Two of the best contemporary French indiepop singers, Francoiz Breut and Dominique Ane have created several of the most alluring, multi-textured albums in recent memory. Breut's haunting approximation of Marianne Faithfull-by-way-of-Tom Waits is a sure crowd pleaser, while Dominic A's wildly eclectic albums offer a wide range of alluring pop pleasures... If you don't know their stuff already, then now is the time to check them out.
Francoiz Breut "Francoiz Breut" (Lithium, 1997)
WOW. One of the most striking, alluring, atmospheric, jazzy, sexy French albums you're likely to hear. If you are looking for a truly enchanting, truly different-sounding record to groove out on, give this a try. Produced along with her boyfriend, Dominique A, this features smoky, Marianne Faithfull-style vocals swathed in a cloak of dreamy, somewhat foreboding arrangements not unlike Marc Ribot-era Tom Waits, or (dare I say it?) the Cowboy Junkies. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Francoiz Breut "Vingt A Trente Mille Jours" (Labels/Virgin France, 2000)
Though not as haunting as her last album, this shares much of the same brooding grace that endeared France's most downcast mademoiselle to listeners in the late 1990s. Aided once again by Dominique A, Breut has also enlisted many of France's most illustrious indiepoppers, including folks such as Phillipe Katarine and members of Autour de Lucie. The result is a lighter-sounding album which sheds the murky, mystical gravity of her earlier Tom Waits-y leanings in favor of a muted, slightly xylophonic orchestral pop, ala Tindersticks. Although not as immediately spooky as her first album, this is still powerful and poetic, and will hopefully will draw even more listeners into her orbit. Also highly recommended.
Francoiz Breut "Une Saison Volee" (WEA/Tribu, 2005)
Uber-cool and all over the map stylistically, generally speaking this has a harder sound than her earlier albums, and a more mainstream pop-rock feel. A bit of Bjork in there, as well, perhaps? Anyway, this is a listenable, pleasant record, but it doesn't have as much of the mystical, spooky vibe as her earlier albums... Worth checking out, but some fans might be disappointed.
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