Fránçois & the Atlas Mountains | WIG280 | Released: 23/01/12
The first ever French Domino signings are ready to spread their wings over indie pop’s vast international landscape. With vivid looks and a slender body, Fránçois builds up castles in Saintonge, France, with Moroccan mountains, British phlegm and sturdy friendships. After seven years of passionate gigs and road trips across Europe which has seen them tour with Electrelane, Camera Obscura and most recently with Mercury-nominated King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Fránçois & The Atlas Mountains convey a magnetic presence on stage. A deep sense of lightness and sincerity sets in as voices, keyboards and African percussion blend into instant pop.
E Volo Love (which is a palindrome), is comprised of eleven elegant, fragile, velvet-plush songs on an album that is heart-meltingly delicate, enchanting and otherworldly. Delicately poised between sunnily feel-good and wistfully melancholy, E Volo Love has a poignant, end-of-summer feel to it. The grand theme on this dual-language album – sung in both French and English – is simply love.
An open collective, Fránçois & The Atlas Mountains has become a four-piece band over the years. Besides Fránçois who gives the band its name and soul, Amaury Ranger embodies its vibrating body thanks to the sheer intensity of his percussive skills. A new recruit, Scottish Gerard Black made a name for himself playing with Bill Wells and Findo Gask before joining forces with the band and leading an underground dolce vita in Bordeaux. Another Bordeaux stalwart, Pierre aka Petit Fantôme is a local musical treasure.
E Volo Love was written whilst Fránçois Marry surfed, cycled and wandered through the countryside, and was recorded in a church in Saintes, his hometown near La Rochelle in south west France.
The album’s hot buttered sound comes from its wide range of influences, from French chanson, traditional indie pop and Aphex Twin to African and Middle Eastern sounds, which can be heard in particular on "Les Plus Beaux" and "Do You Want To Dance", which bookend the album.