Our thanks to the band France for keeping us in the loop.
So I’ve always imagined myself being somewhere on a bright sunny day, wearing a pair of 3-D glasses and riding a bike while listening to something catchy and retro on my walkman (yes, I’m so bringing out the walkman for this one) as I see the palm trees float by in the skies above. Now imagine yourself being arrested by a Pig in huge sunglasses and short-shorts, who is always dancing to the same music you were listening to prior to your conviction. Of course that is something to pull out a few snickers here and there but let us get down to business; recently the band France put into our hands something wonderful, something that I will admit has had my head bobbing and my lips moving every time I listened to this EP.
Listening to the “Grand Tour EP” (21, March 2011) by the band France from, well, France, they come bearing with them tracks that are indulged with an essence of the returning era of the 80’s. France’s “Grand Tour EP” is as retro as my walkman from the prior paragraph; yet with this transcendent flow that they have developed it is not as retro as it seems but more or less a hallucinogenic and psychedelic (which by the way is usually an awesome mix) feel of space traveling and riding on that bike again. While listening to the EP for maybe the fifth time around since I’ve started the post I’ve realized the songs do in fact create a mosaic like essence that sends the ears on a visual journey and as it seems to me that journey is worth the listen.
The opening track, “Grand Tour,” is just like its name sake—literally a Grand Tour; while in the midst of listening to the EP’s title track I feel like there is a small capillary in my brain somewhere where that is also dancing to the constant current that is evoked in my auditory sense. Since this is the first song I can only be left with the belief that I have so much more ahead of me: there is a tiling idea that is much like the layers of a painting it is portrayed by the different beats that most seemingly are allowed to arouse one’s ears into thinking that they are literally on a spectacle of a tour.
Now to introduce the second track, “France de Transe,” which to those who do not know means “France Trance,” sure enough this song flows on like “Grand Tour” but there is a more techno-esque idea that elapses as the song continues on. “France de Transe” instantly reminds me of “One More Time” by Daft Punk and along the lines I also am urged to revert to my old music and listen to The Gorillaz, Röyksopp, and maybe even a little of Moby, with a little bit of Everything But the Girl.
Personally I feel that France is a group of really awesome composers because they lace their music like that of a map made of hands: it can be experienced visually while it is experienced via aural. The third track “Sur les routes de France,” which means “On the roads of France,” is actually my favorite track on the “Grand Tour EP”; I feel that is it as eccentric as it predictable. Truthfully it’s not too often that I can actually say I sat down and listened to this song and started singing it on the first go. And with that being said, I will return to my metaphor of how it is both unconventional and straight — I can have a sort of imagery that appears in my mind that I’m on that adventurous journey again but this time the bike is no longer under the sky, rather the sky is far below. There is a spacey feeling to this song and with that I feel like I am watching the entrancing Visualizer show on iTunes or Windows Media Player and thus is why I elected this track as my favorite, because despite its speedy entrance you eventually slow down because the vocals are very calm and deep, which could at the same time be quite manipulating and alluring.
And for the final track France hands to us “14 Juillet,” which again for those who do not know, means “14th of July”; in this track there is a robotic choir that illuminates the mental stage and literally helps slow down the song despite the slower pace of the beats that are conveyed. This song creates a blindfold for the mind and behind that fold is the constant revolution of the moon and its eight different phases.
Ultimately France’s “Grand Tour EP” is like an allowance into a parallel world, thus allowing it to be a wonderfully composed EP. With its eccentricity and flowing transformations throughout the album leaves me saying that “Grand Tour” is a MUST listen to, and there are no ands, ifs, or buts about it. If you are a listener who feels like taking a mental day off, take a swing around and listen to France’s “Grand Tour EP,” it is a journey that won’t be forgotten.
1. Grand Tour
2. France en Transe
3. Sur les routes de France
4. 14 Juillet
Keep up with France at their MySpace and Facebook. For a list of vendurs of where to purchase the “Grand Tour EP,” please refer to the following link.
Here is the audio clip of “Sur les routes de France” from their YouTube Channel: franceentranse.