France - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 25 - 11/04/98
Et Puis Après, on Verra Bien
Describing the first album of Superflu, released this autumn,
isn't very difficult: a lot of sweetness in the present musical world, dominated
by electronic music and noisy guitars.
This album is a real pop album, but not any "variety pop". One can be
indifferent to it after the first listening, but that's just because we don't
enter the universe of Superflu like any other pop group. It's an atmospheric
record, but it isn't atmosphere music. It's graceful, with sensible
words surrounded by a minimum of notes. Which is necessary to accompany
delicate talk. The lyrics, with a rare emotional accuracy, are centered around
the first meetings between a woman and a man, meeting new friends - Lettre à Ton
Nouveau Fiancé, Elle et Lui, and Métropolitain - and separations,
in brief a mirror of everyday life. As the singer says: "The fact that we sing in French get
you in front of a literal reality ... I prefer the precision to the elitism".
Superflu is a band with 5 members: Nicolas (vocals and words), Sonia
(vocals, drums), Sébastien (guitar, piano), Gauthier (bass, drums) and Gilles (violin,
piano). Nicolas has evolved in the musical world for 10 years, first as the singer of the
band Les Fleurs (The Flowers), influenced essentially by French groups like Gamine
and Katerine. The references of Superflu are however few. There are only, as I remember,
a few songs released on compilations. The most significant is the song Les Cartons,
which was included on the compilation Panorama
released by the label Le Village Vert - reviewed last year here at the Kafé - " ... a heady pop
song which we can't get rid of ...", I wrote then. Now we should hope for an interesting first album.
Indeed, we aren't disappointed. After becoming impregnated with the
sweet melancholy of the 12 songs, close to folk-American bands like
Calexico, Palace, or recently the last album of Mercury Rev (Deserter's
Songs, also released by V2), it's very difficult to come back to the present
musical reality. It's a very acoustical album, dominated by the slow tempo of the
guitars, the violin, the piano (except perhaps on Dieu que Cette Nuit est
Belle and Elle et Lui), accompanied by Sonia's and Nicolas' vocals.
Et Puis Après on Verra Bien is produced by Christian Quermalet
and Dominique Brusson, musicians of Married Monk, with certainly an
influence on the final result. In fact, this music allows us to listen calmly to the words
with sometimes a bitter taste (1976, Les Cartons, and Monsieur Paul).
A concept close to the intimate sound of the albums from Dominique A and his companion
On stage the band is also very unobtrusive, like being afraid of audience
noise. Superflu is a careful band, and also has a good taste
when choosing their live companions. After the support-job
for Autour de Lucie for their first concerts, they will soon perform with
Calexico and Mercury Rev in France, and also soon abroad?
Copyright © 1998 Patrick Dubail