Claude Lombard was most famous for singing Belgium's entry in the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest but this cult album from 1969 suggests that her work could also be regarded alongside White Noise, Delia Derbyshire, Astrud Gilberto and the United States of America as music that remarkably foreshadows the sort of experimental pop that was later played by the likes of Broadcast and Stereolab.
LP £21.99 SOMM037
LP on Sommor. Reissued with the rare original French edition gatefold artwork + insert with liner notes by pop connoisseur Don Sicalíptico.
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- Chante by Claude Lombard
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Oh my. Fans of the laser-guided psych-pop melodies of Stereolab and the cool-chanson-with-electronics of Broadcast will surely wet themselves with excitement upon hearing this record. I’m certainly very pleased to be hearing it now; I’m talking, of course, about the first album released by Belgian chanteuse Claude Lombard.
The sounds on this record speak of the golden space age, prefiguring both the aforementioned bands’ obsession with the era by nearly 30 years. ‘Chante’ was originally released in 1969, which makes perfect sense now; nothing this authentically, gorgeously, space-ily psychedelic could have been made at any other time. Listening now, to the quality of the songs here, it’s shocking to think that outside of her home nation Lombard is still best known as the Belgian entry in the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest. The melodies and textures on the record are eerily, perfectly formed; jazzy piano arrangements, fuzz guitar chords and progressions in tandem with theremin and harpsichord-like synth. With reverb-laden vocals sung in French, not a million miles away from the gallic seductiveness of Françoise Hardy. There’s even some bossa à la Astrud Gilberto. Well, I’m in love.
For fans of: The ‘lab, Broadcast, Delia Derbyshire, White Noise, Françoise, Astrud.
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