Emotionally, the music makes us see all the colors. This is all the more true when artists adopt a nickname in Technicolor. What to see life in pink or … in black, it depends.
It is Flavien Berger, Etienne Daho of the millennial generation, who set foot in the stirrup with the brothers Quentin and Jérémie, by co-directing their first EP, noticed in these pages two years ago. The transition to long format is done without fear. Quite the contrary. Freed from the tutelary figure of new French electronic pop, the duo invents a very seductive song to dance (or not…) which sometimes ripples towards shimmering Caribbean shores (Dreaming). With its title imbued with sweet poetry, The Strange Innocence of Objects causes not shivers of terror, but rather of happiness in the discovery of an original universe with bubbling arrangements of percussions. Better, with Immortals, the two producer-singers offer themselves the possibility of a hit. What to dream of blue.
The anecdote is beautiful. Even if it takes us away from our theme. It is not because of a passion for color that Jean Thevenin, drummer for Frànçois and The Atlas Mountains in particular, chose this nickname to guide his solo escapades. It goes back to his student years when, as a recreation center leader, he was apostrophized by an Algerian child who, unable to pronounce “Jean”, translated it in his mouth to “yellow”. Snowball effect, all the kids called it that. He remembered it when he launched his French lo-fi pop project four years ago. A lucky yellow, since it was particularly noticed during the last Transmusicales de Rennes. Finally, those before the Covid.
Ah, the course of Keren Meloul (her real name) was not all rosy. After a resounding success in 2006 with the hit the list and a sweetly folk debut album that sells over 650,000 copies, the singer adopts a rock’n’roll lifestyle based on vodka and cocaine, indicative of a deep self-destructive depression. Now out of the woods, she told, without false modesty, this chaotic journey in a book and an album entitled one and the other Kerosene. This native of Nice adopted her nickname because of a passion for the film The Rose with Bette Midler. The story of the tragic fate of a star who sinks into alcohol and drugs because of the pressure of celebrity. Any resemblance to an existing person may not be purely coincidental.
If this name evokes sharks, it is because this group has teeth. Originally from Metz but based in Paris since the 2010s, this quartet visibly haunted by new wave and a certain poetry of rebellious youth claims to be as much of Cure as of Bashung of Play blessures and Kraftwerk. Rock in French, tinged with icy electronics like the deep sea. Passed by the Inouïs of Printemps de Bourges and the Transmusicales de Rennes, Grand Blanc signed two albums, the very edgy Vivid memories in 2016 and the most caressing Wall picture in 2018. According to the group itself, the third should not be long, since they all confined themselves together to write songs last June.
Black is needed for the palette to be complete and there is plenty to choose from. We remember the Black Socks, the Black Pacifiers, but also Black Ball, the funky Quebecer and his unforgettable Love love, or more recently rapper S.Pri Noir and South African Petite Noire, but you have to know how to decide. So let’s salute the high-end electronic pop of Octave Noire. It is under this pseudonym and at age 43 that Patrick Moriceau, Parisian born in Ivory Coast where he spent part of his childhood, stood out in 2017 with Neon, a beautiful first orchestral electro-pop album under the influence of Jean-Claude Vannier. Before this record, he was an arranger, sought after by many musicians, and had already signed two others, totally electronic and more anecdotal, under the name of Aliplays. But it was by becoming a singer and by taking the name of Octave Noire that his career took off. Confirmed by Monolith, released in February 2020, and the recent single A ticket to the future.