July 14, 2024

The Limiñanas – “Shadow People” French psych channels the seventies – tres bien!

BECAUSE MUSIC             19th Jan 2018

It’s been a good year or two for fans of classic French rock/pop. This is the second The Limianas album in that time and Charlotte Gainsbourg has made a great album, drawing on her Dad’s seventies sound. That’s more than a Francophile can expect. Even Catherine Deneuve is in the news again. If it wasn’t for the recent death of France Gall, it’d be all smiles.

Much like the last album, this is psych in a big way and very groovy. It uses many of the sounds that turn on fans of Serge Gainsbourg – the spoken voice (Dimanche is the best example), the bubbling bass, the synths, the simple rhymes, the deep muttering (try Trois Bancs).

This album is less homage to Capitan Gitanes and more a cocktail of influences, many worn proudly on the sleeve. This moves further from the template of the louche one and indulges the freak side. Plenty sound like themselves but other flavours ride high. Istanbul Is Sleepy tastes like Iggy Pop. A flat voice drones over a chugging garage/Velvets background. Soeur Ray? Then The Gift goes all New Order. Motorizatti Marie lets the drummer go all motorik while piano arpeggios flutter and spaghetti western guitar echoes. Pink Flamingos could be Syd Barrett-era Floyd.

A duo – Marie and Lionel – from Perpignan in Southern France look the part and are dedicated to the pursuit of a blend of classic sounds, making this a treat for musical trainspotters. These sounds are unavoidable, they follow us round; on the radio, friends’ stereos and colour what we hear and the music we make. Hence the album title. Lionel explains: “The shadow people are an American myth, they are described as furtive apparitions, comparable to ghosts observable from the corner of the eye. These “spirits” accompany throughout your all life, a sort of paranormal glue stuck to you…”

This is an easy and fun album to return to regularly.

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