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Camille


Country of origin:

France

Type of music generally:

Evocative/eclectic, experimental pop

Status:

Most recent release, ilo lympia (live CD/DVD, 2013); most recent studio release, ilo veyou (2011)

See also:

Camille's site

Comparisons:

Björk, Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson, Regina Spektor, Emilie Simon, Zap Mama, Sheila Chandra

She's most often compared to Björk, but I actually don't hear much resemblance. A far better comparison, to me, is the vocal experimentation of Zap Mama, though musically they're quite different. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Camille is the most sassy, experimental, and confident singer/songwriter I have stumbled across. She's French and she's huge in France, no wonder. (christina_skov@hotmail.com)

Pardon the gushing, but I have been completely and totally enamored by French singer Camille...the most stunning new discovery I have made all year (sort of in the vein of a French Regina Spektor/Björk/Emilie Simon)—wonderful, quirky, vocal gymnastics, interesting song compositions, unique vision...great stuff. Her albums are wonderful (especially Le Fil). (gordodo@optonline.net)

One of the most inventive and individual artists I've heard in years. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Recommended first album:

Le Fil or ilo veyou are probably the most obvious entry points

Recordings:


Le sac des filles

Release info:

2002—Virgin Records (France)—81278222

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Camille Dalmais—vocals; piano (11); backing vocals (3-5, 7-9)

Guest artists:

Sebastien Martel—guitars (2-5, 7, 9, 10)
Etienne Wersinger—keyboards and arrangements (8)
Alexandre Chatin—guitar (4, 5)
Denis Benarrosh—drums (2, 4, 7, 9); percussion (1, 4, 5)
Laurent Vernerey—bass (2, 4, 7, 9)
Steve Nieve—piano, keyboards (1, 2, 9)
Jacques Ehrhart—backing vocals (7)
Malik Mezzadri—backing vocals (9); arrangements (11)
Euston Jones—guitar (6)
Simon Dalmais—keyboards (10)
Victor Cuno—tap dancing (2)
Romain Calibre—cello (8)
Albin Lebossé, Emmanuel Beneche, Sylvain Daniel, Bertrand Culler—horns (11)
Budapest Symphony Orchestra—winds and strings (2, 9)
Bernard Arcadio—arrangements (2, 9)

Produced by:

Jacques Ehrhart

Comments:

I just tracked down her debut album—how can you dislike an album that uses tap dancers for percussion, has a xylophone solo, and on another track uses what I think is throwing silverware onto the floor as a percussive instrument... (gordodo@optonline.net)

Experimental in a different way than Le Fil. I didn't find it as immediately captivating, but it grew on me quickly. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Le fil

Release info:

2006—Narada—09463-59701-2-8

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Essential

Group members:

Camille—drone, vocals, backing vocals, human beatbox, percussion (2, 5, 14), wurlitzer (13), piano (13)

Guest artists:

Martin Gamet—bass, double bass, percussion (2, 3, 6, 11, 13), human beatbox (15), backing vocals (15), arrangements (3, 11)
Matthew Ker alias MaJiKer—percussion (10, 11, 13), piano (6), synthesizer (7, 9), claps (2)
Julien Chirol—trombones and trombone arrangement (2, 11, 12, 13, 15)
Sébastien Martel—elastic guitar (3, 11, 12)
Antoine Dijol—guitar (6)
Martin Rappeneau—piano (6)
Ruth Brewer—claps (2)

Produced by:

Camille and MaJiKer

Comments:

She does awesome stuff backing herself with her own vocalizations. A warmer voice than I'd expected from the way she'd been described to me. (Someone I know called her a French Björk. People really need to stop throwing Björk's name around. I feel it's very rarely accurate in any way.) Definitely must-hear. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)

Sort of a mix of Sheila Chandra's ABoneCroneDrone, Ella Fitzgerald [especially how she can sing instruments] Björk's Medulla, Shivaree's latest, and Keren Ann). This is the album that I had hoped Björk's Medulla would be...loosely orchestrated with instruments as accents, but more of the Ella style of singing the instruments to go along with the vocals. (gordodo@optonline.net)


Live au Trianon

Copy-Protected Disc

Release info:

2006—EMI (France)—094635471427

Availability:

France and places that carry import CDs

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for anyone who likes unusual music

Group members:

Camille—vocals, sampler, body percussions, piano on "Pale septembre"

Guest artists:

MaJiKer—piano, prepared piano, accordion, body percussions, backing vocals
Martin Garnet—bass, contrebass, percussion, drumkit, backing vocals
Sly "The Mic Buddah"—human beat-boxing

Comments:

Anyone interested in some French vocal gymnastics (no headbutting I promise) should run and give this a listen...all the best tracks from her two previous studio albums sung live along with a bunch of other songs. (gordodo@optonline.net)

I love this. It's done with such verve. Experimental, but rarely in a way will put anyone off—the experimentation is mostly in the "human beatbox" style and Camille's vocal playing. It reminds me more of Sheila Chandra's ABoneCroneDrone than of anything else, though yes occasionally there are hints of Björk's Medulla. I have the other albums and like them a lot, but really love this (and I rarely like live albums!) Highly recommended. (Neile)


