Paris, Île-de-France, FRA

Folk / rock. It is not surprising to hear the echo of a hip-hop beat, to attend also to a country-rock boom, and go in between the slight inflections folk and gospel.



Eléonore would probably have chosen to spell her name Eleanor, in tribute to her “idol” Paul McCartney’s Eleanor Rigby, if she had been asked. Daughter of an American father and French mother, the Parisian and US national has an anglophile assurance and French distinction that immediately suggest someone special. Her crew cut and clearly developed ideas combine with her magnetic blue gaze to enhance the remarkable impression she makes, even before her slightly husky tones add the perfect finishing touch. In 2007, almost by chance, she added that voice to a series of essentially acoustic songs written by Pierre and François, two friends still undecided on their project’s future. The boys had known each other since their teenage years, growing up together in a provincial town whose local cultural policies led them to see music as more than just a hobby. After this unmistakably successful experiment, the ad-hoc trio turned into a group. Fuelled by their mutual interests, the songs grew steadily more electric, seasoned by Eléonore’s lyrics. Soon, the group took to the stage, letting their songs grow in the open rather than prematurely arresting their development on record. Supporting Asa, Izia and Pony Pony Run Run, they introduced audiences to their elegant instrumental choreographies, idiosyncratically backed by fragmented drums (each of them playing a part of the whole). They also performed in bars and minor venues, developing a three-way balance that would prove essential when they faced the giddying challenges of the studio. Meanwhile, François led a second life, playing guitar for French pop idol Etienne Daho on stage during his Invitation tour, and on the album and live DVD recorded at the Salle Pleyel. Etienne was naturally happy to add his vocals to Baby Please, one of the most remarkable songs on Idol’s future album. The trio had wasted no time in building up a repertoire and decided to take their songs to producers Frédéric Lo and François Delabrière, whose credentials notably included their work with Daniel Darc. The album took shape in Studio Ferber, where Lo and Delabrière had a den, and the songs began to distil their enchanting scents. Drummer Philippe Entresangle joined the sessions, as did programmer Mathiew Vaughan. To crown it all, virtuoso Steve Nieve also agreed to lend a hand on keyboards. The golden-fingered "Attraction" who has played such a vital role in Elvis Costello’s greatest musical glories added his shimmering touch to four tracks on the album. Idol were unbelievably lucky to have so much musical brilliance attending their birth, but they mainly owe the results to themselves: rarely has a first French record had so much going for it. Never sounding too focused on the past or relying on strings that would tie them to a genre, the group draw on a wide enough range of influences to rule out any simplistic comparisons. As said before, Eléonore was raised on The Beatles and some of the tunes she concocts display the same charm and fluidity as those of the original pop pioneers. Listening to Suzie, one of the songs on the album, it is easy to imagine the shade of Eleanor Rigby, mentioned above, hovering close by. Other singers that Eléonore admires are Nina Simone and Fiona Apple. Drawing on the tenebrous ferocity of the one, she plays deftly on the sun-drenched warmth of the other to find her own voice. The boys come up with some unexpected amalgamations too, as when an icy bassline from The Cure slips into Bedtime Story to stealthily collide with the kind of pure guitar sound Sonic Youth sometimes unleash. The three unanimously cite Damon Albarn as a model, especially because of the artistic elasticity he displays when moving from one project to the next. So it comes as no surprise to hear the echo of a hip-hop beat (Into My Life) and then, later, rolling country-rock (Misunderstood Love), while in the meantime experiencing a Honeymoon (in Jail) coloured by light inflections of folk and gospel. Before they even began to consider a joint artistic future, Eléonore, Pierre and François discovered mutual tastes that are now fully expressed on their record.

Welcoming and exciting, cultured and vibrant, profound and carefree in turn, their music reflects the ideal combination of their three characters. A first EP already provides a glimpse of their work in four seminally sparkling facets, just a foretaste of the brilliant firework display of their first album, scheduled for the start of 2011.


"Bedtime story"
06/2011 - Jive Epic