It’s been nine long years since Fabienne Delsol’s third solo album, ‘On My Mind’, and I had become resigned to the idea that she had left music behind her. Which, considering she had seemed carved from my francophone dreams, was hard to accept. She has graced us with three albums of 60s inspired beat and psyche pop, as if visiting us briefly to improve our dull world.
Mais, non! Monsieur Daley m’a dit qu’elle va sortir un nouveau album. And ‘Four’ is all I could have dreamed of. While maintaining the influence of a young Françoise Hardy, Fabienne’s sound is maturing to slightly darker places. Back again at Toerag Studios, but now co-producing with Luke Oldfield, this is the sound of Fabienne in control of her muse.
‘See How They Run’, with fuzz-guitar melody, brings us back to where she left off. Like a lost, ephemeral classic. ‘Ladder’s acoustic intro gives way to an organ-fuelled groove, which also gives ‘Door Knob’ a more sinister tone, though it still swings. I think Rudi Protrudi would approve.
Another catchy original ‘So Many Could Not’ is followed by the first choice of cover version, ‘When I Awake’. Yes, the Quo tune is pared back but retains its quirky charm. ‘The Face’ by the Human Beinz is an inspired choice, but the standout cover is Françoise Hardy’s ‘J’ai Fait De Lui Un Rêve’. If I still had hairs on the back of my neck, they’d be standing up.
‘I’ll Never Be Lonely Again’ takes a Beatley, meandering path, while ‘Hurtin’ Kind’ ends the album on a groovy note. If, like me, you feel like you were born in the wrong time, and beat-pop-psyche nuggets are your thing, I can’t recommend this album enough. The world is a better place with Fabienne Delsol in it. Merci, Fabienne, mille fois.
Author: Martin Chamarette