Foreign Gems: France

France. The country known as the city of love and for the Eiffel Tower, eating snails, and baguettes. What you may not know about France is that it is an incubator for unique musicians and bands whose songs are chalk full of creativity.

Without further ado, below is a list of songs that I am sure you will enjoy.

Nous Étions Deux // La Femme

 

La Femme is definitely high on my list of the most eccentric bands. They’re a psych-punk band and have created many catchy hits to aggressively dance and bob your head to. I was lucky enough to see them at “Beach Goth 2016,” and let me tell you, us U.S. folks were not worthy of their godly performance.

 

Le Temps De L’amour // Francoise Hardy

A classic to those who have watched Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Le Temps De L’amour” has been the theme song to all of our youthful romances. Francoise Hardy’s music is incredibly soothing to the ear, so I suggest listening to all her songs while you’re studying.

 

L’amour À Trois // Stereo Total

I admit, this song is a little weird and has some questionable noises in it… but it works, doesn’t it? Technically, Stereo Total is a German-French band. If you’re into quirky electro-pop, this is the band for you!

 

Je Suis Malade // Lara Fabian

This is my GO-TO song if I want to feel dramatic and drown in my sorrows. “Je Suis Malade,” is a powerful song written by Fabian about heartbreak. Fabian’s song truly makes me want to break out into an overly dramatic contemporary dance.

 

Anyways, that’s all I have for today! Next week I’ll be highlighting some foreign gems from Japan!

 

Ashley Bajet,

Signing out.

Pierce the Veil Drops “Floral and Fading” Music Video

Pierce the Veil is a local metalcore band known for their heavy guitar riffs, on-point live vocals, and electric stage presence. Besides their hard-hitting songs, their quirky disposition on stage and in person also make them memorable. The band’s newly released music video for their song “Floral and Fading” creatively shows off how personable and charming this band really is.
The video begins at a bowling alley in the ’70s, as Pierce the Veil is prepping for their performance. The stage is inconveniently set in the middle of the alley, and the band is awkwardly adorned in floral shirts, pleated pants, sweater vests and wigs.
As Jaime Perciado’s groovy bass line and Mike Fuentes’ steady rhythm lead in the song, Vic Fuentes’ vocals attract a crowd of confused yet intrigued people. Then, Tony Perry’s fuzzy guitar tone comes in, tying the instruments together and getting the crowd moving. The night is going well; slow dancers move to the music and bassist Jaime even receives a brazier as a heartfelt gift from a fan. However, as the song reaches a crescendo, a fight breaks out.
To start off, two boys get into a tussle. Then, more people join in, turning the fight into a mosh pit. The song soon arrives at its climax. Tony Perry surfs the crowd and delivers a stellar guitar solo as the mosh pit intensifies. A lone couple, on the other hand, passionately kisses in the back of a car.
The bowling alley manager passes his (tolerance) limit and tries to shut the place down, to no avail. People bring out their lighters and someone pulls the fire alarm, starting the performance back up. Pierce the Veil, drowned in red lights and passion, start breaking and bashing their instruments and amps. Ultimately, even Fuentes’ vocals become more desperate, as he sings about making a getaway with his lover from life and its negativity.
This music video turned out to be one big cliche, and I loved it. Although Pierce the Veil is known as a middle school “emo” band, they will always have my support, especially when they produce music as amazing as “Floral and Fading.” This sweet, cliche music video is just an added bonus.

Deuces,

DJ Ricky P

Ex-Drummer Zac Farro Returns to Paramore

Paramore has been on a tumultuous ride these past five years. From the messy departure of Josh and Zac Farro in December of 2010, to long-time bassist Jeremy Davis’ exit in 2015, these events created an uncertain future for the band. But, as always, Paramore proved critics wrong and confirmed that they were making a fifth studio album. With fans anticipating the new LP, the band dropped another bombshell: former drummer Zac Farro is back.

