I am always suspicious of albums made by “son / daughter of” celebrities. You kind of feel that this person got a free ticket to the media’s ears just because of their name. Curiosity. That they probably got a better access to professional musicians, studio time (at home?) and sound engineers. Jealousy. On the other hand, these “sons/daughters of” have a lot of pressure and expectations to meet. Then there’s all the paparazzi’s around newcomers that should enter in the business with lower profile.

Talk about it with Jacques Villeneuve in Formula 1, Justin Trudeau in Canadian politics or Brett Hull in pro hockey. You have to be brilliant, find your own path, your own personality. Exceed expectations. Make your own name.

lou doillon musique

I had all this in mind, when I decided to check out Lou Doillon‘s act at the Osheaga festival in 2013. I’ve heard a couple of songs from her new album and liked them. She was playing on a small stage in the afternoon so I figured out it might be cool. And if she turned out to be just the daughter of her famous parents, I would leave after 10 mins. No big deal.

For those who don’t know who she is Lou Doillon is the daughter of great French filmmaker Jacques Doillon and iconic singer/actress Jane Birkin, after she left the legendary Serge Gainsbourg. She’s half-sister with Charlotte (also actress and singer), Kate (who passed away in 2013) and close to Lulu, Serge’s youngest son who also started out in music in 2015. Lou started acting at age 6 and got better roles in the late 90s. She also models, leveraging her atypical beauty (and famous name).

jane birkin daughters

Jane Birjin and her 3 daughters

I was immediately charmed by this tall and shy brunette who delivered her songs with aplomb in her nice polka dot dress. Her smile, her modest approach and her attitude in delivering her songs and with her band convinced me right away that she wasn’t just a fluke. This girl has something to say. She has talent. RREVERB writer Séverine Baron wrote about her first album here.

Earlier this month, Lou Doillon, now 33, released her second album, “Lay Low”. After teaming up with Etienne Daho on “Places” in 2012, she worked with Montrealer Taylor Kirk, of Timber Timbre.

Lou Doillon has a unique voice. The type of voice you notice the first time you hear it. It is kind of smoky, mysterious, and somehow rugged. Whether she’s signing smooth night ballads (Robin Miller) or more upbeat songs (Good Man), the long tall brunette captures attention. In this regard, Lou Doillon can be close to Feist or Cat Power (So Still), while keeping her unique angle on things. Bluesy songs like Where to Start is all about attraction, doubt, obsession, frustration, while a catchy piano nails a few notes in repetition. Nothing Left has a more Tom Waits meets Kandle feel to it. Often, Lou Doillon sounds like a female version of The National (Lay Low), which probably comes from Kirk’s production and influence.

 

No, “Lay Low” isn’t a happy album. But it isn’t sad one either. It has great moments, deep moments, that contain their load of mysterious ambiances. An album with personality and character, all this in foggy moods. Really, you should try it out.

LOU DOILLON
Lay Low
(Barclay, 2015)

-Genre: foggy rock
-Has moods reminiscent of Kandle, Feist, The National, Timber Timbre

Follow the artist via his Facebook page
Listen to videos on the artist’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.