Having been in France recently I had enjoyed a lot of elements of the pastry and wine obsessed culture, the architecture, food, people, the fashion, and also – La musique.
French music can go a long way into different paths and genres, from the iconic Edith Piaf (Je ne regrette rien) to modern day rap music which is highly influenced by African french culture and their roots from countries such as Senegal and Congo.
Being obsessed with french music and the story behind every song has given a good knowledge of recognising french artists including past and contemporary.
1. Louane - JOUR 1 (Day one)
A song about love, faded memories, being bored after lust and addiction.
Each day different from the other, but none the same as the other. Starting off with day one, the start of everything, love and emotion – “supreme love”. But then day ten, change of pleasure “what do you want to do, a boat trip? A stroll along the beach? Never to forget day one.
JOUR 1 is a classic by Louane, full with emotion and contemplation.
2. Indila - Dernière danse (Last danse)
Not your typical post break up song. “Dernière danse” is more than just about pain and sadness, it’s the sorrow and longing for the other, lying deep into the hearts core – whats left is to wander around the streets of Paris, to forget the misery. As the storyline continues, the atmosphere crosses parallels with the emotion and sadness, stirring the dark sky, but not showing any sign of fear, instead, “dancing to the wind and rain in all of Paris”.
3. Julien doré - Paris Seychelles
A very intimate, soft but deeply intriguing piece by Julien Doré, a well known french artist for his particular taste in the music scene and in the particular genres of folk, pop and alternative rock.
“Paris Seychelles” leaves everyone touched deeply by the tones of the lyrics and the intimacy behind it – “The sun is falling asleep on the Seychelles, sand and sunrise, fleur de sel”, but a touch of bitterness with the sympathy comes along with it as the storyline continues – “we told each other things, that we won’t keep.”
4. Yelle- Complètement fou (completely crazy)
Probably one of the most influential contemporary french bands in the music world. “Yelle” consists of the lead singer Julie Budet, Jean Francois Perrier & Tanguy Destable. This particular single is a mix of electro pop, synth pop and french pop, along with one of the most avant garde experimental lyrics and cinematography they have ever done so far, including clips of blue coloured popcorn and a giant size corn cob – complètement fou.
5. Edith Piaf - La Vie en Rose (Life in pink)
Acknowledged as one of the most influential and internationally recognised french songs. Written in 1945, part of the success of the song is due to the lyrics of which, in the aftermath of WW2, touched deeply to all those that were affected from the war.
The lyrics, consisting of love, sadness and hope, have a romantic charm to it – “with eyes which make mine lower, a smile which is lost on his lips”. One can never go wrong with this piece by the one and only Edith Piaf.
6. Joe Dassin - Les Champs Élysées
Written in 1969, Joe Dassin gave the world something to sing about. His voice still graces the french radio stations and one can’t help but smile whenever a song like “Les Champs Elysées” is heard. A very cheerful yet quirky piece by the artist, as written in one of the lines “I was walking along the avenue, the heart open to the unknown, I wanted to say good morning, anybody, anybody was you”.
If you ever find yourself walking down the famous avenue in Paris, remember the words of Joe Dassin from this song.
7. Hoshi - Ta marinière (Your striped jersey)
One of the freshest faces in the french music industry, but making a rapid move along the way. Mathilde Gerner, 21 year old french artist, is well known for her french rock and powerful tones in her music. “Ta marinière” is one of her most successful singles, the name itself reflects on the storyline itself. Commencing the song with conflict and unrequited love, it has a number of cynical turns in the lyrics – all told in a particular style of writing where the emotions resemble a journey on a boat, more shaky as the time goes on.
8. Daft Punk - Around the world
A song released in 1997 by the french electronic music duo Daft Punk, it had become a major club hit around the world and hit #1 in dance charts. Know for it’s only lyrics being “Around the world”, it is also known for its music video where the characters are supposed to represent the different instruments playing in the song.
The duo are just not that big on being seen, preferring to use animation or costumed people in early videos, they have created an identity to themselves because of this, along with really high-end robot helmets.
If you have ever heard “One more time” or “Get lucky”, then this one will be a major nostalgia to the ears.