Towards the end of every week, there’s a few emails I can’t wait to see pop-up in my inbox. One of Frijolita‘s awesome Weekend Reads because a) she always shares the best links b) it means it’s FRIDAY! The other is Daily Candy‘s Apps and Distractions email. There’s always a couple of great finds in there. And this week, Daily Candy gave some love to Stromae, a Belgian singer that had the entire francophone world dancing to the gloomy beat-heavy hit Alors on Danse back in 2009. Four years later, he is back on top of the charts with his new album Racine Carrée. French music rarely makes it to American iTunes so it’s a testament to the success of this album that you can actually buy it in the U.S. store (I downloaded it a while back from the French iTunes store.) It’s also available to listen on Spotify if you’re not sure you want to commit $ to it 😉
Standouts from the album include the somber Formidable (<– watch the video, 42 million people already have!), which evokes another great Belgian artist, Jacques Brel, and is mentioned in the Daily Candy post as Shanon Cook’s favourite track on the album. It also includes the more upbeat Te Quiero and Papaoutai. That last one is actually not so upbeat once you listen to the lyrics — hint: papaoutai stands for Dad, where are you? heavy stuff when you know Stromae’s dad was mainly absent from his life and died in the Rwandan genocide! In Te Quiero Stromae also channels a little Jacques Brel when he cries “I love you until death” in between the dance beats of the chorus… Overall, the narrative on many songs is pretty bleak and part of popularity has been attributed to his ability to channel the malaise that is currently gripping the youths of Europe. Also, the songs are good! So give it a listen… let me know what you think!