Recently signed to Domino, the energetic and much-loved French boys, Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains have recently returned with a new release under their new label, Piano Ombre, a wonderfully twee follow up to E Volo Love, which was recorded in a bona fide studio with Metronomy’s producer, Ash Workman.
Despite the changes to their usual recording style, their album is distinctly Frànçois’ heavy with percussion and holding on to their melodic Afro-pop and uplifting sound. The lyrics of this album are resoundingly darker than previous records, but I am sure that the singer’s tumultuous year will ultimately affect the message of the album, despite retaining the joyful and aromatic production.
The single release ‘La Vérité’, which was available on 17th March, the same day as Piano Ombre, holds a catchy rhythm, blatantly fleshed out with synthesizer and disco. It is the most accessible track from the album, and thereby the first release. ‘The Way to the Forest’, video disclosed and released last week, is a fantastically upbeat and charming second single release, one of few of their album tracks in English. Not only that but it’s illustrative of the album’s sentiment, as Piano Ombre translates as Calm Down Shadow (meaning to ‘no longer be scared by things, because there is a way to see things in a positive light’).
Emotive, and strongly composed this recent release from the French guys and Gerard Black (Glaswegian) hints at this bands intuitive grasp of the connection between the individual singles and the album as a whole. Juxtaposed with their profuse talent, yet again Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains fervently prove with this record that heavy percussion and animated guitar can feature clearly not ousting their sound with a label signing.
If this is the result of an album produced and recorded by Domino, we can only look to be progressively impressed by Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains, as this has to be one of the most listenable albums of 2014 thus far.
Piano Ombre was released on 17th March 2014 via Domino Records. It can be purchased from the band’s website: http://www.francoisandtheatlasmountains.com/