EUROPOP / 80 PROOF RECORDS 3rd June 2022
A gentle recreation of the golden age of French pop – the sixties. The late sixties, in France saw a blossoming of melody and original compositions that rapidly over-shadowed the cover versions of American hits, novelties and over-earnest traditional chanson that filled the charts. Key features were a strong tune and a breathy, often weak, female singer. Jerome Diderot, from the band Orwell, offers a feel of the time, though a selective one. He employs Isobel Campbell of Belle & Sebastian, who is nowhere near as flimsy a singer as Jane Birkin, and favours the gentle girl next door effect over the swinging stomping Ye-Ye girls. The themes are misty and lyrical rather than the barbed sweetness of Gainsbourg or the bedsit loneliness / boy-longing of actual sixties hits. But it’s in French, so unless we make an effort, the precise words wash over us. In any case, ‘Un Theme’ is a wordless lovely filmic image of a rain-washed boulevard with lonely jazz horn painting the brightening evening sky.
A really enjoyable EP, these four songs make me wish they were an album. There are four remixes included but they don’t really add anything for me. Jah Wobble’s features, of course, excellent deep bass and dub effects to no particular end, malheureusement.