Previously a member of Belle and Sebastian and collaborating with the likes of Snow Patrol, even Isobel Campbell’s solo career has often seen her work with other acclaimed musicians – perhaps most notably with the late Mark Lanegan on the Mercury Prize-nominated album ‘Ballad of the Broken Seas’.
Her latest partner-in-music is less familiar on UK shores – Jérôme Didelot of French band Orwell, who has released a string of artful pop albums over the past two decades.
And Campbell’s breathy, almost-whispered vocal seems made for a release which evokes the Paris of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin.
The Glasgow-based musician takes us on a slow perambulation through summer meadows on the title track, while ‘A L’assaut Du Ciel’s faster passage is more reminiscent of the more upbeat French vintage “Ye Ye” musical style.
Lyrics, all convincingly sung in French, will be impenetrable to anyone without a qualification in the language but this je ne sais quois all adds to the mood. Musically, Didelot’s instrumentation recalls Campbell’s own Gentle Waves project as well as her work with Bill Wells ‘Je Ne Finis Rien’ – a duet with (presumably) Didelot, again evokes the Gallic cool of late ’60s swinging Paris, the pair’s voices blending together perfectly.
Adding to the entente cordiale in what is actually an EP, there are remixes of all tracks including a foot-tapping take on the title track by Martin Carr out of the Boo Radleys and a dubby workout of the EP’s main theme courtesy of John Lydon’s PIL sidekick Jah Wobble.
Summer in the UK may not quite have arrived, but when it does this could be the ideal soundtrack.
out now. This article originally appeared in the Blackpool Gazette.