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Review: Juniore, Marabout

Juniore, “Marabout” ep (Le Phonographe)

Juniore is an all-female trio based in Paris, and “Marabout” their latest fantastic collection of psych-pop.  It’s got a really great beat, and we’re totally freaking out to it.

“Marabout” finds the band mining fluid, in the pocket rhythms and bass lines that cast a more modern light on a worthy addition to the imperious French, 60s yé-yé and beat pop lineage, of a mind with artists such as Melody’s Echo Chamber and Julien Gasc.  Like the best psych-pop, there’s a hint of malice just underneath the surface – opening track, “Mon autre” starts with a screech worthy of Psycho, while the title track features a malevolent, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins-ish cackle – and there’s more than a glimmer of M. Gainsbourg’s discomfiting atmospherics on show.  There’s also elements of more American sounding 50s-60s pop and surf (perhaps not surprisingly) on closer and personal fave, “A la plage”, as well as the leftfield garage and pop of that era that would later inspire groups like The Cramps and The B-52s.

My french isn’t good enough to decipher much of the lyrics, so I was left to be swept away by the effortless charm and skill in the arrangements and the playing.  Anna Jean’s vocals are beguilingly insouciant throughout, a calm amidst the groovy Shindig! party around her, which might inspire you to act like l’homme sur la gauche in this video.  Effortless cool; hide your gauloises.

After releasing a few 7” singles and eps in Europe on Le Phonographe – all of which are available to purchase via their Bandcamp page – Juniore’s collected works are, happily, being given a U.S. release thanks to the formidable Burger Records.  Be sure to also check out Juniore on fbook and twitter.