i can’t speak french. i can’t even do a proper french accent but i stubbornly persist all the same, often to disastrous effect. bands like nous non plus, however, perfect the art of faux play: the new york band performs convincingly as a french pop outfit, putting together a pastiche of 60s french influences that balance neatly with the edginess of modern american indie rock. with the tellingly titled album ménagerie, the songs (mostly bearing french names) bounce with nervous energy, playfully mimicking and deliberately exoticizing everything french without taking itself too seriously. one of my favorites is the english titled “thief like me”, a song that starts off with much symphonic grandeur only to reveal a frantic underbelly. surprisingly, everything comes together seamlessly as an elegant hipster anthem whose only flaw is its perplexingly abrupt end. in a strange way, the infectious urgency of this track reminds me of tv on the radio’s similarly titled, full-blooded stomper “wolf like me”, which i’m sure needs no introduction.
ménagerie is now out on aeronaut records. à saisir!