(part of a series on new French music that ran on The 405 between 2018–2019)
Funny how not much changed since our last column. Weather’s still shitty. Strikes and University occupations are still on (and will be, with the grace of Our Saint and Patron Daniel Cohn-Bendit). People are still obnoxious. And then there was that disastrous Eurovision win that had us throwing up a bit in the mouth due to its obvious socio-political connotations, which allied to the annual Tax Season Blues™ could make for that extra spring visit to the therapist. Ah, and here you were, thinking that everything was going so well…!
Not all is bad, though: birds keep singing, sex is still the best free cardio available, and good music keeps popping out from every corner of France like those cheeky cockroaches who dare to adventure into your kitchen sink. It’s a crazy world out there, but one can always choose to put on their headphones and embrace a life of solitude in order not to permanently want to repeatedly stab themselves in the eye. Here’s this column’s selection, hoping to contribute to that much-needed time-out from your dreadful existence while providing for a more vivid belief in an ideal parallel universe where hangovers are a myth and cake frosting doesn’t fuck your bowels up.
Maestro share video for ‘Harmony’
With their new album Monkey Business out on May 18th via Tigersushi (featuring fellow label artist Joakim on mixing duties), Franco-Scottish trio are a brilliant example of how profitable the marriage between two different electronica approaches (geographically speaking) can be. Their latest video, for album opener ‘Harmony’, was directed by Camille Samprez and serves as an excellent gateway drug to the rest of the LP; slightly invasive due to the constant close-ups, it pays due homage to the early 2000s in both its sound and visual approaches. Check out this definite candidate to summer dance floor favourite.
PMCP release new EP Big Monkey
I confess that sometimes you just have to thank the YouTube algorithm — it was its randomness that led me to discover and their recently-released third EP Big Monkey. A curious mix of old-school hip-hop, acid jazz, and ’90s clubbing, it’s the insistent saxophone and the seemingly transversal narrative to the EP that set PMCP apart from other similar acts. You can stream Big Monkey now in full via Animal Records’ Bandcamp, but you should also check out the videos for ‘Monkey Brothers’ and ‘Rodin The Jungle’.
Jaromil Sabor release fourth album Second Science
Hailing from the beautiful wine region of Bordeaux, quintet Jaromil Sabor have a special sensibility in what comes to marrying ‘90s-fuelled indie sounds and jingle-jangle pop — and their fourth album Second Science, released last month via Howlin’ Banana/Casbah Records is a great example of this unique combination. Add a slight throwback vibe (they define their sound with references that range from “The Turtles produced by Ray Davies” to “The Beach Boys produced by Chris Bell”) and an adorable French accent, and you have the recipe for a perfect spring cocktail in the shape of nine feel-good tracks. You can stream/buy Second Science via Howlin Banana’s Bandcamp.
Ricky Hollywood returns with new EP L’Aventure Intérieure
Electronica lovers, rejoice! Described by his label Futur Records as “winner of EP Of The Year in the category of EP To Listen By The Fireplace And Elsewhere”, Ricky Hollywood’s L’Aventure Intérieure emerges as your musical chill pill of the month. The EP’s five tracks navigate between classy French synth-driven sounds and a dreamier landscape reminiscent of Connan Mockasin or Sébastien Tellier, with a fruity aftertaste highly comparable to those lazy late afternoons spent by the pool. L’Aventure Intérieure succeeds to last year’s Le Modeste Album, and is available via most streaming services.
A V G V S T releases EP to support the SNCF strikers
With a Bandcamp bio simply stating “sex, cancer, leftism”, Paris-based artist has been colouring the French cold wave/ambient landscape since 2001. His most recent release is a four-track EP titled The Other Sea (out now via Anywave Records), an electronica gem that showcases the musician’s musical maturity and expertise while embracing a much-needed social and political militancy: all profits resulting from the EP’s sales go to support the SNCF workers, some of which have been on strike since the beginning of April. You can buy The Other Sea on a “name your price” basis over at Anywave Records Bandcamp.
Don’t forget that there’s an ongoing Bonjour Motherfuckers playlist featuring tasters from all the acts we cover in our column (the ones available on Spotify anyway); check it out below.
Originally published at https://www.thefourohfive.com.