Bonjour Mesdames at Messieurs, et bienvenu to the regular Swedish-French section of NMR featuring Le Lac Long 814’s Bengt Söderhäll (the poet) and singer/musician Daniel Östersjö. In the third of their releases over the last six months they have a new three-song EP entitled ‘AÏE! AÏE! AÏE!’ and which is also the title track.
This time I don’t have much background information to go on but there is quite a mixed bag here.
‘AÏE! AÏE! AÏE!’ is so sad, and so contrary to the image its title suggests that it’s verging on Fado territory.
‘Plus de toi’ (more of you) is more upbeat than previous tracks with a catchy bass rhythm and delicious interplay between violin and accordion
‘Hors du temps’ (out of time) is a moody guitar piece which possibly has a slightly more Spanish than French feel to it in the early and late instrumental sections. The vocal mid-part is even moodier, with the violin and accordion painting a picture of the darker side of Parisian life.
Habitually I try to paint a picture of my own, of the images these two guys create. Previously I’ve wandered down the Left Bank with them and hung around the seedy fringes of Montmartre. This EP, and especially that last track, has a distinct flavour of Inspector Maigret about it and ‘Hors du temps’ could even be an alternative theme tune to that 1960s TV series.
They are collectively the sort of chansons I imagine Jean Bastien-Thiry and his gang of merry men might have been listening to as they waited at Petit Clamart in August 1962 for General de Gaulle to barrel past in his big Citroen DS and the failed attempt to assassinate him which followed.
Yes, these songs really are that atmospheric.
‘AÏE! AÏE! AÏE!’ was released today on 19th March.
Nordic Music Review 8/10
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