Last September, James and I spent much of a week hanging out with two charming young French men, Nicolas Camiade and François Charpentier. They went to art school together, and are in a band called Les Brutes Épaisses, which means something like "brutish louts." The name is a joke, as it sounds like a punk band but their music is more of a smart contemporary take on the Piazzolla / Weill strand of music, which isn't quite jazz or classical or pop. It's a little like the area that artists such as Blue Flower and Cynthia Hopkins are exploring. They sent us their beautifully designed CD, titled en public, after returning to France. We were thrilled to find out how great it is, since meeting an artist and liking them personally before seeing or hearing the work is often scary.
I have uploaded some MP3s for you to check out. François is the lead singer for all of the songs except Les bonbons à la menthe, which features the voice of Nicolas. François is rather shy in person, so it's fun to hear him turn into this outgoing sexy French singer on disc.
- Le coffre à jouets (2.8MB) - to illustrate the Piazzolla/Weill thing
- Ma peine (2.4MB) - probably the song that uses the "edgiest" instrumental work
- Les bonbons à la menthe (1.3MB)
- Les moches (10.8MB) - This a big file, but worth it. The first part is a lovely duet between François and Laetitia Marty, but it has a secret bonus at the end. After a really long pause, they return to sing a parody of a Brazilian song in the style of Antonio Carlos Jobim or Joao Gilberto. It's very funny, with them improvising in French with Brazilian accents.