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Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday's French music break - Brice Conrad, "Fleur du mal"

Friday's French music break this week is the debut single from a young singer-songwriter with an obvious passion for words, an ear for a melody and a distinctive voice that certainly won't leave you indifferent.

Brice Conrad (screenshot official video)

Brice Conrad is perhaps not a name with which you're familiar, but given the quality of "Fleur du mal" and the critical reception it has had, he could well be someone to watch.

"Fleur du mal" is not an in-your-face type of song with an upbeat tempo, overproduced studio sound and mindless lyrics guaranteed to make it a commercial hit  - far from it.

And that perhaps marks it out from a lot of other popular music you can hear on the radio.

Conrad belongs to the new generation of French pop-folk singers, relying on intelligent lyrics (perhaps a little too clever) a distinctive voice and a melody that might at first be irritating, but grows on you.

In fact, amongst all that "boom boom, yeah, yeah" stuff you can hear on the radio it comes across as refreshing and a proper listen to the lyrics reveals a talent for writing and an elegant use of French.

So what's it all about? Is it a reference to Charles Baudelaire's volume of poetry published in 1857 dealing with decadence and eroticism? Probably not.

The story of a relationship gone wrong? Maybe.

Or the anguish and torment of an artist typically expressing himself in being able to "feel good when everything goes wrong"?


Brice Conrad (screenshot official video)

The official video might provide a few clues.

Make what you will of the lyrics, there's no denying their poetic nature and that's perhaps the  key to the song's real appeal.

Conrad, who cites Ben Harper, Radiohead, Yodelice, and Raphaël (the French singer, not the painter) as among his musical influences, is currently working on his debut album and a second single is due for release in autumn.

For the moment though, here's "Fleur du mal".

Take a listen and decide what you think.

And as always, have a great weekend.

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