23rd March 2015: Charlotte Gainsbourg – Le Chat Du Café Des Artistes

Today’s track is Le Chat Du Café Des Artistes, from the excellent Charlotte Gainsbourg album IRM.  This was made after she had surgery for a brain haemorrhage and the recurring musical theme is her remembrances of the repetitive sound of an MRI scanner (IRM in French), obviously something that had a very intense meaning for her. This track was written by Jean-Pierre Ferland and Michel Robidoux.

In July 2010 I was lucky enough to see Charlotte Gainsbourg perform in Carcassonne. I was on my hols, and saw Ms. Gainsbourg one evening, and saw the stunning fireworks display over the castle for Bastille Day the next evening. Pretty cool. It has come to mind as I listen to her album, IRM, while stuck on a bus in appalling traffic in Digbeth. I find that thinking happy thoughts in situations like this really helps. No, really! OK, I just want to be home now. And breathe…so, hey, this album is totally amazing, brilliantly inventive and I listen to it often and am still hearing new instruments and little motifs. Beck’s hand is all over this, his clever production ideas combining with the fragility of Charlotte’s voice to create…well, a kind of heaven.

This bus I am on is moving now, and I feel hopeful that I may be home before midnight. I’m just going to listen to this glorious album on repeat until then…

In fact, you can have two tracks today. What the hell, I’m in a good mood, despite the bus shenanigans. Most of this album is sung in English, but this second track is half English and half French and is probably my favourite (it has hints of ‘The Hoarder Next Door’, which I can relate to…). Today, anyway. I am kind of breaking my own rules adding this, what with it having some English vocals, but at this point in time and with the state of this traffic I really and truly don’t care! Note to self: start riding my bike again…

@cgainsbourg / @beck


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