Various Le Pop 4

Various Currently the French music scene is undergoing a refreshing and unique renaissance that is witnessing a number of small labels pop up concentrating solely on the "Nouvelle Chanson,” or "new song” scene. Unlike the ’60s French mod "Yéyé” scene, "Nouvelle Chanson” is characterised more by the grandiose stories from the Gauloises-filled cabarets of acts like Jacques Briel and Yves Montand, combined with slightly more modern takes on jazz and higher production values. The Le Pop compilations are hands down the essential guides to this genre and the fourth instalment is an exhilarating map to its suave new purveyors. Quebec’s Pierre Lapointe, one of our country’s most criminally underrated musicians and a Malajube collaborator, displays a wonderfully unique voice accented by sweeping symphonic arrangements, while Holden sounds like a female-fronted Tindersticks tracking an Almodóvar film in an edgy, nocturnal tribute to the Spanish capital on "Madrid.” The compilation also introduces Ardechian Eddy (la) Gooyatsh, with his meandering, bossa nova-flavoured "L’amour et l’eau fraîche,” and Austine, whose "Ohh La La,” is a breathy, Françoise Hardy-like number with the almost twee-ish sounds of Belle & Sebastian. Each track on the compilation has its own type of "très belle” charm and the best thing is that for the 16 artists featured, each one has at least a whole album of material waiting to be discovered. (Le Pop Musik)