Camille - Ouï - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Camille - Ouï

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2017-06-02

French chanteuse Camille Dalmais may be best known as one of the numerous female vocalists contributing to Olivier Libaux and Marc Collin’s French new wave tribute band, Nouvelle Vague. She’s also had a prolific and successful solo career and this is her fifth album. Recorded in a 14th century monastery in Avignon, the music is imbued with an eerie, Middle Ages vibe perfectly suited to the surroundings from whence it sprang. ‘Je Ne Mâche Pas Mes Mots’, like many other tracks, is enveloped in a percussive groove not unlike the sultry, provocative efforts of Siouxsie Sioux’s solo efforts or her collaboration with Banshee drummer (and ex-hubby Budgie), The Creatures. Opener ‘Sous le sable’ is an exercise in multitracked vocals that allows Camille to produce a hypnotic call-and-response effect. ‘Lasso’ and ‘Twix’ continue in this vein, but current single ‘Le Fontaine de Lait’ opts for a more playful approach, its angelic harmonies approaching a near-religious experience, a la the chorale work of Hildegarde von Bingen,

Camille switches to English for lead single, ‘Seeds’, which suggests Kate Bush and Annie Lennox influences, and tosses in a snappy martial drum beat to carry the song, while ‘Je Méne les loups’ has a lovely little nursery song quality coupled with a bouncy electro dance beat. Frustratingly short – a common complaint: a few of the tracks end just as they begin to develop an attraction – it nevertheless adds a strong element of variety to the album that keeps listeners (literally) on their toes! Elsewhere, Nina Hagen and Danielle Dax hover over the forceful ‘Twix’, but Camille is a little too restrained to carry off their extravagances, which the song seems to want to embrace.

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