Friday, 17 October 2008
Francois Virot releases his debut album in the UK next week.
Landing somewhere mid-point between Animal Collective, Elliott Smith, David Bowie and The Shins. ‘Yes or No’ is a lo-fi freak pop masterpiece, and remarkably full sounding, considering it’s only guitar, voice and handclaps!
"Lyon's own guitar strummer and hand-clapper extraordinaire Franois Virot is the latest in line to step up to the freak-folk throne. Original and full of magic beans, Virot's voice has that distinct childlike lilt to it that is not too dissimilar to the familiar trilling tones of one Joanna Newsom. However, like the Yin to her Yang, he transfers the whimsical wailing of his vocals to a much more jovial place, a place close to the crazy, energetic offerings from the likes of Animal Collective and Deerhoof. Virot, used to providing his talents on the drums to bands No Snow and Clara Clara, is taking some time off from his work in the background. 'Yes Or No', Virot's debut solo LP, is a little ball of lo-fi wonderment; lusciously experimental while still managing to retain the delicate quality of childlike neofolk. 'Cascade Kisses' could be 'Toothpaste Kisses' after its initial opening, but the rhythmic handclaps and louder acoustics turn it into something so much bigger and better. Album opener 'Not The One' is an unrestrained freak-folk stunner, while softer tracks like 'Young Sand' invoke similarities to Devendra Banhart; gentle, surreal and uncomplicated. 'Yes Or No' is an essential addition to the already blossoming freak-folk genre, and it is clear that Virot has finally found a place where he belongs."
Francois Virot is wonderful and so is this record. Imagine Animal Collective released a Syd Barrett covers EP-whilst it probably won’t happen ‘Cascade Kisses’ gives you a pretty accurate reading of what it could no, should sound like. Yet it’s not fair to make such a comparison-it’s not fair to compare anyone, even in ripping off someone else you’d put your own stamp on it right?
Elsewhere ‘Say Fiesta’ is a lo-fi interpretation of ‘Come on Eileen’ but it’s not, it’s just the closest I can come to describing the gaiety offered up on ‘Yes or No’. Each song is crafted carefully, the ramshackle tenderness of the guitar and the nasal yet endearing heck, maybe great vocal performance. Francois Virot is an enigma, his songs have a sense of mischief and ingenuity and perhaps on this occasion the clue is in the artwork; stark yet cute. This is cool as, end of.
Check out his Blogoteque session here from which this video of 'Say Fiesta' is taken
Buy the album for only £6.99 from us here