Some of you might know this great Serge Gainsbourg tune called "Les papillons noirs", sung in 1966 in duet with legendary intellectual french demoiselle Michèle Arnaud, and later reworked with Serge himself by French powerpop outfit Bijou in 1978...Dark -black- thoughts, melancholic mood...
Papillons Noirs is now the name of a brand new London/Belfast based 7" inch label and the link with abovementionned song is not purely coincidence...
The debut release of the label is a transcendental reprise of Air's "Cherry Blossom Girl" by Chicago romantic wonderboy Fireflies and next releases will include "Ebay watchlist" from Swedish superwoman Komon plus new stuff from HSOL and Cloetta Paris !
So watch out for Papillons Noirs next dispatches, all valuable promises of harmonies for your ears, for your heart...
=> go to the Magasin buy some Papillons Noirs stuff
Botpop Volume One (Happy Robots)
The term "indietronica" is finally being reclaimed by the very wonderful Happy Robots records (home of Arthur and Martha) to represent a compilation of perfect pop ditties where pure electropop and indie aesthetics cross-pollinate to breed a new kind of POP! Whereas the term "indietronica" has more and more become an excuse for uneventful underachieving singer-songwriter type "indiepop" artists to make their meandering "tunes" look more interesting and "radical" by adding some superficial electronical clicks (and no I am not naming any names, you will just have to work it out for yourselves) the Happy Robots team show how it should properly be done.
No mere melding of an electronic undercarriage to dull pedestrian indiepop tunes here. Instead we get a compilation full of first rate electropop gems, albeit with a true independent heart beating under their shiny robotic exterior. BotPop opens up with the latest instalment in Swedish band the Bridal Shop's quest to make THE perfect pop song of the year and they might just have achieved their goal. Whereas their songs have always been the perfect marriage between true Sarah records-esque indiepop and a Saint Etienne-esque dancepop shimmer, "cloudkick" sees them perfecting this skill by adding an even more dancefloor friendly touch, making it an almost balearic type classic for the naughties.
Arthur and Martha themselves deliver another highlight with new track "ultra alliance", less a gliding Kraftwerk-esque tune than their "autovia" single, but more of a New Order-type melody vs Pet Shop Boys influenced dancefloor anthem…
Former Plone member Mike In Mono shows he is still master of the electropop instrumental, albeit in a less children television/radiophonic workshop take on the Plone sound. "Promare" sounds more like one of those wonderful instrumentals you could find tucked away on the b-side of an old Soft Cell
The wonderfully monikered “Television Keeps Us Apart” deliver a sort of electropop take on the classic
Jupiter's "rollergirl" is everything you'd wish a Annie song would sound like (but seldom does). The Hong Kong in the 60's track "meet at Vincent Sq" sounds like Kraftwerk soundtracking a 60's spy thriller with Laetitia Stereolab or Kazu Blonde Redhead on additional vocals, and is utterly gorgeous (again and again they show themselves to be one of the finest and most versatile new bands about and I for one can't wait for them to get round to releasing an album which will be an absolute masterpiece). Ooh, I could go on and on ... There's no fillers here.
The enigmatic The Coal Daughters close proceedings with "panzerkrieg", another stately electropop instrumental which could have been included on Japan's classic "gentlemen take polaroids" album (and that is meant as a compliment).
Incredible Weapons : s/t (Autoreleased)
It all happened halfway between the kitchen and the living-room in an English house. There was water boiling in the kettle and a girl you may fancy a bit was sitting there. It was just a few months ago. Or maybe… maybe I’m telling you a sub-story. You still know what I mean. It happened.
Danny’s recordings are perfectly situated – in space and time. These five songs directly speak to you. They’re not awkward Xerox copies of anything felt or sung before – no… it is the new, pristine, direct thing. Not the borrowed feeling, not the memories. They’re rather classical pop songs still something else actually happens: there is someone out there. Everything is beautifully mastered, from the guitar playing to the singing.
This EP may actually be one of the prettiest demo recordings I ever heard, alongside Tales Of Jenny’s Ferg Sessions (2006). It’s gentle, caressing music à la Goky’s Zygotic Mynci. Sometimes it goes faster, sometimes it goes further (‘Solipsister’, ‘Anna With Stripes’): it’s power and it’s pop. Ever fallen for Ben Kweller? ‘Solipsister’ is a hit. It begs to be played and played again. It begs to be danced to. It’s racing through the room through your heart. It’s truly candid ear-candy. Danny speaks for real. He sings for real. He means it. He means everything, and everything else. What about you?
It’s like falling in love and pretending you can help it. You poured the girl a cup of tea and she said, ‘Fine’.
Shrag by Shrag (wiaiwya)
Several great 7"singles delivered in 2 years time and here is the spanking new debut album from Brighton's finest cream pop combo Shrag, almost sounding like a greatest hits album.
Their music will not turn pop chapters upside-down but listening to those 12 songs in a straight row will definitely reboost your neurones, and the dirty touch of Woodie Taylor (Comet Gain, Love is All...) at the mix would only be a sketchy explanation for this...
From the convultion and off-key narration of The Fall (Lost Dog, Cupboard Love ) to the henhanced mixed pop of Bis (Forty Five 45s, Hopelessly Wasted) and the dead-pan choirs of Love is All (Long Term Monster, Mark E. Smith), Shrag combines all the ingredients that could soon turn the ephemeral flower into eternal fragrance...
=> Get it at Rough Trade Shops