Winsome French collective Francois and the Atlas Mountains get down and dirty with their most direct offering yet. Solide Mirage was recorded by the guy who did Christine and the Queens and Owen Pallet takes care of all the violinning. Lead track 'Grange Dereglemen't sees them going all Riverdance on our asses with celtic melodies and men with scarves dancing about.
- LP £18.99
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- WIGLP379X / Gatefold LP on Domino. Includes limited indies only clear vinyl 7" with bonus tracks ‘Night Thoughts’ and ‘Feu De Joie’.
- Includes download code
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7/10 Clinton Staff review, 01 March 2017
Not content with their previous reputation for a kind of charming gallic disco folk, Francois have gone for the jugular on this their fifth album and really beefed up their production clout. On opener and lead track ‘Grand Dereglement’ the group blast forth with a kind of 'Riverdance' inspired jig which keeps erupting between verses. Leader Francois Marry is brave enough to sing in his native tongue throughout but despite this and their much vaunted afro rhythm influences there are moments of stodge which wouldn’t stand out from the rest of the landfill indie crowd. ‘Apocalypse a Lpos’ though exemplifies what the band are best at marrying afro beat, skittering drums with winsome melodies as well as something of an insufferable tweeness on the chorus which disrupts the pleasant flow. Better is ‘1982’ which harks back to how I think this band would sound if I’d actually heard their back catalogue. It’s a lovely folky affair with lashes of accordion and wisely misses out the rather singalong choruses that are tacked onto the preceding songs.
But ‘Solide Mirage’ is a eclectic affair taking in widescreen electronic pop, pulsating punk and Vampire Weekend style guitar tangles. Francois efforts to break further into the mainstream have mixed results but not without moments to enjoy.
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