Tag: Samsø Denmark

New Video: Nicolas Michaux Releases a Slinky and Brooding Meditation on Economic Anxiousness and Uncertainty

I’ve written a bit about, Brussels-born singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer Nicolas Michaux over the past couple of months. Currently splitting his time between Brussels and Samsø, Denmark, Michaux, who writes and sings in both English and French, has received attention across Europe for crafting as sound that features elements of French chanson, 60s British rock and early New Wave, guided by a distinctly personal spirit and centered around lush and textured production.

Michaux’s sophomore album Amour Colére (which translates into English as Love Anger) is slated for a Friday release through Capitane Records. The album continues the Belgian artist’s ongoing collaboration with Morgan Vigilante — and as you may recall, Michaux and Capitane Record have released three singles off the album to rapturous critical applause: “Harvesters,” which was praised by The Line of Best Fit, “Nos Retrouvallies.” a lush and plaintive song that touches upon classic French chanson themes of love, grief, separation and reunion (either in this world or in the afterlife) and “Parrot,” arguably the album’s funkiest song, which sounds as though it drew influence from Fear of Music-era Talking Heads and Afro pop, while discussing the alienation and paralysis many of us feel in the midst of a morally bankrupt, stupid, cruel world that robs people of their humanity and decency.

“Enemies,” Amour Colére’s fourth single is a slinky and brooding New Wave number featuring shimmering reverb-drenched guitars, a sinuous bass line and a taut four-on-the four that subtly nods at Tom Petty’s “Refugee” but centered around a familiar (and age-old) economic and career-based anxiety and frustration. Much of our existence is deterministic and influenced by larger (and highly indifferent) forces — and the song points that out with a steely-eyed clarity. Interestingly, “Enemies” is influenced by the work of French sociologist Bernard Friot, a historian of social security and advocate for lifetime salary with the song finding Michaux reflecting upon Friot’s work and his own financial situation.

“When you turn 30 and have a child, being broke becomes less and less fun,” Michaux says in press notes. “At the time of writing, we were looking for a place to live and the violence of the housing market took me by the throat. In writing about slavery, Marguerite Yourcenar said that a regime is often most excessive in its cruelty and injustice in its last days. I sometimes get the impression that it’s the same kind of historical scenario we are currently experiencing with the slow agony of capitalism.”

Directed by Thomas de Hemptinne and Nicolas Michaux, the recently released video for “Enemies” is brooding, surreal and impressionistic visual that captures the anxious uncertainty, the loneliness and fear of both the musicians, who worked together during pandemic-related lockdowns and simultaneously that of the viewer.

New Video: Brussels’ Nicolas Michaux Returns with the Incisive and Funky “Parrot”

Nicolas Michaux is a Brussels-born singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer, who currently splits his time between Brussels and Samsø, Denmark. Writing and singing material in both English and French, Michaux has received attention for crafting a sound that meshes elements of French chanson, 60s British rock and early New Wave, guided by a distinctly personal spirit and centered around lush and textured production. 

Earlier this year, Michaux released “Harvesters, the first bit of original material from the Belgian artist since 2016’s À la vie à la mort to critical praise from from  The Line of Best Fit. Building upon the momentum of “Harvesters,” Michaux released “Nos Retrouvallies.”  Continuing his ongoing collaboration with Morgan Vigilante, the lush and plaintive track touches upon classic French chanson themes of love, grief, separation and reunion — either in this world or in the afterlife — in a way that’s simultaneously charming and heartbreaking. 

Both “Harvesters” and “Nos Retrouvailles” will appear on Michaux’s forthcoming album Amour Colére, which is slated for a September 25, 2020 release through Capitane Records. Amour Colére’s third and latest single “Parrot” is a long-time staple of the Belgian artist’s live set — and it may arguably be the funkiest song off the forthcoming album. Centered around a strutting bass line, stuttering four-on-the-floor and  shimmering and looping guitar lines, “Parrot” recalls Fear of Music-era Talking Heads and Afro pop. But at its core the song talks about the alienation and paralysis that many of us feel in the midst of a morally bankrupt, stupid, cruel world, of a globalized economy that exploits and destroys everything in its path, of a global mass media and so on. “It’s a frontal attack against the conformist and cowardly part that lies in us all,” Michaux says of the song. 

Directed by visual artist Yoann Stehr, the recently released video for “Parrot,” is an  montage of newsreel images taken from the Internet, looped and edited in time to the song’s infectious groove. In many ways, the video can conceivably be titled “2020 In Your Face” or “The End of Our World as We Know It” but the key thing is that it’s an unsettling juxtapositions of familiar images in which the dominant figures of our world — the heads of state, the capitalists, the police officers — have their penchant for greed, destruction and exploration revealed to all. Of course, a new guard that includes Yellow Vests, BLM, feminists, ecologists an da host of others have risen up to combat the old ways and bring about a new way, saving what can still be saved. It’s desperate times y’all but on occasion there’s still hope that right and goodness could win. 

New Video: Follow Star Crossed Lovers in a Cinematic and Surreal Visual for Nicolas Michaux’s “Nos Retrouvailles”

Nicolas Michaux is a Brussells-born singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer, who currently splits his time between Brussels and Samsø, Denmark. Writing and singing material in both English and French, Michaux has received attention for a sound that meshes elements of French chanson, 60s British rock and early New Wave among others while guided by a distinctly personal spirit — and paired with a lush and textured production. 

Earlier this year, Michaux released “Harvesters,” which received praise from The Linen of Best Fit and marked the first bit of original material from the Belgian-born singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer since 2016’s À la via, à la mort. Building upon the momentum of “Harvesters,” Michaux’s last single “Nos Retrouvailles” continues his ongoing collaboration with Morgan Vigilante. Centered around a lush arrangement featuring shimmering Rhodes, reverb-drenched guitar, a propulsive rhythm section and Michaux’s achingly plaintive vocals, “Nos Retrouvailles” is a charming yet nostalgic track that’s decidedly influenced by French chanson as it touches upon themes of love, grief, separation and reunion — either in this world or in the afterlife. 

“I began writing this song in 2016 when I first went to Samsø,” Michaux says in press notes about the song. “It was sunny in the tiny courtyard of the house that we were renting at the time. I finished it three years later when I returned to Samsø Island and made an acoustic version before producing several months later the version which figures on the album.

“It’s a bit mysterious, the song, but also well balanced. I hardly feel I wrote it. It was always there. Discovered rather than composed. It lends itself to several interpretations and that’s what I like about it. It has more than one voice.”

Directed by Simon Vanrie, the recently released video for “Nos Retrouvailles” was filmed in an industrial park in Belgium. Starring Michaux and Amadine Laval and Habib Ben Tanfous as two star-crossed lovers — and throughout parallels are drawn between the pastoral imagery of the song’s lyrics, the video’s star-crossed lovers and a small bit of natural, bursting from the industrial wasteland with the end result being of a fever dream of longing and loss.