Monday, 22 March 2010

La nouvelle scène française – Part 2 – Les chanteuses françaises

The recent ascension of female vocalists in the U.K, which has spawned the likes of Florence (and the Machine), MIA, and Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes) to name a few, has propelled such artists onto the world stage. The soaring success of these artists has encouraged the study into the offerings of the female vocalists from across the channel to see how they shape up against their British counterparts.

The first artiste goes by the name of Emilie Simon, an extremely gifted composer of electronic music. Simon has a unique style of performance due to the combination of a traditional musical education with studio experimentations into the technologies of musical sounds. The use of science and technology is a key element of her musical wondrousness, which includes an awe-inspiring arm controller that allows control in modulating and transforming her live singing voice through a variety of controlled effects. This level of control initiates a fascinating intensity of versatility, by using advancements in technology to exhibit unique sounds, solely created by her. This is demonstrated by her most recent single “Dreamland” from the 2009 album The Big Machine.

Camille is a French singer-songwriter who collected the Best Female Vocalist Award at the 2009 Victoires de la Musique. She has a fascinating style, which explores her own personal visions of music and writing after a background in new wave and bossa nova music. Camille’s music clearly exhibits a captivating exploration of the voice after her thread-like 2005 album Le Fil, with only the double bass and keyboard as instrumental accompaniments. Le Fil as well as her 2008 album Music Hole, were both created in collaboration with English producer MaJiKer. The most recent album, Music Hole, displays an exploration of the body on this occasion with fuller backing instrumental accompaniment. The musical resonance leans towards apparent body percussions and tribal sounds after collaborations with the Brazilian band Barbatuques and Sly Johnson of the beat boxing world.

The child of the famous French actor/singer Serge Gainsbourg is the next instalment of French vocalism. Charlotte Gainsbourg delivers a multi-talented array of offerings to the world as both an actress and singer. Debut album Charlotte Forever was produced by father Serge at a time when she struggled to ignore the world of cinema. The second instalment of musical recognition came over 20 years later after taking a back-seat to her acting career. The album enlisted the help of some music greats in defining her as an artist and interpreter clearly out of the shadow of her musical family heritage. 5:55 boasts a spell-binding team of composers, lyricists and producers including Jarvis Cocker, the hugely popular French band Air, and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. The result was a dreamy and ambient exhibition of modern musical intimacy and talent.