Fránçois & the Atlas Mountains | WIG321 | Released: 17/03/14
Piano Ombre, the follow-up to E Volo Love , is Frànçois’ first album to be recorded in a bona fide studio (in Entre-Deux-Mers, the ‘Between-Two-Seas’, region near Bordeaux in France) and with a producer (Ash Workman – Metronomy / NZCA Lines). The album was written in the South West of France (where Frànçois lives once again after moving home from his adoptive Bristol) and features his current line-up of Atlas Mountains - multi-instrumentalists Amaury Ranger and Pierre Loustaunau, drummer Jean Thevenin (all Frenchmen) and Glaswegian keyboardist Gerard Black.
Piano Ombre, which translates as Calm Down Shadow (meaning to ‘no longer be scared by things, because there is a way to see things in a positive light’), was written during a tumultuous year in Frànçois’ life. Lyrically, the album documents another journey, of personal struggle, discovery, conviction and resolution, however the darkness of the lyrics is counterbalanced by the bright, airy and upbeat production.
Piano Ombre is a stunning and wide-reaching collection that reinvigorates the band’s gene pool of influences - from Afro-pop to French chanson and Yé-yé, mixed with more Anglo-phonic guitar-pop, like an aural atlas of gorgeous pop melody, zestful rhythm and lush ballads. It also manages to capture the ecstatic energy of the band’s live performance. The result is Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains’ most sophisticated, arranged album yet