Olivia Jean & April March
Third Man Records
I haven’t loved everything Jack White has done but I have always been in support of the aesthetic and business model of his Third Man Records – classic, old-fashioned record-making for people that love music. Novelty jukebox singles, quirky fan projects and an overall quality-control too.
Here’s a neat idea, then. The same three songs are performed first in French then in English, this isn’t so much a collaborative EP as it is a good old-fashioned split record.
April March haCles en français and then Olivia Jean covers the exact song in English. On the 7” record it’s Side A Team French, Side B Team English or if you listen digitally you can mix and match or have them stacked – so you can DJ your own dance-party with English/French alternates or double-ups. Lots of fun.
And the songs themselves, great throwbacks to 60s pop with a rockabilly vibe. Perfect to impress the music-snob in your life – or at least give it a go.
And, probably because it is a novelty to me, but I’d say it’s Team French all the way, April March’s versions just feel like the ‘proper’ renditions. She certainly hits it out of the park with infectious opener, Allons-y; it’s such a catchy groove and danceable beat that when Olivia Jean translates it to Let’s Go I still think it’s great and I like listening to these two back to back.
But Sauce Piquante feels better than its English translation – Hot Sauce. The instrumental track is identical but there’s something about the French language in these hooky, catchy songs. That also have utterly throwaway lyrics, in English. It’s like I’d rather not know.
The closers are Petite Voyoutte/Punkette – with phoney Beatlemania-styled crowd screams atop. Olivia Jean’s version comes close to some of the 90s commercial-version of Riot Grrl – or at least Veruca Salt and the like.
A good fun EP. Worth a listen.