Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lara and Hardy

I don't listen to a lot of folk music and I listen to even less female folk music. The sound of Joan Baez's voice makes me want poke my ear drums out with the closest available sharp object.

However, in the early 70's, there was a certain strain of post-psychedelic female folk music that I adore. Eerie, spooky, WITCHY music. Music for the Manson girls. Stuff you can listen to while smearing menstrual blood all over your face by the light of the full moon, perhaps with a kitchen knife clenched between your teeth…

Dig the cover on the Catherine Lara record. SPOOOOOOOOOOOKY! Anyways, Catherine Lara was a classically trained violinist who went pop, as it were. Well, pop for the early 1970’s, when a movie like the Exorcist was a hit… “Morituri” was the hit from this record, but it isn’t my favorite track on here. I really like "Avant Le Petit Jour", but the entire record is pretty great. Somehow it reminds me of Leonard Cohen's records from this time, stuff like "New Skin for the Old Ceremony." It's the type of album where you listen to the entire thing and you absorb it as a whole, as opposed to picking out individual tracks. Sadly, all of her records after this aren't as good and range from "almost as good" to "very terrible"...

Francois Hardy is not really that creepy or witchy at all. However, she did call in witchy reserves for her record “Viens’ (also known as “Le Question”), in the form of Brazilian guitar player Tuca, who co-produced this record. This record has way more of a spiritual feeling to it than any other Hardy record I have ever heard. The instrumentation is very sparse, mostly just nylon string acoustic guitars and the occasional bass backing track. Very tropical and mellow (how unGaulic!). My favorite track on here is "Bati Mon Nid", which is seriously one of the best songs I have heard in the last 5 years. So fucking haunting.

Francois Hardy- Bati Mon Nid

Catherine Lara- Avant Le Petit Jour


Blogger S.ébastien said...

Catherine Lara!?? Seriously one of the top 10 artists found in the 1$-bargain bins over here in Montreal! Since you have great taste, I can't wait to rediscover Lara's folk record!

Thanks for this doubtful-at-first-but but-strangely-good-enough treat! If you like psych-folk, drop by Patrimoine PQ this month as I'll post a couple of underground treasures! This week: Mathieu (1972).

June 25, 2008 at 6:45:00 PM PDT  
Blogger S.ébastien said...

Wwghhhoooaa! Sorry Miss Lara, I now stand corrected! This is truly GREAT!


June 25, 2008 at 6:49:00 PM PDT  
Blogger petergunn said...

i indeed paid a dollar for my copy!

will def check out the Mathieu

June 28, 2008 at 5:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger S.ébastien said...

Mmmm... I shall return to those same bargain bins then! ; )

June 28, 2008 at 6:24:00 PM PDT  

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