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Charlotte Gainsbourg


Country of origin:

France

Type of music generally:

Indie pop with electronic touches

Status:

Most recent release, Rest (2017)

See also:

Charlotte Gainsbourg's site

Charlotte Gainsbourg's Facebook page

Wikipedia's entry on Charlotte Gainsbourg

Comparisons:

Often has a breathy vocal style not unlike Keren Ann's

Covers/own material:

Mostly songs written for her, occasional co-written

General comments:

Best known as an actress and the daughter of singer Serge Gainsbourg, Charlotte Gainsbourg is also a talented singer in her own right. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Recommended first album:

5:55

Recordings:


5:55

Release info:

2007 (US)—Because Music/Vice Records—94703-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Charlotte Gainsbourg—vocals

Guest artists:

Tony Allen—drums
Nicolas Godin—bass guitar, acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, electric guitar, glockenspiel, synth drums, synth drums (monomachine), synths, percussion, melodica, tambourine
Jean-Benoît Dunckel—piano, synth drums, synths, synths strings, synth bass, glockenspiel, moog, additional chorus, vibraphone, organ
David Richard Campbell—string arrangements and conducting
Jeremy Stacey—drums (5, 8, 10)
Neil Hannon—acoustic guitar (5)
Joby Talbot—string arrangements (5)
The Millennia Ensemble—strings (5)
Nigel Godrich—piano, synths (12)

Produced by:

Nigel Godrich

Comments:

Dark, mysterious, strange and beautiful. That's how I'd describe this album. It's often strange but never cold. It feels strangely intimate—almost too intimate—yet has a great alien quality as well. (jonwesleyhuff@gmail.com)

IRM

Release info:

2010 (US)

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Charlotte Gainsbourg—vocals, flute (10), piano (13)

Guest artists:

Beck Hansen—guitars (1, 3, 5-7, 9-11), drum programming (1, 2), bass (2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 12), vocals (2, 3, 5, 6, 8-10, 13), synthesizer (2, 3), piano (3, 5, 10), percussion (3, 5, 6, 9, 10), acoustic guitar (4, 8, 12), marimba (6), recorder (6), keyboard (12), keyboard bass (13)
David Campbell—string arrangements, conducting (1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 11-13)
Justin Meldal Johnsen—percussion (1)
Matt Mahaffey—banjo (1)
Drew Brown—drum programming (1, 2), bass (1), string arrangements (2), effects (12, 13), keyboard (13), string (13)
James Gadson—drums (2, 3, 13) Joey Waronker—drums (2, 3, 6, 8, 10-12), percussion (2, 3, 6, 10, 12), snare rolls? (6)
Brian LeBarton—drums (2), celeste (4, 10), bass (5, 10), tambourine (5), percussion (5, 6, 12, 13)
Alex Acuna—percussion (2, 12)
Matt Sherrod—drums (2, 5)
Jason Falkner—acoustic guitar (4), guitar (8)
Bram Inscore—bass (4, 7, 8, 11), celeste (4)
David Ralicke—trombone (5, 11), sax (5, 11)
Chris Bautista—trumpet (5, 11)
Matt Demeritt—tenor sax (5, 11)
Monique McGuffin—harp (7)
Ben Attal—drums (9)
Alice Attal—talking (10)
Greg Kurstin (the bird and the bee)
Luis Conte
Heidi Slimane
Yvan Attal
Lulu Gainsbourg
Paul Livingstone
Timothy Young
Christopher B. Lea

Produced by:

Beck Hansen

Comments:

I love this album even as I don't know how to describe it. It's got pop, rock, electronics... It's dark and heavy, but then there's a delicate waltz... It's not as cohesive as 5:55; it travels a lot more in style and mood, but it does it well. The album's diversity may make it hard to get into, but it also makes it engaging. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of the year. (christina_skov@hotmail.com, stjarnell@yahoo.com)


Stage Whisper

Release info:

2011—Because Music—2-528905

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Charlotte Gainsbourg—vocals (1-19); Casio keyboard, Kaoss pad, floor tom, percussions (9-19)

Guest artists:

Beck Hansen—guitars, synth bass, synths, drum programming (1); guitar, vocals, synthesizers, drum programming (2); guitar, piano, organ, synth bass (3); vocals, celeste (4)
Bram Inscore—bass (1, 2); contrabass (3, 4); cello (4); bass, keyboards, backing vocals, percussions (9-19)
Cole Marsden Greif-Neill—drum programming (1-3)
Ben Attal—drums (3)
Monique McGuffin—harp (4)
Asa Taccone—backing vocals, organ, piano, drum programming (5)
Matthew Compton—drums, guitar, bass (5)
Matt Popieluch—backing vocals, guitar (5)
Josiah Steinbrick—sitar guitar (5)
Justin Baily—guitar (5)
Charlie Fink—vocals, bass, synths, piano, programming (6)
Tom Hobden—violin, backing vocals (6)
Connan Mockasin—backing vocals, guitars, bass (7)
Marlon B—drums (7)
Conor J O'Brien—acoustic guitar, backing vocals, keyboards, finger-clicks (8)
Renaud Letang—additional keyboards, percussions (8)
Laurent Vernerey—double bass (8)
Brian LeBarton—keyboards, guitar, backing vocals, percussions (9-19)
Eric Gardner—drums, percussions, backing vocals (9-19)
Nicole Morier—guitars, backing vocals, glockenspiel, percussions (9-19)
Amir Yaghmai—violin, guitars, backing vocals, glockenspiel, percussions (9-19)

Produced by:

Beck Hansen (1-4); Asa Taccone & Matthew Compton (5); Charlie Fink (6); Connan Mockasin and Marlon B (7); Conor J O'Brien and Renaud Letang (8); Brian LeBarton (9-19)

Comments:

Likable, if inessential, 2-disc set of studio extras and live performances. There's a weak cover of Dylan's "Just Like a Woman," but the rest is solid. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Rest

Release info:

2017—Because Music—564213-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Charlotte Gainsbourg—vocals

Guest artists:

SebastiAn—synth, drum programming, piano, harpsichord, bells, organ, synth bass, Rhodes, bass, Wurlitzer, backing vocals, guitars, clavinet
Emile Sornin—electric guitar, melotron, bass guitar, clavinet, harpsichord, melotron, Wurlitzer, glockenspiel, guitars, noise, percussions, bass, philicorda, tambourin
Alice Attal, Skyler Pierce Scher, Rachel Kay McCain, Elisabeth Sophia Seiple—backing vocals (3)
Vincent Taeger—drums (4, 8, 11)
Paul McCartney—guitars, piano, additional drums (8)

Produced by:

SebastiAn; track 6 produced by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo

Comments:

Rest might be my favorite Charlotte Gainsbourg album (and I love 5:55 and IRM as well). But her voice and the music both seem stronger here. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Charlotte Gainsbourg's film credits can be found on her page in the International Movie Database. She has recorded several songs for soundtracks to films in which she appeared, including:
  • "Love, Etc." for the Love, Etc. soundtrack (1996)
  • "L'un part... l'autre reste" for the L'un reste... l'autre part soundtrack (2005)
  • a cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman"'s "Just Like a Woman" for the I'm Not There soundtrack (2007)
Collaborations include:
  • "The Duelist" with Air and Jarvis Cocker on Air's album Pocket Symphony (2007)
  • "If" with Étienne Daho on his album Réévolution (2003)
  • "A Kiss Goodbye" with Emile Haynie, Sampha, and Devonte Hynes on Haynie's album We Fall (2014)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2019-01-01 16:32:51.
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