Maison Neuve – Joan (CD Talitres)

This album has been rarely out of earshot for ages now……. Its quirky French pop tunes have somehow managed to embed themselves into my subconscious and are proving somewhat stubborn and resistant to removal. It’s hard to say what it is about Joan, Maison Neuves first album, that’s making it so ingrained, but it’s a pretty impressive collection of songs.

The instrumentation is fairly regular, drums, guitar, vocals, bass and keyboards but Maison Neuve have a way of writing catchy pop that whilst probably never troubling the staid and tired X Factor ridden charts of the UK should still resonate with enough people to make them become something more than just disposable.

Sound wise there’s a whole heap of influences in there. The jingly jangly indie bands of the late 80s and 90s definitely make their presence felt; Hum come to mind particularly as do In Aura and oddly enough (well I wasn’t expecting it) there’s a couple of tunes on here that sound as though they are straight out of the Jacobites song book around the time of Robespierre’s Velvet Basement.

There’s nothing that strikes you as being particularly weak on here but as often is the case with new bands they have had plenty of time to write a large body of songs and then pick from the best so the challenge really is for Maison Neuve to see if they can continue with this impressive start to their career and give us another album as catchy and compulsive as this one. DB