Smooth Tuesday Jams: The French Touch

Continuing with our themes, I’ll be exploring the smooth vibes explored by France, often deemed the French Touch in house and dance music. The French are already pretty smooth with their language, food, and fashion, so it’s really not shocking that a lot of their music is smooth as well.

Come check out our next Sea Level party at Tender Trap in Williamsburg on April 10th at 9 PM. We will be continuing to throw them every second Wednesday of the month! More details available here.

Sébastien Tellier – "Look" (2008)

Following in the footsteps of Serge Gainsbourg, the original king of French smooth, Sebastien Tellier has experimented with various genres and styles, but they are always smooth and always for the ladies. Here is a stand out tune from his 2008 record, the aptly titled Sexuality, complete with incredible cover art.

Breakbot – "Another Dawn" (feat. Irfane) (2012)

Channeling the smooth of many legends past and filtering it through a contemporary lens, French artist Breakbot released his fantastic By Your Side LP last year. On this particular cut, he channels Michael McDonald, with vibes that heavily remind me of this one.

Air – "Le Soleil Est Pres De Moi" (1997)

Air are the masters of bachelor-pad, electronic-space-jazz lounge, and they have progressively become more pop driven. Their earlier stuff, though, was pure instrumental smooth. This is one of those tunes.

Phoenix – "You Can Blame It On Anybody" (2004)

Everyone knows Phoenix now as a result of their popular album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and their songs’ inclusion in car ads. What many people don’t know is that, before they were making sort of generic indie rock, Phoenix was making incredible smooth jams like this one on their first two (and partly third) records. I can listen to the vocal harmonies in the beginning on loop forever.

Daft Punk – "Something About Us" (2001)

There’s not much I can say about Daft Punk that hasn’t already been said: they are a big reason house music is popular all over the world today. This is taken from their definitive masterpiece, Discovery, and is a deviation from the rest of the record’s upbeat dance tunes, instead opting for a laid back smooth love jam.

Alan Braxe – "Voices" (2013)

Another master of the French touch sound that defined French dance music in the late ’90s-00s, Braxe, who has often collaborated with Fred Falke, was known for his lush synths, emotional chord changes, and funky bass lines. This tune illustrates much of that nostalgic beauty.
 

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