Written for my Entertainment Journalism Class taught by Adam B. Vary, senior film reporter for BuzzFeed News.
If you ever have the chance to go to Paris, you would probably go see the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysée but that’s when you wonder through the smaller Parisian streets that you eventually stumble upon the most unique places. Well, this is what I want to show you, not the Eiffel Tower of french music that you already know of like Daft Punk, Justice and Phoenix but little gems of french music, the french touch you never knew you needed.
Those artists are born and evolving through the more alternative scene, outside of the general commercial canon.
Paradis – An Ode to French Language
If you like the sound of french language, this the band for you. Electro french bands are, for most of them, extremely reluctant to using their mother tongue in their song, but Paradis reaches perfection mixing a flawless spoken french and pop-house music. It is hard to resist to the elegant and melancholic sound.
Agar Agar – The Disco Duo
This one is my personal favorite and it should be your favorite too if you like to dance. The electro-pop duo is digging into 80’s disco sound and it sublimated by the suave voice of Clara. They are undoubtedly the new generation of the french touch following the precedent one that consisted of Daft Punk, Laurent Garnier or Sebastien Tellier. “Prettiest Virgin” is about a teenage girl who desperately wants the attention of her crush at a party but is too shy to make a move. Can you relate yet ?
Flavien Berger – The Machine Man
Flavien Berger defines himself as a machine man, a musician whose inevitable extension would be his computers. His creation has always been experimental. He started making music in his bedroom with his playstation 2 and now he is slowly starting to get renown within the underground scene. It is a great challenge to sing in french but Flavien Berger mixes skillfully poetry and psychedelia. Let him take you in his futuristic universe.
Norma – The Girl Who Rocks
Norma is a solo artist, she writes her own lyrics but can also play guitar, piano and sing. Her scene name is borrowed from various inspiring women such as Norma Jean Baker, better know under the name of Marilyn Monroe and the character Norma Jennings of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. In her song “ Girl in the City”, Norma is ably denouncing street harassment. She talks about how hard it is for a girl to simply walk peacefully in the street, “ask any girl in the city […] We can never walk alone,” she sings with angry guitar riffs in the background. She also tackles the issue of sexism on the working place when her boss asks her to put some make up on to look more attractive.
Breakbot – The French Jesus of Funk
Breakbot is clearly the most famous one of this list since everybody has heard his “Baby I’m Yours” song, maybe even you, but not directly. In a 100% french scandal, Breakbot accused Bruno Mars of plagiarism. Breakbot said the artist asked him if he could sample “Baby I’m Yours”, to which the answer was no. A few month later was released “Treasure”. I will let you judge by yourself. Beside this, you should really consider adding him to your playlist because he really is, the french Jesus of funk. And by now you should that when I say french I mean electro.