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Friday, 20 September 2013

Friday's French music break - Cats on trees, "Sirens call"

Following previous Friday's French music breaks which featured songs from the likes of Yucca Velux and As Animals, this week's choice comes from another group with an improbable name singing in English.

It's Cats on trees with the song "Sirens call"

The duo of Nina Goern (piano and vocals) and Yohan Hennequin (percussion) are far from being an overnight sensation.

The pair, who both come from Toulouse, have been together since 2007, building up a loyal following over the years, releasing an EP and working on songs for their debut self-titled album - "Cats on trees" - due for release on October 21.

(screenshot from album cover)

"Sirens call" has been described as a gentle but distinctive "pop ballad with a haunting melody", including shades of Snow Patrol's "Chasing cars" perhaps in the opening bars before Goern's almost "ethereal" voice takes over.

In fact there's something about her voice. It's not the strongest around but it certainly has that delicate and fragile feel to it that suits the group's repertoire (check out their cover Tears for Fears 1982 hit "Mad World")

Maybe their website is a little exaggerated in suggesting that in their "virtuosity and energy" the group has "found the perfect osmosis, the mixture of sounds and rhythms that speak to the body and the soul."

But hey, that's what you would expect from the blurb.

Perhaps an indication of the direction they wish to take can be found in the acts the duo says have been their musical influence: among them are Tori Amos, Bjork and Radiohead.

And then there are the "performance" artists they also like (ones you know will never be mainstream) with sometimes even more preposterous names including Akira and the airbones particles, My own private alaska and Psykup

And that album? Well it isn't bad either.

It's full of alternative pop music, if you like, with 11 original tracks - all sung in English - some more upbeat pop than others but on the whole a pretty mellow sound.

Well worth a listen. You can check out excerpts here.

If you feel like seeing them live, they have a number of dates lined up including one at le Café de la Danse in November. For a full listing, take a look at their website.

For the moment though, here's that single "Sirens calling".

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