by Zolton in New Music on Wednesday 20 August 2008

Nouvelle Vague are as sultry as a warm summer’s day. Their exotic blend of acoustic jazz and pop has reinvented a handful of the 80s most hummable tunes, whilst simultaneously putting the Fresh back into Frensch – whoops, that should be French — music. Yes, a bad joke is a wicked thing. But frontman Marc Collin’s Playlist isn’t.

Wire / Marooned
Wire were probably the best of the post punk movement. I’m really impressed by the production on their music, which still sounds very fresh and modern. But as for the lyrics? Hmmm. Well, I’m still not sure I understood everything!

Billie Davis / Nobody’s Home to go Home
Melanie Pain from Nouvelle Vague gave me this song recently and I became totally addicted to it. The production, the mix, the bassline, and the vocals are all awesome. As is the chord progression. It really is from the golden age of pop music.

Broadcast / Hammer Without a Master
I’m a big fan of this band, especially of their earliest recordings. It reminds me of the 60s, when anything was possible in pop — like mixing Stockhausen with The Doors, or whatever Miles Davis did with Around The Corner. The title of this song is probably a reference to the Pierre Boulez masterpiece.

Emiliana Torrini / Nothing Brings Me Down
This is the kind of voice that I like. In fact, it’s one of the few songs in English where I can listen immediately to the lyrics. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just beautiful song-writing.

Hot Chip / Bendable Poseable
The latest Hot Chip album is absolutely incredible, with amazing production. It makes me think a bit of Talking Heads. I think it’s certainly the most interesting album of 2008. They present a new way to write and produce pop songs today. It’s a perfect mix of vocals, synths, electronics, guitars and piano.

Kiko / World End Rock Up
This is a really good techno track from a French band who aren’t so famous at this time, though I’m wondering why not! It reminds me of the very good UK band, Depeche Mode. I’ve always been into this kind of ‘dark’ European disco thing. I’ve got a huge collection of vintage keys, fx, and beat-boxes, and I’m actually working on a project with the French actress and director, Julie Delpy, where I will use them.

Leila / Why Should I? (featuring Terry Hall)
I’m a big fan of Terry Hall. What he did with The Specials, FB3, and The Colourfield in the 80s was just perfect. And he’s still doing very interesting things. I was more than happy when he came into my studio to record a duet for the next Nouvelle Vague album. I didn’t expect anything from Leila, after the deception I got with her second album, but I must say that she came back with something really good here.

Julie London / Lonely Girl
Julie London is my favourite singer ever. If one day I have to save only one album from my collection, I will take her second LP — Lonely Girl. She just kills me. I bought a DVD on Ebay recently where she sang on a cheesy American show and still sounded incredible. It’s just so modern.