Internationally celebrated new French chanson phenomenon and futuristic pop star
A decade of efforts has finally paid off – the biggest name in the world of French music and one of the finest performers around is coming to Slovenia. Singing from her new album OUĎ, which includes some of the best compositions from her previous four releases, Camille’s concert at Cankarjev dom – true to her reputation of an energetic performer – will be a bold, unique musical happening.
The internationally renowned artist, award winning singer and composer Camille, also known for her collaboration with Nouvelle Vague (she contributed four songs to their first album), has released ‘OUĎ’, her fifth studio album. Recorded over a year in La Chartreuse, a 14th century monastery-turned-artist’s residence in Avignon, ‘OUĎ' is a cornucopia thrumming with folk, hymns, ballads, pop, lullabies and breathtaking a cappella (sung in French and English).
“The story of the album is like this, moving from the arcane drums” – percussion is used throughout as the bedrock – “to the treble and harmonics and light in my voice.” An instrument of exhilarating range and phenomenal power, Camille’s voice provides all the vocal parts on ‘OUĎ’. “All the voices are telling a story,” she says, “and I am all the voices.
Co-produced by Camille with two of her longtime collaborators, composer and multi-instrumentalist Clement Ducol and sound and mixing engineer Maxime Leguil, and featuring the versatile Moog analogue synthesiser, ‘OUĎ’ is a work with a pulse. “It really resonates,” says Camille, “On some songs there are no drums, just this sub-bass like a kick drum, which leads the way and gives it a beat.”
While she sets out to write politically charged songs inspired by drum-driven French traditional dances, which reflect upon the country’s recent, tragic events, she was equally led to something peaceful, vowel-oriented and vibrational in her exploration of sound.
The latter explains the album’s title, ‘Ouï' – ooo…eee – a playfulness with sounds and language, a breaking free from its oft imposed restrictions.
Becoming a mother for the second time also had a bearing – “Having my children made me want to dive again into the spring of life, of love, of sound. All this mothering has led me to an approach of fluidity, I am enthusiastic about the cultural renaissance that is coming up, this going back to earth.”
Having earned a stellar reputation for her live work - running the gamut from sold out cross art form happenings from Paris to London and Sydney to a pared down tour of chapels in the Le Beaujolais region – Camille celebrated ‘OUĎ’s release with a tour of her native France throughout the summer months.
“The one-woman choir howls like a wolf and gallops like a horse as she mixes multitracked mantras with a riot of jabbering percussion. She reveals how drums ‘tell us what it is to be a society.’
A Camille concert is an extraordinary experience. Over two hours, the maverick singer writhes barefoot on the floor, dances like a galloping horse, howls like a wolf, sings audacious harmonies with a trio of backing vocalists and hits the kind of high notes that might only be audible to dogs. She sings in English about adultery and ecology; she sings in French about the futility of planting a Twix or a Mars bar in the soil, or how pregnancy turns a man’s semen into milk. She starts her set with a mournful, melismatic reading of Joni Mitchell’s Blue and reaches a truly bestial climax with a gospel punk version of the Dead Kennedys’ Too Drunk to Fuck.” The Guardian
“Everything has to go through my body. I need to feel the vibrations. It’s why I perform barefoot.” Camille