The temperature lowers, the light makes itself scarce, you feel a lump in your throat and your eyes itch and you don’t know why... The monochrome season is settling in for a few months. Naturally, you feel like listening to some specific sounds: Chilly Gonzales’ temperate piano and his allegiance to Erik Satie, Elliott Smith’s plain yet moving voice, and the melancholic lyricism from two princes of pop, Daniel Darc and Bill Pritchard... Each of them influential in building my musical DNA.
When I moved to in Paris in the late ’80s, I knew almost no-one. At New Rose, a cult record store in the French capital, that I discovered a very special record, Parce Que. I liked everything about it: the cover inspired by the Blue Note catalogue, the combination of vocals and spleens of Taxi Girl’s singer Daniel Darc and Bill Pritchard – an Englishman exiled to France –, the patronage of Étienne Daho...
Ten years later, I attended Elliott Smith’s first Parisian concert: it was in June, at the European. There he played alone with only his guitar and a woolen cap jammed tightly on his head, despite the summer season that was about to arrive.
Not only did he carry alone the entire hope of pop music, in his songs lied all the sadness of the world. The release of Figure 8, a few years later, confirmed it to me.
In this playlist as well as in my record collection, there is a special place (probably the first, which is why this playlist opens with one of his songs) for musicians who give you satisfaction because of their uniform music production. Artists with radical propositions, like Chilly Gonzales. His album Solo Piano definitely convinced me that the minor mode was in fact the most appealing one.
In winter, nature dies out, and it’s the perfect time to dive into an ocean of lively, yet sad songs, and on the other side, waiting for you, a Christmas song penned by Low.
Let yourself feel the blues, it could in fact make you feel good. These songs are here to accompany us.