Souvenir – S/T EP


In an attempt to bring you the best indie music from around the world, again we touch on the great land of France, better known for its rich food and luscious kisses. Souvenir perfectly fit the bill for a Shelflife band, despite all the vocals and all the words in this packaging being in French. That means they’re delightful pop, bouncy and sweet and so lovely, the kind of stuff that makes you get cavities and blush with glee. The kind of stuff you might not admit to loving but will go right on loving anyway. Souvenir fit that bill perfectly.
Lead by the lovely Patricia de la Fuente on vocals, Souvenir sounds like France’s version of Belle & Sebastian. The songs are definitely indie pop, sweet and yet not bubble gum, adding light drumming, beautiful, crisp guitars, and even horns and samples here and there. With elements of pop, jazz, and bossa nova music, each song here is prettier and more pleasant than the last.
“Quant Tu Reviendras” is a delightful pop song to kick off this EP, with light, bossa nova beats and some wonderful classical guitar in the background, all with those gorgeous vocals. “Belles-De-Jour” (girl of the day?) is even better, with soft male and female vocals doing that quiet, contemplative hushed thing that drives indie kids wild while there’s an upbeat rhythm and even some nice horns to accompany the vocals. Perhaps “Ne Dis Pas” is the real indie song here, almost with a Japanese pop feel, with acoustic guitars more prevalent. It’s bouncy and soft at the same time. Just in case you got a feel for these guys, they throw in “Au Bord Du Soleil,” a song that’s equal parts Japanese bouncy pop and surf rock, with great guitar riffs and big drum sounds. I think “Dusty” (is that a French word?) is probably most what I’d think French pop sounds like, sort of slow and sultry and a little loungy. I’m guessing that “La Femme Aux Mille Visages” is the Beach Boys cover of “Girl Don’t Tell Me,” but my French stinks, so I could be wrong, but I know that cover is on here. This track is certainly bouncy enough, with lots of background keyboards and drum machines to make it a catchy pop song leant the band’s own unique sultry, playful qualities.
Just the vocals here are enough to make me love these songs, despite the language that de la Fuente is singing in. The vocals are quiet and kind of atmospheric in every song, which makes for a delightful blend with the music. Yes, I’d like it better if I understood the lyrics, but then maybe I’d lose the atmosphere. Regardless of what they’re saying, the music is so sweet and nice, Souvenir is hard to resist.