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Melanie Pain – My Name

 

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Mélanie Pain is best known as the lead singer of the French band Nouvelle Vague who seduced millions around the world with her breathy renditions of 80s pop. Now the talented chanteuse turns her musical charms to a solo career with her impressive debut album, My Name.

“Because I have this soft French voice which has been used in Nouvelle Vague in very loungy kind of music, I really wanted my own album to be more intense,” she says. “Nouvelle Vague is really like you’re on a beach, but I feel my music is more from the city.”

Mixing electric guitars, heavy drums and brass against Mélanie’s intimate vocals has created a compelling and unique sound, as in the dramatic duet Helsinki sung with Julian Doré. It’s a song Mélanie is particularly proud of, not only for the chance to collaborate with one of France’s favourite singers, but also for the story it tells about two lovers living separate lives, one in Helsinki and the other in Paris.

If the aching and inexorable feel of the song reminds the listener of Nick Cave, that’s probably because Mélanie is a big fan. She’s also influenced by Harry Nilsson, with a lovingly nostalgic version of the lullaby Little Cowboy featured as the sole cover on the album. Where her own songwriting is concerned, however, her hero is Leonard Cohen. It’s all about taking your time to tell a story and play around with the words and music,” she says, as in her sly song about a burnt out relationship, Cigarette.

A defiantly unsentimental take on breaking up is also at the heart of the upbeat and irresistibly cool Bruises. “That’s a song about how you can really feel damaged by a relationship and then one morning just wake up and move on,” says Mélanie, adding that this track is a nod to one of her idols, Nancy Sinatra. “Like her, I love to sing a sad song in an optimistic way. Even if I’m singing sad lyrics and sad melodies, I’m always trying to put a bit of hope in it.”

Mélanie’s fondness for American pop and folk is felt throughout the album, especially when it comes to the title track, My Name. Like all the best pop songs, it’s fresh and yet feels as if it’s been around for years – an instant classic in fact. Along with all the songs in English on the album, it was written by Mélanie herself.

“It was the last song I wrote for the album,” she says, “And I realised it kind of summed up everything I was trying to do for the last two years – quitting my job, doing tons of shows with Nouvelle Vague, discovering who I am and who I want to be.”My Name has been produced by Marc Collin, the musical genius behind the success of Nouvelle Vague, and Villeneuve who wrote most of the songs. As well as Julien Doré, Mélanie also sings a duet with the Norwegian folk star, Thomas Dybdahl. Soon an international tour will soon introduce the singer’s unforgettable stage presence – both coquettish and brash – to a whole new audience. Whether her songs are playful or intense, pop or folk, French or English, sassy or sweet – Mélanie Pain sings in a style that’s all her own. There’s little doubt that My Name, and her name, will soon be on everyone’s lips.

Listen in exclusivity to the album (released first in Australia/New Zealand):

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A quick chronology

Late 70s: Born in North of France.

Late 80s: Move to the South of France, study political science, then go to London. Buy red Doc Martins and The Smiths t-shirts.

Late 90s: Move to Paris, sing with Villeneuve and m83.

2004: Meet Marc Collin and sing on the first Nouvelle Vague album and tour with Camille – known in London as “the French lesbian show”. Climb on bars in New York, steal bottles and try to make the audience “too drunk to fuck” with Camille.

2005: More touring with Nouvelle Vague. Share the stage with Phoebe Killdeer for 100 shows around the world. Enjoy platonic love affairs with every local tour manager.

2006: Record the Nouvelle Vague second album, Bande à Part. Support Dead Can Dance at the Hollywood Bowl. Known on tour as “the Jack Daniels girl”.

2007: Commence work on a solo album with Villeneuve and Pap Seziel, record the first demo tracks Peut être Pas, La Cigarette and Helsinki. More touring with Nouvelle Vague even further away from home.

2008: Sing with Martin Gore and Ian McCullough for the third Nouvelle Vague album, due out in Spring 2009. Record own first solo album, My Name, with Villeneuve and Marc Collin in Paris. Julien Doré and Thomas Dybdahl lend their brilliant voices.

2009: Release My Name in Australia, Asia and Europe. Begin touring once again…

Post by Cartell Music 3/04/09

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