Chansons d’Amour: An Introduction To French Girl Music

I’ve always disliked the idea of being pretentious. I mean, always. Even when I was a kid, when I liked something, I liked to learn about it and understand it better so I could actually justify my reasoning for liking it. The first case of this that I remember happening was with My Little Ponies around the age of four. So, when I was in high school and I decide to research my French roots, I went all out. I started to learn the language. I bought a beret. I started watching Goddard films. My hair was already black and short so I had that part in the bag but honestly, I basically all but got my citizenship. Some of it, like the fashion, stuck with me long after I forgot the rudimentary French I’d committed to memory. In fact, I still steadfastly live in a uniform of skinny black pants and monochrome striped shirts. While I’ve never been ace at authentic French cooking, I did discover an adoration for French music and that, like the clothes, has never abated. I don’t claim to be an expert on French music whatsoever but I think I could hold my own in a conversation about the best female French singers of all time.

I don’t know about you but I find feminine French culture to be intensely fascinating. French women, it seems, can do anything. Just look at Jonny Depp’s lady, Vanessa Paradis. She’s a supermodel, actress, and singer. And we all know that there’s nothing Charlotte Gainsbourg can’t do. She is the daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, after all. In my attempts to emulate the effortlessly beautiful aesthetic of my French style icons, I’ve taken to listening to tons of French girl music again lately and when I told this to my friend, she suggested I make her a mix. Initially, I didn’t think I knew enough about French girl music to do this. Then I realized that I probably know more than everyone else I know. So here, friends, are a few of my favorite French singers — from the incomparable Francoise Hardy to the severely underrated Chantal Goya to the captivating modern muse Keren Ann. Dig it!

Chansons d’Amour: An Introduction To French Girl Music

Francoise Hardy – Le Temps de l’Amour

Chantal Goya – C’est Bien Bernard

Jane Birkin – Nicotine

Anna Karina – Sous le Soleil Exactment

Carla Bruni – Le Toi du Moi

Keren Ann – Le Sable Mouvant

Francoise Hardy – Viens

Keren Ann – L’illusionniste

Carla Burni – Those Little Things (Serge Gainsbourg cover)

Claudine Longet – Golden Slumbers (Beatles cover)

Can I just point out the fact that Carla Bruni is the first lady of France? I told you. French ladies can do everything!

2 Comments to “Chansons d’Amour: An Introduction To French Girl Music”

  1. Mareva Galanter recorded an album about four or five years ago, covering a lot of those “Yé-yé” songs. April March also records a lot of them as well, going so far as to give the “Beyond the Sea” treatment to “Laisse tomber les filles”.

  2. I would replace Carla Bruni by Françoiz Breut – Une Saison Volée :)


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