French Disco
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French Disco

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"Live Review of Cafe du Nord Show, 1/5/07"

Live Review: Rykarda Parasol, Elephone, French Disco, & Dora Flood
Cafe Du Nord, 1/5/07

Words and Photos by Emily Logan

I don't mind going to shows alone. Sometimes it's nice not to have someone yelling in your already ringing ear and distracting you from the music. But when there are four bands playing, there's a lot of down time between sets to sit on a bar stool and hope someone comes and talks to you.

Fortunately, Friday night's show at Cafe Du Nord featured four bands that kept me interested, which made the wait for the next band easier to bear.

I admit, I arrived a bit late (another down side to solitude—no one to pick you up so you get there on time) and missed most of Dora Flood's set. The crowd was still a bit sparse, but Dora seemed to do their job of keeping everyone excited.

During the set change I drank a Paulaner and tried making conversation with a lone German girl who wasn't having it. The DJ warmed up the crowd with "Burning Down the House" and "Pass the Dutchie." French Disco was next.
The band represented themselves just as their music would suggest. They were solid and well-rehearsed with a hipster air. Singer Myriam de la Jara was lean and feminine. She moved in jerky but adorable movements and seemed dejected, not detracting from her vocal elegance.

Bassist John Dumont was fantastically excited for the entire performance, which was a highlight. Their set included "Idoles du soir," and "Icon," but unfortunately left out my favorite, "Sugar." The band ended appropriately with "Heaven."

Ultimately, there couldn't have been a better show to see alone. As French Disco bravely proclaimed: "Je ne regret rien": "I regret nothing." - Deli SF magazine

"Rykarda Parasol, French Disco, Elephone, Dora Flood at Cafe du Nord"

French Disco’s two EPs, Twilight Idols and Icon are reminiscent of the moody but irresistible songs of The Smiths with a French edge. - Mesh Magazine

"ICON EP Review"

This San Francisco quintet is not French, nor does its sound replicate effervescent Gallic dance music. Instead, French Disco's second EP, Icon, is less Donna Summer and more moody dream pop. Deeply rooted in lo-fi indie, shoegaze, and '90s Brit sounds, Icon references bands such as My Bloody Valentine and Ride, instantly transporting the listener to 1991, a time when distortion pedals ruled and ethereal vocals were de rigueur. "Sugar," which sounds like a mixture of Lush and Oasis, is the requisite drug song, which in this case makes being high sound like eating cupcakes and frolicking in a rose garden. - San Francisco Bay Guardian, 3/28/07

"Live Review of Rockit Room Show, 2/28/07"

French Disco came next, with a much more traditional rock-n-roll take on shoegaze. Like Peloton, French Disco created dense, delay-drenched, reverb-soaked, towering walls of noise reminiscent of bands like My Bloody Valentine or Ride (but without the folky, acoustic-guitar element that those bands often inject into their sound).

Singer Myriam de la Jara seemed to be channeling Siousxie Sioux, but her vocal stylings are equally redolent of Elizabeth Fraser—especially because her Spanish/French accent made me think that she was employing glossolalia, or nonsensical verbalizations. De la Jara might have actually been singing words though; I don’t know. I do know it sounded cool, whatever she was singing. - WireTap Music

"East Bay Express Review of Mirror Stage"

"The name's not as misleading is it may seem. French Disco plays stylish, subtly droning rock with lyrics in French and English. Mirror Stage succeeds as a teaser, and a full album of the stuff would likely go down just as well." - East Bay Express

"Pop Beat: Download of the Week, 8/5/07"

Download of the Week: "Avant-Garde Bubblegum Factory" is a double-shoegazer-dipped dance-rock track by French Disco. The noise-pop quintet, whose moody influences include the Smiths and My Bloody Valentine, will celebrate the release of an EP Wednesday at the Rickshaw Stop. Download "Avant-Garde Bubblegum Factory" at - SF Chronicle Datebook

"French Disco’s Mirror Stage, 8/6/07"

Speaking of shows at the Rickshaw Stop this week, on Wednesday night San Francisco’s French Disco celebrate the release of their new EP Mirror Stage. The band’s last EP Icon, was released last year, and the new record finds them progressing nicely, incorporating elements of shoegaze rock, dream pop, and melodic rock calling to mind Stereolab. The four tracks from the EP now streaming at the band’s MySpace page sound great and are definitely worth your listen. - The Bay Bridged

"Essentials: This weekend's live music picks"

"The band will hook you with its catchy distorted guitar riffs and splendid drone sound. Drop your head and sway back and forth to the hypnotic and magical ear candy."
-SFGate (1/15/09) - SFGate

"C'est le reverb?"

C'est le reverb? With rich guitar melodies and vocals reminiscent of Elisabeth Esselink, San Francisco’s French Disco makes the type of dream pop that sounds like Would-Be-Goods gone shoegaze. Oui oui, this in itself is a good thing. - Editor’s Review

"Dreamy Melodies"

As the Northeastern United States eases into sweater weather, I feel a greater need for cozy 80s-style indie pop songs like this, which conveys a sense of comfort via dreamy melodies and softened guitar distortion. It's very modest, but self-assured and catchy in an easygoing, casual sort of way. This is definitely the kind of song which will sound pretty good most of the time, but will suddenly seem quite special if you hear it at just the right moment.
- Fluxblog


Twilight Idols EP (2005)
ICON EP (2006)
Mirror Stage EP (2007)



French Disco was formed in 2004 in San Francisco when guitarist Sean Smith recruited Myriam de la Jara as a vocalist for a music project that grew very quickly within the next few months. By January 2005, French Disco was the opening band at its first San Francisco show at Bottom of the Hill and since then has played at other respected clubs such as Cafe du Nord and the Rickshaw Stop, supporting bands such as Oranger, Rykarda Parasol, Ariel Pink, Jeans Team, and The Moog.

French Disco is now formed by Sean, Myriam, Jason, John, and Randy and has released 3 EPs, Twilight Idols (2005), Icon (2006), and Mirror Stage (2007). Just recently released, Mirror Stage shows off French Disco's sound, an atmospheric landscape of layered guitars, driving drumbeats, and restrained vocals, with lyrics that are sometimes sung in French.

The band is currently working on new material to record a new EP in the summer of 2009.