Last week, I finally got the third studio album by Nouvelle Vague (danke, Papi): “3” – released in 2009. Nouvelle Vague are a collective of musicians: the French masterminds Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux and various different (almost exclusively female*) singers. All songs are covers of new wave, punk and similar genre hits from the 1980s – rearranged in lovely bossa nova style.
There is something so incredibly charming to hear these milestone songs, which are usually so loud, boastful, aggressive, dancey, rough and dirty suddenly so feather-light with these cute voices and sway-inducing drum brush beats. Are Nouvelle Vague’s versions of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” or “Love Will Tear Us Apart” better than the originals? Of course not, that’s blasphemy. But personally I have discovered a whole new love and insight to songs like “Guns of Brixton” and “Too Drunk To F**k”.
I love all three albums, which are full of many jewels and I cannot wait for the release of a Best of CD in July, which is supposed to feature quite a few rarities. Apparently there is also a remix album, which sounds intriguing.
It’s difficult to choose, but here are several of my absolute favorites – and their original counterparts.
* On the current album some of the original singers lend their voice for the back-up vocals – like Ian McCulloch and Martin Gore
** There’s a rumor that a cousin of mine once played in Tuxedomoon. I really should check into that…