Early Thursday afternoon, Paramore posted, on their official website and their social media accounts, about new merchandise: a t-shirt of a young Zac Farro with the captions “I’m back”. Unsurprisingly, this announcement set Paramore fans into a frenzy, me included. In turn, many questioned if Zac really was returning to the band. And, the answer is yes! Paramore has not said anything official about the return. There have been no tweets or comments, aside from the occasional appreciation post from Hayley Williams. However, the fans are still ecstatic and are now even more hyped for the upcoming album. The return of an original band member makes this four year music drought worth the wait.

Honestly, Paramore has been my favorite band for years, and this announcement still took me by surprise. The breakup was rough, and Josh Farro’s letter calling Paramore a “manufactured” band did not make the situation any better. In addition, Zac’s indie side project, Halfnoise, just released a new album called “Sudden Feeling” that shows off his drumming and vocal abilities. So, I was expecting tours, album signings, and TV appearances from Zac with Halfnoise, which would have made it difficult for him to work with Paramore as their studio drummer. Ultimately, however, Zac’s return tells fans that front woman Hayley Williams and guitarist Taylor York have reconciled with their old friend.

With Zac’s return, Paramore will surely give us a memorable, long awaited tour complete with throwbacks, fan favorites and new songs. I and many other fans cannot wait until the tour dates are announced, as well as the new LP. I am excited to hear Paramore’s upcoming projects and wish them well in this new era.

Deuces,

DJ Ricky P

Featured Image retrieved from http://infectiousmagazine.com/watch-halfnoise-ft-ex-paramore-zac-farro-mountain-music-video/ 

Benjamin Francis Leftwich Up-close and Personal

The Soda Bar is an up-close and personal music venue in San Diego, known to host many talented artists. Benjamin Francis Leftwich recently stopped by while on tour for his second album, “After the Rain,” before heading back to London. I had the opportunity to talk to him before the show, which I, unfortunately, was not able to attend because of age restrictions. But, Leftwich assured me that he tried his hardest to get me in. What a sweetheart!

Because this was his last show in the states, we talked about him exploring San Diego. Sadly, he had to head straight to the airport after the show. The traveling and long car rides never stop! Although, he did make it clear how humbled and fortunate he felt about being able to tour with this album.

To kick off the interview, we talked about his most recent album, “After the Rain.” Leftwich commented that the songs on this album are very much “straight to the point and clear and objective,” when compared to the music on his first album, “Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm.” Leftwich said, “This is the most honest music I’ve ever written.”

I asked if the theme of this album revolved around new beginnings, or was inspired by the recent passing of his father. Leftwich then explained that everyone has their own interpretation of his music and it’s meaning, which he encourages and appreciates.

“Music has always been a part of my life,” Leftwich said.

Throughout it all, from playing guitar and piano with his family, to forming a band with friends as a teen, to his current journey on the road, he’s made it a priority to keep family close. Leftwich spoke highly of his sister, the person he tries to talk to the most while on the road. “Music, and family, most importantly, bring me the most joy in life. I [owe] everything to that,” he stressed.

I asked Benjamin how he felt when listening to live music or his favorite artists. He told me that he grew up with the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen. Now, he listens to Chance the Rapper, Drake, and Frank Ocean. He maintained that it’s important to him to let those various and diverse inspirations show in his work. He added, “Sometimes I need them to get out of my own head.”

Leftwich stated that he does not get nervous before playing. He focuses on connecting with the audience. He wants his songs to be felt.

As our conversation wound down, Leftwich gave some last minute advice to anyone pursuing music as a career. He suggested, “[Don’t] be afraid to take risks. You need to be open-minded in the industry because like many have said before me, it’s not always easy.” He also encouraged people to be true to themselves. Great advice.

I personally want to thank Benajamin Francis Leftwich for the interview. Hopefully, there will be another one soon.

Featured image provided by Benjamin Francis Leftwich, 2016.