We love a bit of classic French beat and pop here. In fact, we’ve even done a Spotify playlist full of it. All of those tracks date from the 1960s, but French Boutik are doing it now and doing it well. The new Ici Paris double 45 should bump up the band’s reputation even further.
If you’ve heard the name, it might be because we highlighted the band some time back in our new bands spot. Back then we mentioned that the band’s Anglo-French style took influence from everyone from Ray Davies to Jacques Dutronc (and more contemporary acts too), but without simply being a rehash of a bygone era. They call it ‘moderniste’, you can call it what you like. The bottom line is that French Boutik knock out infuriatingly catchy modern-day grooves with a hint of the past, rather than drowning in it.
The four tracks here showcase the band perfectly. First up (although I’m not sure about the correct running order) is Facile, with the kind of swirling organ sound I’m sucker for, not to mention a chunky guitar groove and a catchy chorus. The vocal is in French and I don’t understand a word. But you know what? It never matters when I’m listening to Jacques Dutronc and it doesn’t matter here. It’s just a great sound.
Ici Paris is more paid back, very French pop and with just a touch of Stereolab about it. That’s a compliment, by the way. Kinki Allumette is a change of tact, male replacing female for lead vocal and English replacing French. Although that catchy vintage pop vibe is still very much in evidence. Finally, Pousse au Crime is slightly more mean and moody, a touch of the ’60s spy flick soundtrack too if you like. Still catchy as hell though.
As you might have guessed, I love this EP and if there’s one frustration here, it’s that I’m reviewing an EP rather than an LP. If you love French pop, Hammond-driven beats or plain old catchy tunes, this is for you.
A band to watch – in fact, if they’re round your way, you really should do that.
The EP is available as a double 45 on vinyl or as a download from September 2013 on the CopaseDisques label. The website is here.