Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Transported By Sound

In this new, globalised world we live in, one of the things I am most grateful for is the easy availability of international music. When I was a teenager in the mid-to-late 80s I would read music magazines from England and wait months before the single or LP was available here.

Fast forward (on my tape deck of course) to 2010 and I can read a review on an overseas website or blog about a new French (naturellement) CD, and within a few days have it on loan from the library for a listen, purchased from a local store or on order from Amazon.com if it's not available here. I could buy a download of course, but I haven't ventured into that territory yet. Perhaps I could be brave.

I can then enjoy that music at home and be transported to a different country. By playing a Hotel Costes CD I can feel almost as cool as the establishment itself.

And I certainly feel all slinky and lounge-like as I beautify our home on my day off work with it playing in the background. By listening to a chic hotel's soundtrack I feel inspired to do the little extras about the place to make our home like a French-style boutique hotel.

I love the feeling I get from playing French music at home, both old and new. My number one favourite is probably Edith Piaf. And for more modern chanteuses: Carla Bruni, Barbara Carlotti, Francoise Hardy, Madeleine Peyroux and Keren Ann.

Putumayo have put out some great CDs also - my sister has Putumayo Presents Paris and it is divine.

Loungey electronica is my thing too: Buddha Bar, Hotel Costes and Cafe de Flore compilations, Air (I think I wore the CD out several years ago when I first discovered this band) and Gotan Project - I could listen to Gotan Project CDs over and over - they are all quite similar which was a review criticism of their latest 'Tango 3.0' but that's a plus for me - I love their sound! I first found out about them when Dior released a new fragrance (Pure Poison I think). When I heard the song in the background of the advertisement I was on a mission to find out who produced such provocative and beautiful music.

And of course soundtracks are always fun, such as Amelie, to really feel like you live in a steep side-street in Montmatre.

What are your French music favourites and anything different that I should know about?


  1. Wow, you've given me lots of new music ideas to explore. I love those lounge like tunes so much as background music and I tend to have music on at home rather than the tv. I listen to a lot of old French music like Piaf and Charles Trenet and I also like Carla Bruni. Belinda Carlyle did a French Music CD several years ago that is interesting.

  2. I have that Belinda Carlyle CD too - I think I've played it once! 'Interesting' is a very polite word. Carla Bruni's music is just gorgeous. I'll have to check out Charles Trenet.

    Your blog music has made me listen to Billie Holiday lately - I love her. There is so much wonderful music and I've just touched on the French stuff. Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Dave Brubeck... Someone stop me.

  3. I checked out those musicians on itunes and they are lovely. I'm going to have to download some new music to enjoy.

  4. I love, love, love the Gipsy Kings. My friend who lives in the French Alps introduced me to their music during a visit to her neck of the woods four years ago, and every single time I hear their music, I'm transported back to a candlelit winter night, enjoying Champagne with my friend in her adorable little dining room, while her husband was in the kitchen preparing dinner. Very special evening.

    My dream is to see the Kings perform live in the south of France, from whence they came!

    I ordered that Belinda C. CD upon the recommendation of someone in the FC group, and it made me want to stab out my eardrums with a knitting needle. I just read recently that she once again conquered her cocaine addiction after a lapse, and literally the first thing I thought was, "Maybe that explains the French album ...."

  5. LB, your dinner in the French Alps sounds wonderful. Perhaps you could dedicate a post to it so we can all enjoy the details? I will definitely check out Gipsy Kings thanks.

    I wonder if anyone actually likes the Belinda Carlisle CD. I just had a look at Amazon.com and it gets 4.5 stars. How??? Perhaps I'd better go listen to it again. Or not. I just remember it being really screechy.

  6. Ooh I'm off to Spotify to listen to these suggestions. I like Piaf, AMD also Charles Trenet for classic Parisian café type music.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...