Barbara Carlotti: Les Lys Brises (4AD)

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Barbara Carlotti: Mon Corps Alangui
Barbara Carlotti: Les Lys Brises (4AD)

Sounding somewhere between a wide awake Claudine Longet (who was so whispery you often wondered if she was singing or snoozing) and the cool, indifferent tone of Nico, this 32-year old Parisian really makes an impact, albeit at a very low level.

She grew up on Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan and classical piano, but made the move into chanson in the manner of literate types like Serge Gainsbourg.

At home she's had support from the likes of Louis Attack (a great rocking multi-culti French outfit) and the producer/arranger Bertrand Burgalat who has worked with Nick Cave. This is her sensual and downbeat debut album (her earlier EP Chansons picked up second prize in the Trophee de la Chanson Francaise last year).

There's an English-language duet here with Jean-Pierre Petit who sounds like a Parisian Ray Davies, and sometimes you feel she could be heading into alt.chanson.

Whatever it is, it's a real grower, even if Francaise isn't your lingua franca.

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