Parisians Papooz today release the video for new single ‘You & I’, alongside details for their forthcoming new album. Produced by Adrien Durand of Bon Voyage Organisation, the new album ‘Night Sketches’ will be released on March 8, 2019 via Half Awake/IDOL. It’s the follow-up to Armand Penicaut & Ulysse Cottin’s 2016 debut ‘Green Juice’, which featured single ‘Ann Wants To Dance’, whose SoKo-directed video has since clocked over 12 million streams online. Having previously played London shows at Moth Club & The Sebright Arms, Papooz sold-out a recent Scala headline purely through word of mouth. Details of further UK shows around the release of ‘Night Sketches’ are soon to be announced.
Filmed at Le Balajo – one of Paris’ oldest Cabaret clubs, owned by a wrestling dynasty – the droll video for 70s piano ballad ‘You & I’ was directed by Armand’s girlfriend, director & illustrator Victoria Lafaurie and stars Ulysse’s other half, Danish actor & model Klara Kristin. Speaking about the video, Lafaurie says; “Like in Tex Avery’s animated cartoons, Ulysse & Armand are Klara Kristin’s conscience. Will she fall for the Devil or the Angel? We shot the video in Super 16 film. It was fun to mix the aesthetics of American cartoons with biblical clichés and a few ‘Ramen Western’ inspired scenes.” Watch the ‘You & I’ video here.
Armand & Ulysse were originally thrown together as part of boozy gatherings of literary obsessives in their home city of Paris. Early and altogether more earnest ambitions to create a political fanzine together were soon ditched in favour of finessing the music pair had instead begun writing. Early computer demos of their warped, bossa nova-informed pop fed off of a shared affinity for bedfellows as unpredictable as the Beach Boys & Ella Fitzgerald, to The White Stripes & Karen Dalton.
Enabled by Durand’s butter-smooth production and Penicault & Cottin’s androgynous vocals (sung by the two Anglophiles in English throughout), ‘Night Sketches’ finds Papooz distilling these unlikely antecedents into distinctly skewed exotic pop, leavened with surreal, character-driven lyricism. Having met previously on the fertile French alternative scene – amongst other friends including La Femme, Polo & Pan and Feu! Chatterton – the duo originally sought out the Bon Voyage frontman Durand wanting to buy one of his synths – a Minikorg 700. Durand was so enamoured by the early demos for ‘Night Sketches’ he later heard, he lent them not only the synth but also his own production services alongside.