Music Hole

Release info:

2008—Virgin/EMI (France)—5099952025624

Availability:

France

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for anyone who likes unusual music

Group members:

Camille—voix, choeurs, beat box, percussions à eau et percussions corpoelles, piano, le chant, le chien, le coq, l'âne, le canard à la donald

Guest artists:

Majiker—piano, beat box, percussion à eau et percussions corporelles, voix du commentateur, le vautour, la vache
Sly Johnson—basse vocale, beat box, la chère, le sanglier, le peitit chien
Fernando Barba—percussions corporelles, percussions à eau et solo de percussions à eau, la grenouille, le serpent, l'oiseau exotique, l'éléphant
Jamie Cullum—percussion dans le piano, la poue de'eau
Katherine Sowerby—percussions corporelles, solo de clochettes, tap, le singe
Vincent Milner—bruitisme
Les invités sur "cats and dogs":
     Nathan—le chat gris, le chien orange, les poules, l'âne vert, le cheval noir
     Alizée—la vache bleue, la jument
     Benjamin—le dauphin
     Caroline—la mouette
     Monté—la girafe
     Martin—le ochon
     Marlon—le vieux chien, le chat qui ronronne
     Dider—la vache marron
     Antoine—la vache jaune
     Mario—le canard
     Crystel—le silence du chat
     Yann—l'oiseau san nom
     Marie-Anne—le poisson
     Bénédicte—le lion
     Valgeir—le macareux muet

Produced by:

Camille and Majiker

Comments:

This is such a playful and theatrical album. Camille is having a ton of fun even with the more serious songs and it shows. It begins with the lively pop "Gospel Wth No Lord", where for the first time Camille sings in English (the lyrics here are mostly in English). Again, the sound is based on the "human beatbox" sound, which is what Music Hole is all about (all the sounds all the holes and parts of the body can make). There's also exploration of harmonic vocal sounds like "The Monk" (is "the Monk" here Meredith Monk? Quite likely, as this isn't unlike her vocal explorations.) Well, really, the album is all about harmony, even all the body percussion. Quite wonderful. (Neile)

ilo veyou

Release info:

2011—EMI (France)—5099902982908

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Camille Dalmais—vocals, children's choir

Guest artists:

Jean-Marie Baudour—first violin (2, 3, 5, 10, 11, 12)
Christelle Lassort—second violin (2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12)
Martin Rodriguez—viola (2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12)
Anaïs Belogey—cello (2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12)
Aleksander Anelov—bass (2, 11)
Clément Ducol—guitar (2, 4, 7, 14); bass drum (3); prepared piano (5, 6, 10, 11, 12); vocals (8); percussion (12)
Maxime Duhern—tuba (3, 5, 6, 11, 12)
Martin Garnet—bass (3, 12)
Marianne Tilguin—horn (5)
Guillaume Roger—first violin (6, 9); breath (9)

Produced by:

Camille, and Camille and Clément Ducol

Comments:

A playful yet profound cycle of songs to do with love and sex, some in French, some in English. The songs range from the urgent ("Aujourd'hui," which talk about early ecstasy of love), conventionally pretty ("Wet Boy" [yes you can guess what this is about], "Le Berger" and "Message") to funny ("Mars is No Fun" and "Bubble Lady") to trenchant ("My Man is Married But Not to Me" and "Ilo veyou"). As always there are wonderful touches of mouth music. This is another wonderful album from Camille, and highly recommended. One of my top albums of the year. (Neile)

Her previous album was sparky, edgy, full of fun. This seems more offhand and indulgent, a lazier pencil-sketch of an album. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)


ilo lympia

Release info:

2013—EMI Music France—5099990323928

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Camille—vocals, piano

Guest artists:

Clément Ducol—guitar, piano
Martin Gamet—contrabass, drums
Christelle Lassort—violin, piano

Comments:

Camille's new live album makes me want to move to Paris now so I can be first in line for her next concert. It just seems like so much fun! It's the songs of course, most of which come from ilo veyou. There's a lot of humor in them, but it's also the energy, the way she dances and sometimes laughs while singing, the way she directs audience members to waltz during "La France" and assigns others to 'woof' and 'meow' during "Cats and Dogs." This comes out more clearly on the DVD, but is definitely captured on the CD as well (the DVD has a bit more non-singing footage; otherwise they seem identical). Showing another side of Camille, there's also mystery—the darkened room, the orb of light, an almost otherworldly beauty to songs like "Le Berger" and "She Was". And then there's the mouth music and body percussion and... and... All this in one concert from one performer? Yes, it definitely makes me want to catch her live one day. In the meantime, I'm very glad she's given us this CD/DVD. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Compilation work includes:

  • "Le Festin" on the Ratatouille soundtrack (2007)
Collaborations include:

  • "Pretty Face" on David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's Here Lies Love (2010)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2013-12-14 18:16:54.
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