Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzzing in the eardrum. Earworms or earbees abound on this beautiful record.
Post folk, post-Brexit nonsense, no-nonsense Anglo-French quintet, Topette!! delight with another fine album filled with traditional sounding Celtic melodies that spin you round even when you’re just sat on an office chair with a set of cans on yer lugholes.
This band are definitely designed to get you up and dancing, not that I can confess to knowing or understanding any of the moves. Happy just to be a wallflower and watch the show.
The title of this album, Bourdon, is both descriptive and evocative of what you hear. Is it a low-frequency bell or a stop-pitched organ pipe? Is it a musical drone or the lowest note on a lute? Is it a small French Town in The Somme or the intoxicating Douce Noir grape? It’s probably a coming together of all of those things.
The beauty of Topette!! is that you never know whether their work is a truthful rendition of an ancient handed-down folk song or an interpretation of the tradition or something brand new emanating from the noggins of these fine fellows. Does it matter? Probably not unless you are particularly evangelical in your folksy pedantry.
JLP sounds like it has a complex interlacing lyrical content but not a word is spoken throughout. Violin/viola and bagpipes sing out vocal lines, sans mots.
I love the way Topette!! sneakily draw you in. You think you’re listening to a gentle do-si-do and then suddenly realise you’ve been kidnapped and dropped into a new soundscape, whirling dervishly in a maelstrom of high energy polka.
In many senses, this record picks up from where Rhododendron finishes but it’s definitely not a lazy sequel. It feels somehow a bridge to something darker. Perhaps a zeitgeist vibe considering and reflecting on the last couple of years. Already looking forward to the next recording.
If ever anyone gets around to doing a decent remake of The Wicker Man, please give these guys a call to do the soundtrack.