Concert Reviews

Sounds Better in French: Yelle at Neumos

Erin Lodi / May 17, 2011
It was bound to be interesting: There's a hot French chick in there. (All Photos by Erin Lodi)

For some reason, everything looks and sounds cooler when you’re French. Let’s not question why, oui?

Had anyone else but the svelte lead vocalist and namesake of French electronic group Yelle kicked off a set in a Nick Cave-esque yarn creature costume, it could have looked forced or silly. (If you missed that reference, please go see Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth, at the Seattle Art Museum through June 5. It’s a delightful imaginative escape that might inspire you to create your own human Koosh ball costume.) But Yelle’s sleek physique managed to pass off that and other fashion faux pas — a full body leopard leotard complete with hood and shoulder pads shouldn’t look sexy, but did — flawlessly Saturday night at Neumos, all while delivering an amazing high-energy show.

I have no idea what in the hell Yelle was singing about, but it doesn’t matter when filtered through soft French consonants backed by fresh beats. No one else seemed to mind either. The sold out crowd wasn’t singing along, but they did make Neumos quiver and pulse with enthusiasm and hot, sweaty dancing.

The electronic pop trio – lead singer Yelle, backed by drummer GrandMarnier and keyboardist Tepr – are currently touring in support of their new album, Safari Disco Club, recently released in the U.S.

Check out “Que veux-tu” from Safari Disco Club.

Never heard of Yelle? You probably just didn’t realize who you were listening to. The group’s actually been around since 2005, when the song “Je Veux Te Voir” launched them to fame via MySpace. It’s a safe bet that when you hear catchy Euro-dance beats with Debbie Harry-style girl rapping in French mixed into the hip background soundtrack while shopping at your favorite local boutique, it’s Yelle.

Early showgoer birds caught the proverbial worm with opener French Horn Rebellion. The well-coifed duo hunched over their keyboards and got the party started right with tracks from their debut album, The Infinite Music of French Horn Rebellion. It was a perfect fit with Yelle’s dancey offering to follow, pushing the crowd just to that still-sexy glistening phase before the full on schvitz began when Yelle took over.

And, just in time for summer (please, God, let there be a real summer in Seattle this year): score 59 minutes of French Horn Rebellion’s Pool Party Mixtape.


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