Sebastien Tellier: Universe
Sebastien Tellier, an exceptional, highly personal & intimate artist echoing such other one-offs as Robert Wyatt, Syd Barrett or Serge Gainsbourg, returns with ‘Universe’, an album created specifically and exclusively for the UK on Lucky Number. ‘Universe’ combines the highlights from Sebastien’s recent No.1 French release ‘Sessions’ alongside the standout selections from his soundtrack to the film ‘Narco’, starring Belgian actor, Benoît Poelvoorde, infamous for his starring role in cult blacker-than-noir classic, ‘Man Bites Dog‘.
The tracks selected from the ‘Sessions’ album are themselves stripped down versions of tunes from his highly acclaimed albums, ‘Politics’, & ‘L’Incroyable Vérité ‘, which Sebastien describes as “a kind of tribute to Willy Nelson, recording live covers of my previous work in their most naked and pure versions” and were inspired by Seb watching a sitcom on French TV where Nelson appeared playing an acoustic set of his songs!
Recorded with long-time touring partner Simon Dalmais, brother of rising French pop chanteuse Camille, choice tracks include ‘Fantino’, for some their first introduction to Sebastien’s music as was prominently featured in Sofia Coppola’s film ‘Lost In Translation’, and the title-track ‘Universe’, which forms the backdrop for the climactic scene in fellow Parisians Daft Punk’s recently Cannes-premiered opus ‘Electroma.’…he seems to be proving himself a cinematic-pop poet. And that’s not the whole of his universe, further great songs include ‘Black Douleur’ & ‘La Dolce Vita’ – a cover of Christophe’s classic, with lyrics surprisingly provided by Jean Michel Jarre – in Seb’s words “Christophe is the best living French singer in the world.”
The ‘Narco’ tracks included here further showcase the lush & sparkling orchestration that Sebastien has practically trademarked, & which came to prominence on his timeless classic ‘La Ritournelle’. The previously limited single-only Mr.Dan version of said track, considered by many to be one of the singles of 2005, is also included here. There’s ‘La Ballade Du Georges’ and ‘Le Demon Pupkin’, where crazy moogs combine with the trademark strings and where Sebastien betrays evidence that he is truly the son of a prog-rocker (his father was a member of 70’s French band ‘Magma’). Finally – a brand new track, ‘Classic’ – a song he says is “about the inflexibility growing inside me with age.”.
Sebastien recently completed a short sell-out UK tour where he premiered many of these tracks and wowed the transfixed throng with his charismatically assured performances and left with legions of new fans like the pied piper of Paris; “One of the most beautifully off-centre performances I’ve witnessed in years….Breathtaking” (The Independent). He has just successfully premiered a full band sound on a few French & Italian dates with fantastic results & will return to perform a peak-time set at this year’s Big Chill. The beautifully fulfilling journey of Sebastien Tellier continues. If you haven’t already done so now is the time to get on board!