Here’s to the melodies that made and still are making my stay here bearable in its many anxieties and phenomenal in its just as many joys.
After publishing the post about my Chilean music discovery, I’ve been thinking I could easily share all of those just as awesome musicians I found right here, in my new hometown. There are many, but in the same time there are only a few that really had a moment of captivating me. The list will grow, I’m sure, because local music is one of the things you slowly adapt to and eventually adopt when you move to a new country. Of course, I’m talking about the contemporary scene and not the beloved pillars of la chanson française, not matter how I fell in love with them in high school (thank you, my dear professor for all the lessons in the company of Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Juliette Greco, Barbara, Gilbert Becaud…).
Visiting the city’s many festivals, stepping into a hall at the right moment, walking past a free concert or just reading the cool weekly magazine (you all know I’m talking about Les Inrocks), either way it’s usually pure luck to find them and only an open ear can be a certain kind of guarantee you might. Here’s to the melodies that made and still are making my stay here bearable in its many anxieties and phenomenal in its just as many joys.
Fauve : This band, oh this band. It saves lives. When I first listened to their songs, it felt like they captured the dark side of this city’s essence. Dark sounds weird, but I say dark because they talk about the anxieties and loneliness we all encounter in this metro-necro-pole or chouette ville as they call it in Sainte Anne. You can accuse them of a certain new young ”bourgeois” attitude, maybe, like everyone really, however, I appreciate them for building a community around their music and message, for erasing or better softening the urges that so often occur, of battles inside us. I absolutely love their dance rhythms, the sound, the interpretation that in one precise moment made me fall in love with the French language all over again. (You forget how beautiful it is when you’re using it every day, constantly struggling through the little mistakes.) There can hardly be anything more healing and uplifting than raising your hand high to the song below, middle finger pointing to the sky, together with a crazy crowd after an already amazing day at Rock en Seine, shouting ”You know what, the blizzard in my head, c’est fini, tout ça c’est fini…” and well a few other less nice words…
Jeanne Added : I actually discovered her on the last year’s day of the music which is a fact I absolutely love. I remember stepping into the Place de la République from Rue du Faubourg du Temple and instantly asking myself ”What is this sound?!”. I never heard about her before, but at that moment I was navigating through a mass of people, insisting to get closer to the energy that was radiating from her voice and the whole band, commanding the stage. I hadn’t intend to stay at the venue, because I prefer smaller improvisational gigs, happening on street corners, but I remained in the crowd through the whole of her act. I couldn’t help it, since she was just getting better for my ears with each song. I still very much appreciate her sound.
Lucas Gabriel : Sometimes, I’m not the smartest cookie in the room, but my luck still saves me. Thinking out of tiredness against my own principle to hear out every introducing act of the concerts I attend, I was running late for the Benjamin Clementine one. Thank the goddess, I made it for the last couple of breaths of this guy’s magnificent voice. His music touches my heart and soothes my soul and hopefully I can finally get to see him solo some day soon. It’s not like we don’t live in the same city, right?
And I’m exercising my free will in adding another.
F. Nevchehirlian : This man can do no wrong for me. I admit I discovered him back home, in the middle of the tiniest capital, Ljubljana, but does it matter? He embraces everything I love about the tradition of the modern French chanson and is, besides that, also an intelligent and opinionated musician. Music is on point, his interpretations of lyrics even more, and the attitude he incorporates in his persona very much valued as well. I chose an old one, from the album inspired by Prévert‘s writings, because we should definitely listen to what it has to say more often.