posted on September 04, 2009 19:00
In recent years France has had a strange relationship with its Mediterranean neighbour Italy. You'll remember the 2006 World Cup Final when Zinedine Zidane was outwitted by Marco Materazzi and the azzuri won the trophy. But now that the First Lady of France is an Italian, everything seems to be all lovey-dovey between the two countries again.
Here, then, are a Parisian trio who seem to be in thrall to another famous Italian woman. The Sophia Lorenians (right) consist of Bruce Sherfield (who we believe is originally American) on vocals, Julien Taillefer on guitar and Yannick Dahms on keyboards and mixing and stuff. Signed to Paris-based label Dialect Recordings, the group have just released their first single, available either on limited edition vinyl for the traditionalists or digital download for the kids.
The song is called 'Locomotion' and has nothing to do with the Little Eva song covered by Sylvie Vartan and Kylie Minogue. Instead it's a fabulous bit of soulful pop that features Sherfield's falsetto croon, some glittering shards of guitar from Taillefer and a retro-tastic '70s soul arrangement - vocal harmonies, old-school keyboards and a hint of Philly strings. The lyrics are about a girl fleeing domestic violence to start a new life, and the music's sincere warmth makes the whole thing sound quite beautiful.
Ultra-hip Parisian station Radio Nova has picked up on the song and given it the round-the-clock airplay it so deserves. Only from checking Nova's website to find out the song details did your correspondent discover that The Sophia Lorenians are French, such is this song's accurate recreation of pre-disco U.S. soul-pop.
If you like Curtis Mayfield and 'Got To Give It Up' by Marvin Gaye (i.e. if you have a pulse and a decent taste in tunes) then you'll enjoy this. Check out 'Locomotion' on The Sophia Lorenians' MySpace page. Here's the video: