Monday, March 8, 2010

Quick Hitters:: Eli & Papillon

When I went up to M for Montreal this year, I was shocked by how much Francophone talent the festival delivered. Obviously, the talent exists, but on a casual listen it's so easy to dismiss the French speaking acts in our country by assuming that the language barrier makes it impossible to make a connection with the songs.

Instead, bands like Eli & Papillon work hard to force that connection on you. Elise's voice moves with an emotion and charm that helps you understand what she is saying, even if you only pick up a few words. Like a traveler in a foreign country, the romanticism you feel from catching the odd sentence as you walk by conversation after conversion puts you inside even the most personal admissions and helps you become invested in the broken hearts these two young artists bring to the plate.

But truthfully, even if you missed every word, this bedroom pop duo would still tug at your heart strings. It's hard not to hear the piano and Elise's charismatic vocals on L'aurevoir and not feel your heart beating along with the song. The song blossoms into a theatrical, almost magical effort but still manages to keep at least one toe on the ground.

For such a young act, the diversity they provide is impressive. Layers of strings, piano, guitar, bass and vocals mesh nicely - case in point the playful, uptempo Train de Vie (the laugh at the end just kills me or the swirling Un peu d'espoir - but they know when to strip everything back to the core elements as well. The piano and guitar pop gem, Une fois de trop is as straight forward as any track you will hear from the duo, but impact is surprisingly powerful.

I don't want to steep this review in hyperbole. The rough recordings of a bedroom pop act shows the band still has plenty of room to grow, but it's rare I get demos in the mail these days and instantly see the potential of a pop act trying to carve their own sound. Elise and Marc are certainly not interested in sounding like every other pop act out there right now, and that is the type of courage and creativity that can turn a bedroom pop band into something special. I for one, and excited to see where this ends up.

MP3:: Eli & Papillon - L'aurevoir

MP3:: Eli & Papillon - Train de Vie

Labels: Eli and Papillon, Francophone, , , Pop, Quebec,

Posted at 7:42 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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