EP, last year’s Tourist(e) was a decided change in sonic direction that found the rising American-born, French-based artist working with French musicians and producers while pairing folk-inspired songwriting with lush yet contemporary instrumentation and production. Leighton has supported both of her recorded efforts with shows in and around Paris, as well as with tours in Italy, Belgium and here in the States.

musician focusing on the reality of life as an expatriate, torn between two different cultures and hemispheres. And much like its immediate predecessor, Flueriste sonically continues in a similar vein. In the lead-up to the EP’s release, Leighton recently released the EP’s second and latest single, “Un jour la vie.” Centered around Leighton’s coquettish vocals, a sinuous yet propulsive bass line, thumping beats and shimmering guitars, “Un jour la vie” is an infectious invitation to dream of an escape to Italy, where you’d drink endless Aperol Spritzes and dance the night away without a care in the world. Considering the last 18 months, that sounds like a wonderful dream to me.

shot and edited by Celia Marie Petersen and Adrianna Lankford, the accompanying visual for “Un jour la vie” follows the adorable Leighton as she plans for an escape to Italy to drink cocktails, be fashionable, eat fantastic food and dance the days and nights away. That’s life, ain’t it?

Lyric Video: Paris’ QLAPs Returns with a Glistening Banger

o create accessible, pop-leaning dance music. Earlier this week, I wrote about the French trio’s “I Can’t Wait,” an infectious and swaggering club banger that reminded me of Yelle and JOVM mainstays L’Imperatice.

I don’t want your love,” was released earlier this year, and it continues a run of club friendly material centered around glistening synth arpeggios, sultry vocals, tweeter and woofer thumping beats and a euphoria inducing hook within a song that expresses the coquettish — and somewhat confusing — push and pull of love and lust.