Benjamin Schoos "Night Music, Love Songs" (Freaksville Music)

" The grand gestures of Gainsbourg and Vannier loom large... these nocturnal romances still confirm French as the language of the impossibly glamorous. " 8/10 Uncut

Belgian-born Francophile Benjamin Schoos doesn't sleep much. Instead he spends his nights thumbing through novels in front of the black-and-white flicker of old science-fiction movies, swimming in the stillness and hush of a world outside momentarily calm. It was in this "nocturnal ambience", as he calls it, that his latest selection of piano-led Parisian pop songs, each one like a slow kiss amid the madness of Belleville patisserie, came to him.

'Night Music, Love Songs', is Schoos' fourth solo album, and the follow-up to 2014's remarkable 'Beau Futur' - an electronic fantasia of stories of stuntmen, astronauts and sun-soaked Italian villas. This latest charge into haunting synths and melodies that glisten and waver like street lights in the Seine strips back his sound of old to bare, affecting essentials - a lilting listen full of warm, misty-eyed romance that questions what it is to love someone. "It's a very particular feeling..." explains Schoos. "One that can move and shake you as much as it can make you suffer."

"Both women and the night are muses of this album, " says the one-time Eurovision Song Contest representative for Belgium, but that's not where his inspiration ends. The glacial minimalism of Erik Satie influences parts of 'Night Music, Love Songs'; the pre- and post-war French chanson of Charles Trenet and Henri Salvador elsewhere. "Soft jazz and sunshine pop" were other factors in its making but one record in particular convinced him to forgo some of the wild-eyed stories of his previous records - 2012's 'China Man vs China Girl' was about a broken-down wrestler, based on an action figure his son owned - to confront the twin highs and lows of love. "I really love the Lewis album 'L'amour.' It convinced me you could make a record on this theme and evoke a dream in Paris."...

Night Music, Love Songs
Format : LP/CD/MP3
Label : Freaksville Music
Release Date : January 22 2016
Territories : France, Italy and GAS

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