Émilie Simon

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17 July 1978

Born in Montpellier she released her debut album in 2003. The electronic album was critically acclaimed and went on to become a commercial success. In 2004, she was rewarded with a Victoire de la musique in the 'Electronic Album' category for the album. From the start Simon worked bilangual in French and English releasing the single ‘Désert’ also as ‘Flowers’. The English version had an identical music video to the French version.Wishing to orient her second album towards a more wintry or polar setting, she proceeded to record sounds which relate to coldness such as the sounds of smashing ice and footsteps in the snow. Coincidentally, in the midst of her search for sounds for the album, she was contacted by producer Luc Jacquet to compose the original soundtrack for his documentary film 'La Marche de l'empereur' (March of the Penguins in English), concerning the migration of emperor penguins during their annual migration. Although the soundtrack album won a César ( the French Oscar) in France the record company feared that Simon’s music was to strange for the US public. For release in the United Stated the whole musical score of the movie was redone by Alex Wurman.

For her third album the sounds of plants was the leading theme. The album also contains more elements of rock music which can be heard on single ‘Fleur De Saison’. By then her popularity in the UK also began to grow. This triggered the interest from across the Atlantic where a compilation of the first three albums is released under the title ‘The Flower Book’ in 2006. It takes her for a short international tour which included stops in New York and Los Angeles. The track ‘Rose hybride de thé’, originally from Végétal, is officially the first single release intended for US audiences. The acceptance in the UK and the US also urges for new material. The live album ‘À l'Olympia’ is released to attend to the demand. With her fianceé and co-producer of her albums François Chevallier she moves to New York to record ‘The big machine’. After mixing the album the couple goes on holiday to Greece where Chevalier catches the H1N1 virus and dies at the of 29. Heartbroken Simon returns to France and writes her grief into very personal lyrics. These would form the basis for ‘Franky Knight’ which besides a hommage to her fiancée also is the soundtrack for the movie ‘La Délicatesse’.

On the web:

- Émilie's site: http://www.emiliesimonmusic.com/

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Nynke Laverman (The Netherlands)

Regina (Finland)

What do we think:

DB: I bought her debut album from a salesbin back in 2004 not really getting into what I was hearing. A voice that has something of a mix between Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Björk and Lene Lovich. Sometimes going towards schrill and hysterical. But then over the most laidback beats and fairytale triphop like music. Then I thought it was a bit weird and still I think her debut is not her best album and nowadays even sounds a bit outdated. But like French counterpart Camille she is one of the renewers of French lady-pop. Her music grows on you and better still, get’s better when you hear it more often. Unsure if you like it? The compilation ‘The flower book’ or the live-album give a good calling card what to expect.

Recommended albums:

♪♪ - Émilie Simon - 2003

- La Marche de l'Empereur - 2005

♪♪♪ - Végétal - 2006

♪♪♪♪ - L'Olympia - 2007

♪♪♪ - The Big Machine - 2009

♪♪♪♪ - Franky Knight - 2011

♪♪♪ - Mue - 2014

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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