Yelle – Safari Disco Club (Barclay)

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by Cheri Amour

I love Yelle. I love them, not only for their quirky pop stylings and the fact that they have worked with my beloved Katy Perry (no, really). Nor simply because they are a formidable live fête of fun, fun, fun. I love Yelle for all these reasons but also, for the fact that they represent, to the French, a vision of hope and of patriotism. I think of the bleak assortment of commendable home exports that France has so far given us and thank Yelle they have arrived! Sure, the French are renowned for their plethora of artists and literature greats and they can certainly rustle up a good pasty but where is la musique?

Yelle fall into the category of what the Gaulles do best; electronica. Like Daft Punk and Air before them, the bands sound is doused in digifunk that harks back to those 70s sounds of Vangelis (he’s the chap that brought us the heroic, Oscar-winning score that accompanied Chariots Of Fire – we’re all doing the run, it’s fine) and Jean Michel Jarre. This hazy 70s vibe can certainly be heard in the warm synth sounds of ‘Mon Pays’ and the vocoder tonalities of ‘J’ai Bu’.

Safari Disco Club is Yelle’s second release following Pop Up, which bounded onto the (admittedly, pretty sparse) French music scene in 2007 with the plucky spirit of a perky Parisian pup. Their single, ‘Je Veux Te Voir’, established this pack as purveyors of a sprightly electro pop. Safari Disco Club, however, does what most strive to do with their follow-up release in the fact that it goes a little deeper and shows the band to be that bit maturer. This is not to say Yelle have gone all introverted and troubled in their age though, hell no. There are hooks here – “Chimie physique entre nous,” coos Budet in (rather unsurprisingly entitled) track ‘Chimie Physique’ while admitting openly of her brat spats in the soothing melody of ‘Comme un Enfant’.

All my worldly comments on the band holding the flame for French music may sound grandiose, I’ll admit, so as an end note, I am simply going to conclude that Yelle are a delicious mix of everyone’s guilty pleasures – a scuzzy disco grind, a glorious hark back to the 70s and a breathy French chorus to sing along to. Join the Safari Disco Club now.

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