She’s crazy. Decadent (“Je suis décadente (La concierge gamberge)”). A self-appointed arsehole (“Conne”) and misfit (“Je suis inadaptée”). She’s always been like that, but she is so much more. Brigitte, always in the back of the bar, sings the wanderings of the mind, the freedom within the distractions and the dadaism of collages that constitute her mental tapestry. These are stories that begin with “once upon a time”, a vixen and a bushy ram, pigs, starry nights, forgotten jackets at remote train stations, little boys who go to school never to return... This is the world of someone who is afraid of storms and says only ”[believes] in a tiny blade of grass forgotten on the railtrack” (“Le brin d’herbe”).
This playlist is a love letter to Brigitte Fontaine. And more precisely to the years she spent on Pierre Barouh’s mythical label Saravah. Between 1968 and 1979, she released about eight albums on Saravah. Not the most well-known period of her career, but some of the most imaginative, edgy, avant-garde, poetic and creative work of her musical life. Her early career is not well known, since it was eclipsed by a blaring comeback in the ’90s, and problematic TV show appearances orchestrated by clever and abusive “buzz” makers, keen to mock free-minded spirits. A love letter to her sensitive and political poetry, to her theatrical appetite for words and imagery, to the dizzying amplitude of her inspiration, to her insane freedom, something very different from a freed insanity.
With over a 50-year career spanning work with Jacques Higelin, Jean-Claude Vannier, her husband Areski, M, Stereolab and Sonic Youth or the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Brigitte deserves her “national treasure” status. Better yet: a real treasure.