Thursday, 26 September 2013

French Boutik – Ici Paris (2 x 7”)

Parisian lounge-mods further the “pop moderniste” sound on their second EP, a double 7” no less!

Following last year's Les Chats de Gouttière EP, Paris-based boy/girl band French Boutik get even groovier on their latest double 7” single. Ici Paris is an more assured and confident take on the mix of lounge, beat and mod-ish sounds that made the band's first EP so welcome and refreshing.

The five piece group, whose musical taste is as sharp as their clothes and haircuts, personify retro cool while documenting the trials and tribulations of la vie moderne. Their sound is rooted in the '60s, as best demonstrated on lead song Ici Paris, the first of three French language songs and a track which would sit easily on La Belle Epoque, EMI's compilation of '60s French girl singers.

Though my schoolboy knowledge of the French language has mostly faded from memory, the odd phrase or sentence cuts through. On Ici Paris vocalist Gabriela Giacoman sings of a tenant (and her cats) fighting against a greedy landlord and the soulless desires of city planners. This theme of the underdog is echoed on Facile, an uptempo floor-filler which rallies against big business.

Pousse Au Crime has a spy movie vibe about it with some neat organ and guitar chops. As on the band's last EP there's a token English language track for us non bilingual rosbif. Kinky Alumette tells a tale of trying to get to a band practise during a Paris Metro train strike. Groovy retro-pop done with flair and humour. As with the band's previous 7”, it's a lovingly designed and packaged affair, and well worth a spin on anyone's Dansette.