Parisian electronic-pop genius Sébastien Tellier will forever be known for that majestic La Ritournelle, which was included in NME’s list of the Best Tracks of the Past 15 Year, having been sampled by The Weeknd, and collaborating with everyone to Jean-Michel Jarre to Daft Punk, Sofia Coppola and Karl Lagerfield. This Summer he is back with new music, his sixth album Domesticated suggests a move towards a more settled sound, a more settled way of living, but expect the unexpected as you delve into this short 8-track delight.
Throughout an influential career that spans two decades, Sébastien Tellier has forged his own unique pathway towards a career. But what more would we expect? Who else has gatecrashed the Eurovision Song Contest in a golf cart?
Sonically this often sounds like an OST for Stanger Things, and there’s clear nods to electronic gods Kraftwerk. However, there is still somewhat of a Tellier trademark, in that yes, it’s dreamy French electronica, classic pop songwriting and yacht rock-style sax. Thematically, however, he offers the unpredictable, paralleling music and the never-ending routine of domestic life. As he questions, “Maybe the key to happiness is there, hidden under a dirty laundry basket?”
“Domestication is a universal subject, an experience we all go through,” he explains. “It’s about transforming the everyday into something extraordinary. I wanted to talk about how we are prisoners to domestic chores because, for humans, life doesn’t exist if we don’t endeavour. Life is a permanent struggle, and domestic chores are at the centre of that battle.”
Album opener, A Ballet, haunting and seductive, with that vocal reverb, opens the door for a record of sonic treats. Stuck In Summer Love siginificantly ups the pace. with that Stranger Things pulsating sound, retaining the dark and cinematic style however. Venezia is boldly repetitive with a stand-out immediate end, whereas Domestic Tasks is my personal favourite with that groove, bass, percussion all coming together to create a head-bopping treat of a track. Atomic Smile is radically different to the rest, taking me back to Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides film and Air. Down-tempo and hazy, it allows us to float until the end of his record.
Domesticated is out now