Vendredi Sur Mer- Premiers Émois (Profil de Face)

Vendredi Sur Mer- Premiers Émois (Profil de Face)

Venus was the roman goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility. Charline Minot appears to be portraying herself as the mythological Venus on the front cover of debut record Premiers Émois because the back of her chair is in a shell shape that matches the famous Birth of Venus painting by Sandro Botticelli from the 15th century. It’s unlikely to be coincidental. Charline Minot was a passionate photographer and conceptual artist before starting up her music project Vendredi Sur Mer – French for Friday by the sea – and her music videos, lyrics and visuals all interlink together under the umbrella of love, fantasies and sexuality.

To non-French speakers, you could describe the Switzerland-born, Paris-based musician’s first album Premiers Émois (Eng: First Emotions) as like having a foreign-language girlfriend who whispers seductive words to you deep into your ear that sound sultry and sensual. You don’t understand what they mean exactly but it doesn’t matter because they are so intense and alluring. Those whispering sessions becoming increasingly addictive.

In a way that’s the power of Premier Émois, you don’t need to speak to French to really enjoy it but at the same time it teases listeners to want to know more about Charline Minot’s stories of intimacy, which learning the language might answer. It has such a style-consistent and magnetising atmosphere with the Swiss’s spoken word and soft-rapping over lush and multi-layered electropop rhythms, and the incorporation of flutes and clarinets, as well as hypnotic synth phasing to add to a dreamy environment (one that could transform us to the Birth of Venus painting), that it can be relaxing and dance-able simultaneously.

The 24-year-old Swiss has described her lyrics as a diary of real-life romantic events. However, the stories in each track have been pushed to the extreme and made more fantastical, much like her erotic yet artistic music videos, which act as an accurate introduction into Minot’s world of infatuation, power-play, femme fatale characters and hidden desire unbound by society’s standardised structure.

The best lyrical moments on Premiers Émois are when they are enticing and descriptive about fantasies but are left with mysterious blanks that could be filled with one’s own imagination. Examples include: “Langoureuse et sensuelle aux accents de vanille. Elle t’emmènera au septième ciel“, which translates as “Languorous and sensual with vanilla accents. It will take you to the seventh heaven“, from the funky and exotic ‘Larme á gauche’.

As well as the nocturnal tale of a Mystique from X-Men-like temptress on ‘La Femme á la peau bleue’. Which is wonderfully enigmatic. Lines translated from French being: “It was midnight. She followed me. The lights were dancing. They were lighting up her eyes. It was the reflections. Of a woman with blue skin“. The music video shows that this temptress is a magnetic force for both sexes.

Yet among the X-Rated tales, it’s also nice to hear about her recollection of more innocent and simplistic expressions of love during teenage years – the album is called First Emotions in French after all – as described in Premiers Émois‘ most addictive track ‘Chewing-Gum’. Vendredi Sur Mer sings about those cliche butterfly moments in first love: “I engraved your name. On a tree. On a table. I forgot. My lessons. My poems. Memories. I have tons. Under the tables. Our chewing gum“. It’s one of the many tracks in which she uses double vocals to repeat words to give a flirtatious effect. It also contains other exciting layers including: a croaking bass hook, sparkling synthesizer, and heavenly flute among its Pet Shop Boys ‘West End Girls’ pace.

Due to its magnetic sound, enchanting and teasing concept and ear-massaging vocals, Vendredi Sur Mer’s debut Premiers Émois is one of those rare foreign-language albums that really encourages to learn a foreign language. In that sense she is victorious, just like Venus the roman goddess of victory.

Premiers Émois is out now on Profil de Face.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.