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Friday, 17 January 2014

Friday's French music break - Indila, "Dernière Danse"

Friday's French music break this week is a worm.

Not, not the slithery thing you'll find in the garden, but in the musical sense of "a song that gets stuck in your head and just won't go away".

It's "Dernière Danse", the debut solo single from Indila.

Indila (screenshot from "Dernière Danse" official video)

At first the song doesn't sound up to much.

It's almost as though the melody seems to be undecided as to what exactly it is and where it's going.

The production (by Indila's husband, DJ Skalp) "wanders" at times with the melody not quite knowing what it's supposed to be. But that's probably down to the oriental meets French chanson "fusion". It's a mix which lends the song a certain hypnotic feel.

Because there's a definite oriental flavour to "Dernière Danse" which make it more than the run-of-the-mill sort of French song you might well be used to hearing.

In addition, the 24-year-old (although at the moment she refuses to disclose personal details and her exact age is "whatever the person interviewing her" wishes to give her), who has already sung on releases from the likes of Youssoupha, Rohff and Soprano, also has a pretty "interesting" voice. And that's not being dismissive

What comes across initially (to some ears perhaps) as a somewhat whiny pitch (oh dear, this really isn't "selling" the song or the singer is it?) in fact develops into something very distinctive and well-suited to the unusual melody.

Indila most definitely has a sound which sets her aside from many other female artist you're likely to hear on mainstream radio stations in France.

Perhaps though the comparison to (Edith) Piaf, which she finds flattering, is a little far fetched.

Finally there are the intelligent lyrics which, as Indila says, "recount the history of a young person of foreign origin (in France) facing everyday racism and how that makes her feel."

Anyway, "Dernière Danse" has - with reason - been getting plenty of airplay and is currently at number two in the French charts, only being kept off the top by Pharrell William's "Happy".

And Indila is apparently preparing an album, also produced by her husband.

In the meantime though, here's the official clip of "Dernière Danse" which has already been viewed more than four million times on YouTube.

Give it a listen - and maybe then another.

Bon week-end.


Anonymous said...

You sound stupid. The song is great. It's not "uncertain about where it's going." It's just a not a song written by a white person. It has obvious Indian and North African influences and her voice is gorgeous. Learn about music from more than just Europe before you critique multicultural music from a eurocentric perspective.

Anonymous said...

Chill out, bro...

Anonymous said...

Your sentences are choppy and your writing is judgmental. She is a great singer, and her song in fantastic. Just because her music isn't American does not mean it isn't good. I'm from the US, and I enjoy "Le Derniere Danse" a lot.

France Today said...

Thank you all for your comments. Music is a personal matter. Tastes differ. And perhaps if you had read the review properly, you would have been able to tell that this was in fact a single (and later an album) which worked very effectively, commercially and musically.

As for the last comment about the writing style. Well, it's always difficult to know how to respond to direct criticism particularly when it comes from "anonymous". As for being "judgemental" - that is surely the whole point of a review. Informed criticism.

And the concept behind Friday's French Music break (and there have been almost 100 of them over the past few years) is to bring French or French-related music (in all its forms) to a wider audience.

Enough said though. Once again, thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

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