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Duke Special and Emily Loizeau

Aug 19

Written by:
Sunday, August 19, 2007  RssIcon

During his triumphant Paris show last May, Duke Special invited onstage a French singer for a version en français of ‘Portrait’. It was a particularly appropriate pairing because Emily Loizeau, the singer in question, shares much of the Duke’s piano-led cabaret-pop style. (Regina Spektor is another obvious contemporary of hers.)
Emily LoizeauNow the two are together again in Belfast – Emily Loizeau is supporting the Duke at his concert tonight (Sunday 19 August) at the Empire. If you’re going to the show, lucky you.
Loizeau emerged in late 2005/early 2006 with ‘L’Autre Bout Du Monde’, a remarkable debut album of catchy cabaret-pop that swung between playfully dark humour and heart-stopping emotional candour. The carefree child-song of ‘Voila Pourquoi’ and the vindictive wit of ‘Je Suis Jalouse’ seem hardly to be from the same person who sings the title track and ‘I’m Alive’ (where the singer mourns her father), two of the loneliest and most heartbroken songs you’ll ever hear.
The late Monsieur Loizeau was French but his wife was English, and the threefold legacy of this is: a daughter called Emily; the Anglicised spelling of her first name (as opposed to the French ‘Emilie’); and her ability to write songs in English as well as in French. On her debut record she sings another duet, ‘London Town’, with her label-mate, the equally idiosyncratic Andrew Bird. By a happy coincidence, the name Loizeau comes from the French l’oiseau, meaning ‘the bird’.
At the time of writing there seem to be no plans for an Irish release for any of Loizeau’s material. You can get around this by listening to some tracks from that fantastic first album on her MySpace page and her website. No news yet of a second album, but in the meantime you can watch Emily Loizeau sing ‘Je Suis Jalouse’:

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Aidan Curran, based in Paris, has been writing for CLUAS since 2004. More info about Aidan...

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