Saturday 29 May 2021

5 Songs About: Q-Sounds Recording


This edition of 5 Songs About: sees us explore the catalogue of the French funk & soul label, Q-Sounds Recordings.  Boasting an inspired roster of vocalists and musicians, the label's Bandcamp page is a veritable treasure trove of contemporary soul gems from a stunning array of talent.  Calling Seine Saint-Denis their home, the label that thrives off of that quintessential analog sound was set up by Ludovic Bors and Chris Thomas who have strived to present some of France's brightest stars in today's revered scene.  We've picked five songs for our list here that we're besotted with at the moment but want to pay full respects to this incredible roster with names like The Principles of Joy, The King Dukes, The Vogs, amongst others.

1. 'All or Nothing' by Laura Llorens & The Shadows of Love

The brand new single from Laura Llorens & The Shadows of Love acts as a swift follow-up to last year's full-length, debut record released through Q-Sounds.  The US vocalist, now based in Paris, delivered an excellent introduction with 'Home/Chez Moi' which boasted a series of fantastic tunes - definitely check out 'De ma fenêtre' and its accompanying video when you can!  Bolstered by another great video, 'All or Nothing' builds nicely on the groundwork set out by its predecessor and we look forward to the new directions the collective will take their music in for subsequent releases. 

2. 'Police & Barbecue' by The Supertights

From the self-titled debut record of the instrumental powerhouse collective, The Supertights' album finds itself at home within this fantastic groove of 70's-inspired soul and funk.  With twinges of psychedlia incorporated in just the right proportions - like the brilliant 'Orage trist' or the infectious chants of 'Heyyyyyy Ya !' - its use of lush keys and sublime flutes really emphasise what a fantastic record this is.  For our pick of 'Police & Barbecue', the track's incredible use of flute catches us somewhere between nostalgia and melancholy and it's a glorious sweet spot to find yourself in between.

3. 'Je broie du noir (Back to Black)' by Lisa Mélissa & The Mess

Lisa Mélissa has delivered some fantastic releases bearing the Q-Sounds name.  Although the unveiling of her debut album came in the form of 'The Message' in 2018, the project has been sandwiched by a number of awesome singles with the earliest dating back to 2017 and the three-track self-titled EP.  Mélissa's distinctive style fuses elements of soul, funk and even teases a little of punk music's rebellious streak as well.  Our pick for this list though sees us look at a single release celebrating the music of the iconic Amy Winehouse and her seminal Mark Ronson-produced single, 'Back to Black'.  Sung here in French to a reggae-esque beat, this is a brilliant reworking of a beloved track which really positions Lisa Mélissa as an awesome talent.

4. 'We Are in Need' [N. Smuggler's Remix] by Florence & The Adelians

Heading back to 2016 for this pick from Florence & The Adelians.  We're specifically spotlighting the track that featured in the 'In Need of More' EP in support of 'Reach Out To Me' and 'We Are In Need'.  Although both tracks were housed on the band's full-length release in 2017, the preceding EP showcases some excellent remixes from Pointe Du Lac, Raistlin and Joyful Noise, the Neil Smuggler Remix is our winner today.  With 'Reach Out To Me' and 'We Are In Need' written as a celebration of faith, the tracks work in nice contrast to the blistering energy predominately displayed throughout The Adelians album which all adds up to an excellent project.

5. 'Jamais là pour moi' by Little Clara & Les Chacals

Released as part of a two-track release with the instrumental, Les Chacals-helmed gritty soul anthem, 'La voie d'Anubis', Little Clara delivers a star turn with her vocal for 'Jamais là pour moi'.  An awesome and infectious drum-led intro sets the tone perfectly for Clara to come in and steal the show.  When exploring the music of Q-Sounds, it would be impossible to look past the efforts of Little Clara & Les Chacals - whether it be through single or album releases or her series of tracks celebrating the music of Nancy Holloway, Little Clara and company leave their indelible fingerprints on some of the label's most inspired releases.

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