The Upshot: Only French speakers will understand what Sagot sings about in his quietly sober baritone, but you don’t need to grok the language to appreciate the vibe.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Formerly the drummer for Quebec arena rock act Karkwa, singer/songwriter Julien Sagot veers far off his former band’s Coldplay-on-steroids path. Inhabiting similar territory on his third album to Australian fellow travelers Mick Harvey or Barry Adamson, the multi-instrumentalist and his pals paint pictures of bleary-eyed mornings, the sun coming up outside as the fog lifts inside and the room’s denizens ponder what they were up to the night before.
Serge Gainsbourg looms in the background, and not just because Sagot and the French music deity speak the same language. Melodies weave through an impressive wave of sounds, from electronica to chanson to twangy guitar pop, often within the same track. “Blue corail électrique,” “Les sentiers de terre” and “Les racines au ciel” conjure up dreams of smoky bars and chance encounters, the atmosphere conducive to unusual circumstances just this side of surreal. The title track adds a busy groove and jazzy violin and piano to the mix, letting the track breath heavily as if after sex. “Vacille,” “Autour des oeuvres de exing saông” and “Désordre et désordre” field a bit more of a rock sound than the other tracks, but never stay in one sonic place for long.
Only French speakers will understand what Sagot sings about in his quietly sober baritone, but you don’t need to grok the language to appreciate the vibe. The enigmatic, frequently gorgeous Bleu Jane enchants even without access to a Google translator.
DOWNLOAD: “Autour des oeuvres de exing saông ,” “Blue corail électrique,” “Bleu Jane”