Photo by Fiona Torre

#MondayMood Grand Blanc – ‘Ailleurs’

It’s normally the shorter songs that are the most addictive. Not so with Grand Blanc’s new epic single ‘Ailleurs’. Clocking in at 10 minutes, every last note of it feels lean and cinematic and spectacular. It’s immediate yet intangible, like a song from the soundtrack of Top Gun had it been directed by David Lynch. Diaphanous and heavenly and carried by the nonchalant yet madly elegant voice of Camille Delvecchio, ‘Ailleurs’ takes us on an empyrean journey that concludes with a deconstructed rhythm and some of the moodiest fretless bass peripatetics this side of Mick Karn’s work with Japan. It’s an aural Alice Through The Looking Glass kind of affair.

The first taste from the Metz four-piece’s forthcoming album is an ambitious ballad that marries the ambience of Brian Eno with the electropop of M83, with a nod to chic Parisian yé-yé legend Françoise Hardy in the opening lyrics: “Tous les garçons et les filles de mon âge sont ailleurs assez souvent” (or “all the boys and girls my age are so often elsewhere”). The titular elsewhere the song alludes to may not be reachable by the normal rules of navigation, and some assistance may be required to make it to the ivory tower (“J’ai rêvé d’un peu d’air, d’un peu d’herbe”). The band was inspired to write ‘Ailleurs’ after watching the sun come up in Hong Kong and the exhausted feelings of elation and possibility that experience imbued.

Grand Blanc hail from the Grand Est region of France where gothic religious edifices meet blast furnaces, though they all met while studying in Paris where they remain to this day. Their first album Mémoires vives (or “bright memories”) was released to much acclaim in 2016, and they’ve played show-stopping performances at industry showcase events like Transmusicales and The Great Escape, and will perform three nights at Paris’ AccorHotels Arena this coming February. Their hotly anticipated, as-yet-untitled follow-up album, drops in the autumn of 2018. You’ll have to content yourself with ‘Ailleurs’ until then which – although 10 minutes long – will undoubtedly leave you wanting more.

Ailleurs is out now on Enterprise, stream/download here