The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


It's la rentrée, the return to school and work and normal life for the entire country of France. Your correspondent is back at his post in Paris, scouring la hexagone for the best tunes. And, first day back, we've found a cracker: if only it could always be so simple.

MataharieAnnecy is a town in the Alpine foothills of France and a candidate to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Its rivals are Munich and Pyeongchang in South Korea, neither city a winter sport stronghold.) But our interest is in cool music rather than chilly sports - Annecy is the home of a duo called Mataharie.

The pair, a girl called Bibie and a guy called Nico, used to be in a band called Goblins but have now struck out with this new project. Bibie writes and sings the lyrics while Nico writes and plays the music. We can't find any photo of them - just the rather pretty image on the right.

When a girl with a high, haunting voice sings enigmatic semi-electro songs called 'O Oak' and 'Lady Of Shallot', the reflex is to think of Kate Bush. Certainly the chorus rhythm of 'O Oak' tips its hat to 'Cloudbusting'. Fans of My Brightest Diamond, Bat For Lashes and the last Goldfrapp album will find that Mataharie's music fits nicely into their collection.

You'll find four tracks on Mataharie's MySpace page, and all four are wonderful. Our favourite is the Bush-y 'O Oak'... or is it the jazzy rhythm and soaring folk-inflected vocals of 'Diane'? And then 'Tambour' has an inventive mix of glacial electro-pop and traditional French accordion... We just can't decide. They're all so good.

No video for any of their songs yet - so head over to their MySpace page and be seduced by Mataharie.

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Nuggets from our archive

1999 - 'The eMusic Market', written by Gordon McConnell it focuses on how the internet could change the music industry. Boy was he on the money, years before any of us had heard of an iPod or of Napster.