“Chansons D’ennui”, Jarvis Cocker Tip Top In Frenchy Singer

For Wes Anderson’s new film, the ex-leader of Pulp plays a fictional crooner who takes up real standards of French song. So frenchic.

Above all, do not believe the title: not a single boring song appears here in the credits. The title refers to the imaginary French town of Ennui-sur-Blasé, where Wes Anderson’s new film takes place, The French Dispatch. After their collaboration on Fantastic Mr. Fox, the American director once again called on Jarvis Cocker to create a parallel soundtrack. The former Pulp singer recounts.

“Wes explained to me that there would be in his new film a certain Tip-Top, which would appear not in the flesh but on a poster, in the café where the students meet to talk about revolution. It was Wes who invented this alter ego. I told myself that this character would allow me to pay tribute to the French music that I love and which has held an important place in my life. I wanted to express my gratitude for all that French culture has given me, just like Wes does with this film. ”

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As the action takes place around the events of May 68, the 12 songs chosen, very real, come from that time. The songwriter from Sheffield, who lived in Paris for several years, describes it as “A sort of tip-top best of”. It is besides this pseudo which adorns the cover, but the face which accompanies it and the timbre of voice are immediately recognizable, just like this delicious English accent which does not deceive. “When I slip into Tip-Top’s skin, I have a superpower: I manage to sing in French! I can’t do that when I’m Jarvis. ”

A classy duo, a bit offbeat

He had long been known to be an admirer of Gainsbourg (here, he sings two titles: Contact and Requiem for a jerk). Today we discover his passion for Christophe (“An artist who, rare thing, kept releasing interesting albums until the end”) from which he takes the tube Aline with touching conviction, Jacques Dutronc (on the frenzied People are mad, times are hazy), Nino Ferrer (Love, I’m looking for you, French version of Looking for You), or Françoise Hardy (My friend the Rose, a ballad that Jarvis has listened to since he was a teenager).

Special mention to words, words, where he plays the role of Alain Delon while Lætitia Sadier plays that of Dalida – a classy duo, a bit offbeat. The Englishman reveals that Wes Anderson would have liked to include a piece of Barbara, but that the challenge turned out to be impossible. “I really like Barbara, but she has such a special interpretation that I couldn’t see how to go about it, so I ended up giving up.”

Rather than radically transforming the tracks, Jarvis and the musicians who accompany him (all of your members of his current band, Jarv Is) preferred to stay true to the original versions. “Many French pop songs from this era had more interesting lyrics than English songs from the same period. It was very important for me to interpret these songs correctly, with respect and conviction. Lætitia Sadier kindly agreed to help me. She came to the studio when I was recording my voice and she guided me in my pronunciation. She also translated into French the song by Nino Ferrer which was originally in English. ”

“This album is my way of protesting against Brexit”

This album was conceived during the first confinement of 2020, each musician not recording their parts remotely. At the same time, Jarvis organized DJ sets from his home on Saturday night under a lonely mirror ball. This initiative, entitled Domestic Disco and broadcast in livestream on Instagram, allowed, as much for him as for us, to clear the head and to find the meaning of the party. This born performer recently remade a DJ set in public. “After being in restriction for so long, people danced like never before. Maybe this burst of energy will lead us to exciting things. ”

Songs of boredom comes out at the same time as The French Dispatch, but we are also thinking of a more global post-Brexit context. “I just stood in line for two hours in the car to refuel”, s’exclame Jarvis.

“This album is my way of protesting against Brexit. I have always been against it and my anger has not abated over this disaster. Being able to sing in a European language is one of the reasons that pushed me to accept this project. ” A beautiful symbol of indestructible Entente Cordiale.

Songs of boredom (Republic Records / Universal). Released October 22.