A new arrival on our Frukie Stream is François & The Atlas Mountains. For his third full length album, François returned to the comforts of his hometown, and recruited members of local friends Unkle Jelly Fish and Bost Gehio (an all-female polyphonic vocal group from the Basques country) to be his ʻAtlas Mountainsʼ. Plaine Inondable, (which translates as ‘Flood Plains’) refers to the townʼs winter landscape – where the Charente river often bursts its bank, completely covering the surrounding ﬁelds.
Françoisʼ previous releases often featured casio-beats, and lo-ﬁ electronics – but Plaine Inondable marks a departure from that style. Here, piano chords swell, electric guitars gently shimmer, and Françoisʼ soft croon ﬂoats throughout – his bilingual songs melding the bitter-sweet yearning of Leonard Cohen with the melodic playfulness of Serge Gainsbourg and Françoise Hardy.
The album also takes inspiration from recent compilations of African music recorded in the 1970ʼs (Ethiopiques, Mali 70) released by various European labels. The atmospheric rhythms and percussive elements, as well as some guitar parts and scales, absorb this inﬂuence:
“’Be Water’ is built on a Ethiopian scale called Tezeta, the guitar on ‘Remind’ is inspired by the style of Ali Farka Toure and Group Doueh”
The result is a conﬁdent and unique blend of styles, that dreamily infuse with one another; a semi-conscious state, which is further reﬂected in the ﬂuctuation between French and English lyrics.