Since the list of great French and Belgian bands is never ending, we’ve selected six bands we’ve been listening to recently that will start you on your road of discovery. Surprisingly, a lot of these bands featured at So Frenchy So Chic at the Park 2015, proving their international success and how much Australians are embracing French music of all genres. So here you go – six bands, six different sounds, and six new albums for you to buy.
This kick-ass French/Finnish duo Olivia Merilahti and Dan Levy founded the band in Paris in 2005. On a side note, Dan Levy is looking more and more like Johnny Depp the older he gets and we’re digging it. Their new album Shake Shook Shaken is rocking our world right now and being eaten up by fans across the globe. So Frenchy So Chic 2015 was a perfect example of that, where they gave an electrifying performance to Australian audiences that left us wanting more. Unfortunately in Melbourne they left the stage without answering to our encore. Maybe they didn’t expect such an enthusiastic response to their music, or maybe they were just pooped from playing in boiling hot sun. Regardless, we still love you,
An obvious choice not just because of his sheer talent but because of his powerful lyrics. While he’s actually Belgian, there is no possible way he was going to be left off this list, as his music should be heard by everyone. His blend of hip hop and electronic sounds are what made him popular, particularly with his song ‘Alors On Danse‘ becoming well known and reaching number one across Europe.
His fans are some of the most dedicated and for good reason, too. Every one of his songs is well thought out and has its own mood, spirit, and meaning. Even his videos are well thought out. The most talked about video was for ‘Formidable’ when he took to the streets acting drunk and depressed, yelling out the words to his song. People in Belgium know him well and got so worried that the police even came up saying “Are you okay Stromae?” “I’m a big fan, I want you to know that”. Take a look at it below.
These guys have it going on at the moment. They lie within psyche-punk rock and surf music. Marlon Magnée (keyboard) and Sacha Got (guitarist) founded the band, with other members joining later to create the unique synthetic electronic sound they are now known for. Their album Psycho Tropical Berlin was released in April 2013 and received the ‘album revelation’ award by Victoires de la Musique. This album, when listened in full, takes you on a psychedelic journey, showing they won this award for good reason.
Frànçoise & The Atlas Mountains
By mixing French and English and percussion, this band has created some beautiful songs that create a stand-out sound. Their music is calming yet lively and while having an indie-pop sound, they also have songs inspired by African music, making it all the better to dance to. Their fourth and latest album Piano Ombre is strongly influenced by the outdoors, in particular, the South West of France. Their song ‘The Way To The Forest’ is a perfect example of their eclectic mix and how this influence took shape in their music.
While it took hearing her live to become a hardcore fan, Émilie Simon‘s vocals and classic song compositions are not to be ignored. She delivers a pitch-perfect and eccentric performance live every time without fail. Her music has taken her all over the world, appreciated by many and is currently on tour in China. Her song ‘Paris J’ai Pris Perpète’ is even used on the trailer for the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2015. She often ventures into electronic music, which combines surprisingly well with her smooth voice.
Maître Gims & Sexion D’Assaut
Let’s be honest, the only reason these guys made it to the list is because a few of their songs are just too darn catchy to ignore. The reason these two have been put together is because Maître Gims actually originally started making music with the rap group Sexion D’Assaut before venturing out and trying his success at being a solo artist. While his 18-track 2013 debut album Subliminal wasn’t exactly filled with winners, his songs ‘Bella’ and ‘J’me Tire’ are two that will surely get your head bopping.
Sexion D’Assaut as a group are more highly regarded and remain to be to this day. The bands album L’Apogée went platinum and diamond respectively upon its release in 2012. You’ll notice the similarity of the Latin influence in their music when Maître Gims was still with the group.