Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nul point for Sebastien Tellier? Not a chance.

Regular readers of this blog may find this confession rather strange, but I've resisted the Gallic charms of Sebastien Tellier for some time. Until now. I'm not sure why that is to be honest. I'd listened to snippets of his music here and there, and enjoyed his contribution to the Lost in Translation OST (surely one of the best soundtracks in the last ten years). Somehow though, I'd never really sought to take the time to really give his music a proper chance. Possibly because he was always name checked as an artist to like. As in, if you like Air, Beck, Daft Punk, Serge...well, you get the picture. Plus, his similarity to Gonzales bugged me in a way, almost as if he was the Pepsi to Chilly's Coke. (It's seems there's no love between the pair either, if this interview is anything to go by. And how good does the Let's Ride remix sound? Jarvis and Teki Latex? God damn.)

Anyway, I recently visited Rough Trade in Notting Hill a few weeks ago for a record hit (Total damage? You don't want to know, but I can assure you that the final haul was worth every penny) and was immediately taken by one of the tracks played overhead. Sure enough it was the work of Mr Tellier, the track in question Roche from his new album Sexuality (Woodwork). Having previously read that the LP had been produced by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo from Daft Punk, I knew that I would have to give Sebastien a second chance, if only to hear Guy-Man's board work. Roche is reminiscent of the quieter moments on Discovery and Human After All, the slinkier, sexier side of Daft Punk that doesn't get nearly enough credit from critics too busy eulogising about the duo's influence on French dance music's new wave.

Christo's production on Sexuality glistens, providing a jagged intensity reminiscent of Vangelis's work on Blade Runner (Une Heure for example). Together with Tellier's longing vocals, it makes for refreshing listening. There's an almost guilty pleasure feeling to the album, and although not every track works (the over-the-top Manty for one), there's plenty here to immerse yourself in, notable mentions being the stunning closer L'Amour et la Violence and the playful Trevor Hornesque Divine, which has recently been chosen as the official French entrant for this year's Eurovision contest in May. Yes, that's right kids. Vote early, vote often.

Sebastien Tellier - Divine

Meanwhile, here's what Sweden chose to fight it out with Sebastien and...ahem...Andy Abraham (oh dear).

Charlotte Perrelli - Hero

It's not nearly as good as last year's Svensk pick, The Ark's Worrying Kind. Only 51 points? This is how a Eurovision song should sound like - camp as hell. It's like Thin Lizzy meets Edison Lighthouse. Gold.