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Varsovie – L’ombre et la nuit

by François Zappa

Varsovie, the French post-punk/dark rock band born in 2005, has just released their fourth album L’ombre et la nuit, after the previous État Civil, L’Heure et la Trajectoire and Coups Et Blessures. Varsovie are Grégory Cathérina and Arnault Destal, creators of a post-punk of quality, with edgy guitars, cold melodies and a lot of poetry. The album was preceded by the single Magnitizdat and the video for “Kissa Kourprine,” both releases already commented in this web, creating a lot of expectation toward this album. The Cd edition comes in a beautiful digipack in grey and brown.

The album starts with the majestic “Sur la Nature du Vide” where we can get an idea of the content of the album: sharp guitars, a passionate singing, sometimes close to declamation and a very poetic vibe. The album continues with the tracks that we already knew: “Magnitizdat” is a fierce post-punk song while “Kissa Kouprine” is a bit less abrasive but keeps the same intensity. The lyrics of this last one recall the life of the model from the 20s Ksenia Alexandrovna Kuprina. “Cas Contact” is a song full of urgency, with a frantic chorus. Instead “Evelyn McHale” is an evocative track about a suicide girl who jumped from the Empire State Building. En “Ne plus Attendre” stands up thanks to some powerful guitar and the and the force of the drums that together create an overwhelming wall of sound. The track that shares name with the album, “L’Ombre et la Nuit” is a homage to the decadent Swiss poet Francis Giauque who killed himself on the 12th of May in 1965 when he was 31 years old and had published only two works: Parler Seul (1959) and L’Ombre et la Nuit (1962). It’s one of the most intense songs that we have listened to this year and also one of the best. In “Série Noire” Grégory sings with passion and intensity. “Spectres” is a short track with sharp guitars and the guest voice of Yelena Mitseva. “L’offensive” grows, bit by bit, in intensity, sounding like a dark version of Brel’s “Ces gens-Là” and that’s for me, the greatest compliment possible.

It’s going to be difficult to find another collection of songs as good as the one included in L’ombre et la nuit, where we could consider that, at least, eight of them are superlative. The atmosphere created by the duo in the album is also one of the strongest points of this incredible work. 

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