Reminds us of:
The Velvet Underground, Jean-Jaques Perrey, Brigitte Bardot, Loop, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Francoise Hardy, the Liminanas
Links to music in blue.
2019 has been an interesting year for psychedelic music, with some unlikely forces combing to make some great music. Who would have thought that five times world snooker champion Steve Davis would get together with Kavus Torabi and Michael York to make trippy psychedelic krautrock that actually sounds rather good? Or that French actress Emanuelle Seigner would get together with Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre fame and the Liminanas to make a super cool Pysch Rock record?
It’s the latter combination that we focus on here, as they have formed a band named L’Epee (the Sword) and created a wonderful new album ‘Diabolique’. The band announced themselves to the world via the excellent single Dreams earlier this year, sounding like Jean-Jaques Perry’s EVA mixed with Brigitte Bardot’s Contact and the Eurotrash theme.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the names, Emanuelle Seigner is best known as an actress, having appeared in a number of films since the 80’s including Bitter Moon and Frantic. She’s also been in another band ‘Ultra Orange’ and is married to the film director Roman Polanski. The Brian Jonestown Massacre have been around since the 1990s, consistently making quality psychedelic / shoegaze music, and the Liminanas are a French psych rock duo who’ve been around since the mid 2000’s. This is not the first time they have appeared together – Seigner provided guest vocals on their Shadow People album, as did Anton Newcombe but it’s their first album under the ‘L’Epee moniker.
If you know the BJM and the Liminanas you’ll kind of know what to expect on ‘Diabolique’, although the album has a definite 60’s French pop sensibility about it. This pop influence comes out most on ‘Dreams’ and Springfield 61, both magnifique, and with Springfield 61 sounding like it could have been produced by Phil Spector.
The album opens in spritely fashion with Une Lune Etrange, curiously sung in English despite its French title. Lou follows, which like Ghost Rider later on is the sort of Velvet Underground-esque drone that you’d expect from Newcombe. After ‘Dreams’ Seigner narrates La Brigade Des Malefices, which sounds not dissimilar to Vapour by Loop from their album ‘A Gilded Eternity’.
The drone effect comes into play again with Grande and Un Rituel Habituel before Last Picture Show brings the proceedings to a close. It is all good stuff.
Prior to the album’s release, the band released teaser clips of the tracks with notes (presumably translated from French) which are listed as they appeared below:
Une Lune Etrange: ‘There is a New Order Aspect in the construction of this song. It may come from our collaboration with Peter Hook on Shadow People album
Lou: I Love him and I hate him. How could he has forgiven his parents the electrochoc therapy they used to treat him of rock and roll?
Dreams: Dreams tell the misfortunes of a women harassed by a bad guy she finally eat.
Les Brigade Des Malefices: For the atmosphere the song owes a lot to SHERLOCK HOLMES and JACK THE RIPPER
On Dansait Avec Elle: Emmanuelle and Bertrand are singing in Duo, its one of my favorite songs
Ghost Rider: Of course, it’s a tribute to ALAN VEGA
Grande: The atmosphere has never been to minimalism. Its rather to maximalism
Springfield 61: This song refers to 60s movies as the Great Race, as well as eroticism
Un Rituel Inhabituel: The song took so much breath in studie in Berlin than it might be difficult to play it on scene. We will have to adapt it
The Last Picture Show: It looks like closing titles
There’s a good interview in the Guardian which gives further background to the band and the album which you can read here.
The band are playing a couple of UK tour dates, click here for more detail.