François and the Atlas Mountains have been one of our sleeper favourites of the past couple of years – both their Plaine Inondable and E Volo Love have been foisted on friends and family enthusiatically, and their live show is up there with the best at the moment.
The band, led by François Marry (a touring member of Camera Obscura) have made us two excellent lists; five musical picks and five films. Both lists offer up a wealth of great stuff to discover. Have a read and click around below for YouTube and Spotify links.
My all-time favourite. He invented “lo-fi chanson” in the early nineties. He aged well since, e.g. this beautiful mid-career album produced by John Parrish. He’s the only true French indie singer.
Man and a Woman (Un Homme et une femme) Original motion Picture
soundtrack. music by Francis Lai.
I got this record given by Bristolian. I learned a lot about French nouvelle vague when I moved to the UK. This record melts my heart. I still haven’t seen the film though.
Serge Gainsbourg -
An early album which is already a revolution for French music, mixing afro rhythm and French chanson. Serge is the best. Both musically and lyrically. He’s our Bob Dylan, only he’s better, (even though he’s French), because he stayed innovative all his life long.
He’s a bit like a French Scott Walker. He was a teenage singer in the 60s and now he experiments with ambient music and puts a lot of silence in his songs. A pure dude of a small French man.
Higelin et Areski -
A recording made in 1969 that captures the craving of freedom there was amongst the youth at that time in Paris.
La Jetee by
A short 1962 science fiction film made of still photographs. It inspired Terry Gilliam to do 12 Monkeys.
Et La Glanneuse by Agnes Varda
A documentary about people who live of food scraps left after the markets.
by Jean Vigo
Because it gives a glimpse of Paris at the beginning of the century, it’s like time travel.
And for the idea that if you put your head in a bucket of water for too long you can see the one you love.