Marianne Dissard: L'entredeux (TEM/Border)

 |   |  <1 min read

Marianne Dissard: Merci De Rien Du Tout
Marianne Dissard: L'entredeux (TEM/Border)

Given that this album was produced by Calexico's Joey Burns (who also wrote the music) this one comes as something of a surprise: you might have anticipated some kind of alt.Americana.

There is something of that in the music and arrangements in places, but Dissard vocals (all in French) have that whispered, intimate, beguiling quality of the classic chanson singers. More engaged and engaging than Claudine Longet at her most lightweight but in there with a less husky Marianne Faithfull when she works in this idiom. And Carla Bruni whose earlier albums were better than many would like to give her credit for.

Dissard's lyrics also betray a sometimes strange poetic sensibility when writing about relationships: the lovely Cayenne could as much be about death as departure.

Not everything here is soaked in a sensual langour or sounds like it is being sung under a streetlamp: Les Draps Sourds fairly rocks along in the manner of gypsy bordello song, and Merci De Rien Du Tout has all the restained drama of the Velvet Underground in its drone and repetition.

Burns places Dissard's voice in diverse, subtle and beautifully realised settings, whether they be wide open and spacious or slightly claustrophobic. The other players in the ensemble (which includes a string section, accordion and acoustic guitars alongside discreetly searing electric) are Calexico drummer John Convertino and harmonica player Mickey Raphael.

Crafted, layered, and not easily pigeon-holed. A slow and subtle grower. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2015; THE EDITOR'S CHOICES

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2015; THE EDITOR'S CHOICES

As always, our selection of the Best of Elsewhere begins with qualifications: We didn't hear everything released this year (Didn't even try. Would you?) and so missed some which will be on... > Read more

Jack Ruby: Hit and Run (Saint Cecelia/Southbound)

Jack Ruby: Hit and Run (Saint Cecelia/Southbound)

The only Jack Ruby I know is the man pictured on the cover of this collection (see comment below) of what might just every recorded noise this avant-No Wave band from New York might have made.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

LOWSIDE OF THE ROAD: A LIFE OF TOM WAITS by BARNEY HOSKYNS

LOWSIDE OF THE ROAD: A LIFE OF TOM WAITS by BARNEY HOSKYNS

One of Tom Waits’ most eerie yet surprisingly popular songs is the speculative What’s He Building? from his 1999 album Mule Variations. In it neighbours wonder about the odd... > Read more

Guam: Lost in the outposts of America

Guam: Lost in the outposts of America

The two places I thought I'd never go were Guam, and a Hard Rock Cafe. Guam -- essentially an island-cum-aircraft carrier for the American military in the north west Pacific -- just seemed well... > Read more