The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Housse de Racket Show Us How the French Do Pop

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 27, 2012 5:20PM

2012_03_27_housse de racket ms.jpg

A friend turned us on to French pop band Housse de Racket a couple of years ago after their 2008 debut, Forty Love. This album had us dancing in our seats on the bus, the train, and at our desk with a fresh mix of unmistakably French melodies, rock guitar, 80’s synth, and believe it or not, disco. The duo, Pierre Leroux and Victor Le Manse, have known each other since their school days in the Paris suburb of Chaville and, as you might have guessed, have connections to break out french rock bands Phoenix and Air as session musicians. They also nabbed the producer of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Philippe Zdar, for their latest effort, Alesia. But don’t expect a carbon copy: “who better than Phoenix’s producer to keep us away from the sound of Phoenix?”

With a more mature sound, they’ve left behind their native French for English lyrics, but even though we might not have known what they were saying on Forty Love, it was more fun to listen to. Alesia has essentially the same ingredients as their debut, but steps into a more dramatic and psychedelic vein.

The band hits the festival circuit on their six-week North American tour including a performance at Coachella next month, but this Thursday they’ll make a stop at Empty Bottle with local groups RITES and Glass Lux. Tickets are $8.

MP3: Chateau (Hey Champ Remix)