A product of the French pop renaissance that spawned artists like Air and Daft Punk, Sébastien Tellier is a playful sort of aesthete, serious about his art, but possessing an incorrigible curiosity. Yes, he is beloved by Sofia Coppola and Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, but he is not above representing his country at Eurovision, driving onstage in Belgrade in 2008 in a golf cart to perform his single “Divine” (he came 19th).
His sixth album, L’Aventura, was self-produced between Paris, Jean-Michel Jarre’s studio in Bougival and Rio de Janeiro, but in Tellier’s mind’s eye, it unfolds during his re-imagined childhood in a semi-mythical Brazil, a place where Gallic chanson and baroque electronic pop mingle with samba, calypso and bossa nova. The symphonic pop of “Love” adds the scrape of guiro to its breathy vocal harmonies and winding jazz flute, while on “Ma Calypso” Tellier brings his honeyed croon and rinky-dink keyboard to a Latin rhythm.
Musically speaking, it’s light and buoyant, in large part thanks to the steady hand of Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai and jazz drummer Robertinho Silva. In line with Tellier’s earlier records, L’Aventure still feels like boudoir music, but the sort that makes you want to throw open the shutters and let the warm night in.