Sunday, April 24, 2016

SHREM'S SPECIAL: THE RETURN OF THE BIG BALLAD [Juliette Armanet + M83 feat. Susanne Sundfør + Kadhja Bonet]

Very unlike the sounds you normally find on my carousel of tunes, I'd like to dedicate this special one-off post to the good old-fashioned ballads. All three tracks I have selected for you are actually new but they're all paying exquisite homages to the golden eras of 1970's and 80's song-writing and balladry. Epic, big, irresistibly melodic and charmingly kitschy these 3 gems will take you on a bizarrely sentimental journey.

I have first come across Juliette Armanet on "Colette French Kiss" - jewel of a compilation, filled with up and coming French talents. Armanet's delicious slice of electro pop "L'amour en Solitaire", produced by the mighty Yuksek, was an instant favourite. Now the Parisian Pop mermaid returns, beguiling us with her angelic voice even more, with a Chanson Française à la vintage "Manque d'amour" which announces the release of her brand new EP "Cavalier Seule". This classic French Pop composition with subtle yet sumptuous production left me astounded. Françoise Hardy meets Air.

M83's latest album "Junk" seems to have divided not only their fanbase but the whole blogosphere. I have been completely enchanted by its concept and spectacular guest appearances. While "Time Wind" featuring Beck may be the catchiest moment on the entire album it's the magnificent collaboration with Norway's prime synth-pop diva Susanne Sundfør that stole the show for me. Accompanied by Sundfør's flawless vocal performance, the saxophone laden, wondrously camp "For The Kids" really does reminisce some obscure 80's lost classics. Irresistibly nostalgic and intentionally tacky.

"Remember The Rain" is a marvellous, richly arranged ballad from Los Angeles jazz vocalist Kadhja Bonet. The self-released single brought back some 70's vibes, intricate and generous string arrangements, timeless key changes and sophisticated melody hooks, delicately echoing Barbra Streisand's "Woman In Love". Heavenly.