Full Gallery: Tomorrow’s World at La Maroquinerie
With Daft Punk, Phoenix and M83 (with the soundtrack for Oblivion), France is taking on 2013 with charging crusade of electro and high profile, high quality releases. What you may not have yet heard about is that Air also is active through the new side project of Jean-Benoit Dunckel, Tomorrow’s World. The seeds were planted in 2011 uniting Jean-Benoit with New Young Pony Club‘s Lou Hayter. The former had written songs that needed a vocalist. He first met Lou through one of Air’s drummers, Alex Thomas, before running into one another again during a New Young Pony Club concert in Paris. The second encounter being a bit more stressful, given the presence of Jarvis Cocker. Since then the single “So Long My Love” has appeared on Kitsuné‘s Parisien II compilation prior to the song’s EP being released October 5th, 2012. The self-titled debut album was just released on April 8th in France via Naïve.
Opening the evening, labeled Gonzaï Party after a magazine here, was Ricky Hollywood. The high energy trio weren’t what I was expecting at all to start the night. Electrifying, they were definitely entertaining for electro-rock. Leaning more on the indie rock end of the spectrum, they brought a nice, quirky life to drum pads and keys. Yeti Lane came soon thereafter, a duo that on first view calls to mind Housse de Racket, but are far more ambient or perhaps psychedelic. Tight, Charlie Boyer, the drummer, was precise and possessed from the first note. “Analog Wheel” echoed off the walls in the best way, washing over the audience with tiny electro-accented notes over a driving tempo. Easily a highlight. They were exactly the kind of group I’d want easing into a summer festival headliner, after the sun has set-even if they are just a mere two-piece surrounded by synths on stage.[youtube url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_LwSU1s5ww]
Tomorrow’s World at La Maroquinerie felt more David Lynch than Silencio could aspire to. The duo provided not atmospheric, breathing electronic landscapes, but a meticulously crafted, elegant soundscape that was alluring yet dark at the same time. “A Heart That Beats For Me” opened the set, Lou in a glittering dress, Jean-Benoit in white, and a drummer framed in the middle. It began like a flashback, drawing the crowd into their inspired imagination with the rolls of piano keys and Lou’s innocently compelling voice. Despite early monitor issues, she carried on into “Drive” and “Think of Me” as a professional, pulling through without stuttering; reinforcing the calm, confident persona behind the microphone. Drum pads replacing a kit, the song is a befitting follow-up single and second song to the evening, raising the tempo up several notches to tug the attention before “Think of You” took over.
Far slower, much like “Inside” that came later on, yet more dreamy, Tomorrow’s World swayed into a slow sock hop song with Jean-Benoit supporting Lou with vocals. For a moment, the night sounded more Tennis and Love Inks than ever imaginable. Right after, “Pleurer et Chanter” went straight into the world of Washed Out before withdrawing into alluring shadows.
It was tough to say where to place Tomorrow’s World given the connotations going into the new group, but tracks like “You Taste Sweeter” firmly entrenched them into that Lynch-esque universe. Early, near 80s horror synths and keys contrasted with Lou and her sweeping glances over the enraptured audience. The echoes of “Hold Me Close” left a sort of unnerved, tentative dissonance between attraction and apprehension, only resolved by succumbing to the bending bass line underneath it all.
Green lights swathed over the crowd for “Metropolis”, inspired originally by Blade Runner, which soon extinguished into that first ever single “So Long My Love.” An encore, if there had been one, would have ruined Tomorrow’s World ending the set with this song. Inviting the ears into a fascinating, late night ride over muffled drum pad percussion, the unexpected veers of razored synths would sear through much as Trent Reznor would do. Blend Love Inks with Reznor, and a touch of Excitebike. “So Long My Love” was a wonder of a finale, rising in a scuffling crescendo before a floor dropping conclusion. The red and white roses Lou received soon there after amid the claps and cheers were well deserved Friday night in Paris.
If you want to catch a live performance of Tomorrow’s World, check out ARTE’s webcast.
A Heart That Beats For Me
Think of Me
Pleurer et Chanter
Life on Earth
You Taste Sweeter
Don’t Let Them Bring You Down
So Long My Love