Les Chauds Lapins


BY Chris BurekPublished Mar 22, 2011

Brooklyn, NY-based duo Kurt Hoffman and Meg Reichardt, the leaders of Les Chauds Lapins (the Hot Rabbits), specialize in a range of French swing from the 1920 to '40s. Their quirky arrangements transcend time and place in a way that's uniquely debonair, whimsical and absorbing. Influenced by Charles Trenent, a French singer-songwriter who merged the worlds of swing jazz and chanson (among others, such as Edith Piaf and Josephine Baker), Amourettes is both romantic and quirky, retro and modern. The group's unique instrumentation is a welcome innovation that remains faithful to the inventive spirit of the French modes they emulate. Their unique blend of vintage banjo ukes from the 1920s and '30s, with scored strings and horns, is a sound that's true to neither time nor space. You can hear the lust-filled, animalistic intent (on seeking, and finding, pleasure) reflected in the group's moniker within each song. Like many quintessentially French indulgences (wine, cheese, art, etc.), repeated listens to Amourettes are wholly satisfying and pleasurable. It's an endearing homage to the sexy, surreal art-pop of jazz-age Paris.

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