Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains is very happy to welcome 2021 with a new album which features the most recently tracks, Coucou and Holly Golightly. Out on 26th February via Domino Records, Banane Bleue is a more subdued and sedate affair than the band’s previous back catalogue.
After Francois Marry’s last LP, Solide Mirage, I was not quite expecting Banane Bleue but the album is rife with a romantic pop that lingers throughout the rest of his previous records. Holly Golightly itself is predictably named after the character in Truman Capote’s, Breakfast At Tiffany’s and touches upon the album’s key themes of romance and relationships in metropolitan cities.
Coucou, which has a West-coast American sound, with its soft bassline and beaming guitars, takes us somewhere very different from Holly Golightly. With emotional connections and misunderstandings at its heart, it details the end of a failing relationship whilst exploring the nuances of the French language.
Banane Bleue is a nomadic record, hailing from rented workspaces in some of the Europe’s key cities – Berlin, Athens and Paris. Written solely by Frànçois Marry himself, close collaborator and Weird World artist Jaakko Eino Kalevi was enlisted for production duties whilst Renaud Letang (Feist, Gonzales, Connan Mockasin) mixed the album. With less percussion and a stripped back sound, this album is more of a love letter to being light-footed and allowing new cultures and travel to seep into influence.
The title of the album itself is taken from the ‘blue banana’ concept, a geographical theory that groups together a corridor of Europe’s biggest cities, originally conceived in the 1980s. The album itself binds differing cultures and sounds but mostly explores common cultural and romantic ground, creating an album full of missed meetings and misunderstandings.
Julie combines both French and English and epitomises dream-pop. Par Le Passé leads us with the piano keys, idyllic, classical, charming in it’s style. Tourne Atour, however, is the stand out track with the building synth, an 80s sound that is reminiscent of La Roux. Revu is a stunning pop track that would fit beautifully on previous album, Piano Ombre and, Gold & Lips has a poignant intimacy about it, a fine reverie for us to recede down for just under four minutes.
Banane Bleue is a move away from Francois and the Atlas Mountains as we know them but a beauty of an LP all the same. Romantic pop sits at the centre, with a cultural variety that keeps that record interesting and allows you to explore, and travel in audible fashion. This move away is welcomed at a time when we have become accustomed to sitting stagnant.
Banane Bleue is out on 26th February, via Domino Records.