The Limiñanas’ Favorite Moments in French Pop

Robert Ham

By Robert Ham

on 12.05.13 in Spotlights

The sound of The Limiñanas may make deliberate reference to music from the ’60s, particularly the stranger side of the French pop scene and Italian giallo soundtracks, but multi-instrumentalist Lionel Limiñana is quick to point out that his project is “absolutely not a nostalgic or vintage revival band.”

Many songs on the group’s latest album, Costa Blanca, hearken back to Lionel’s childhood, particularly trips that he and his family would take the titular coast of Spain. The songs aren’t melancholic, though. The album maintains the chirpy energy of the band’s past work while emphasizing the multiculturalism of the coastal region by shifting between French, Italian, Spanish and English vocals, provided by a variety of guest singers.

Read Robert Ham’s interview with the band here, and below hear the group’s favorite moments in French pop music.

Serge Gainsbourg/Jean Claude Vannier, Histoire de Melody Nelson

This is our favorite record ever. We’ve listened to this LP a million times. The Jean Claude Vannier production, the story, the bass and the beat. This record changed our lives.

Pascal Comelade, “Ze Crypto-Situ Cow-Boy Rides Again”

Pascal Comelade is one of our biggest influences — not only his music but also his way of approaching the production, music business and risk-taking. The title we chose is from his latest album. Marie and I are featured on this track.

JC Satan, Faraway Land

JC Satan is, in our opinion, the best living French group. Their music is a mix of psychedelia and noise that, on stage, becomes apocalyptic and in a completely unique dimension. Paola, their Italian singer, is fabulous. We had the chance to record a song with her on our new album.

Serge Gainsbourg/Michel Colombier, Anna

We don’t like musical comedies in general, but we love Anna. Anna Karina is the most beautiful French actress of the ’60s, and the music and production are fantastic. Jean Claude Brialy sings terribly and it is wonderful! Buy the LP, wear headphones and close your eyes!

François de Roubaix, La scoumoune

François de Roubaix was a French film score composer. Our favorite track is the main theme of La Scoumoune, a film with Jean Paul Belmondo, who is one of our heroes. Roubaix was one of the first French composers who developed his own home studio. He was also an avid scuba diver and traveler. He brought any kind of musical instrument and integrates them on his soundtracks. He also was an electronic music pioneer. He died very young in a diving accident.

Bernard Gérard/Graem allwright, “Akou” (from the Ne nous fachons pas soundtrack)

OK, Graem Allwright is not French, but the composer is. This is a Bernard Gérard’s classic track from the movie with Mireille Darc and Lino Ventura. This track is used in the final scene of the movie, a dance party with 100 mods dancing and tripping. When I was a kid, I watched this movie every Sunday morning it was an obsession. Our track “Down Underground” is totally inspired by this theme (particularly the chorus).

Bernard Gerard, “Rosbiff attack” (from the Ne nous fachons pas soundtrack)

From the same Bernard Gerard, and for the same reason. A straight killer.