The time is now to familiarize yourself with the talent of French 79. The electronic producer hones on taking you through a musical journey that you will never forget. His latest expedition comes in the form of a 13-track album titled “JOSHUA.” Laying out marvelous atmospheres, and venturing through eclectic harmonies, there is simply so much to like about this project.
With all that being said though, what better way to pinpoint the significance of this album than to hear it from the artist himself. Hear the story of how he put this all together in the track-by-track breakdown below.
It’s a really important one for me and I wanted it to be the opening track; firstly because it encapsulates the different sounds, instruments, and influences from the album, secondly as it’s the first time I really sing, I mean singing verses and chorus. It was a big step for me and I wanted to show this new part of me, being proud and straight forward about it. It’s about the love that allows me to overcome difficulties. It has tension but also positivity. It’s pretty epic and adventurous at the same time. It’s a song that keeps on keeping on. I guess it’s also my way of life today.
‘Hold On’ is a hymn to perseverance and endurance. A concept that I’ve also loved since I was a child. For me, it is very important to have goals in life. There’s nothing more rewarding than achieving something. I work till it works. So the repetition of the voice symbolizes the work necessary to realize my dreams. It has a strong build, but also a kinda psychedelic bridge which is like struggling, then the drop is like an explosion of joy when you finally succeed. I just started to play it live on my new tour a few days ago and the audience was really into it, it’s a bit like a moto, a signature. We’ll see if it becomes a dance anthem 🙂
I composed and arranged ‘Code Zero’ as a sci-fi soundtrack. It’s a tribute to the movies that touched me when I was a teenager, ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Wargames’… etc. The sounds I used here are reminiscent of the sounds that represented the future back in the ’80s and’ 90s. I don’t mean it to be retro though: I think it sounds like a track from today; it’s just me staring at the future with the tools and toys I’ve always loved.
By Your Side
I wanted to have Sarah Rebecca on this track, firstly because I wanted to evoke the relationship that one can have with a friend from childhood or even just with someone you meet by chance with whom there’s an instant connection. Something you don’t need to describe or even encourage by being in contact. Your souls have connected anyway. You know these kinds of trusts that last a lifetime. That’s why the rhythm of the song and the arpeggiators are about oscillating, resonating. Even if the paths of life disconnect you, the complicity never goes away; I felt this with Sarah when we worked on Diamond Veins for my debut album, since the very beginning I could feel a strong connection, and so far we’ve been pretty lucky with this song 🙂
‘Joshua’ is probably the track that represents the most the state of mind I was in when I composed this album. I found these chord progressions and sounds that reminded me of the moments when I felt good in my family cocoon when I was a kid. I loved the fullness and innocence of my teenage years. I wanted to feel good and serene by listening to this track, so I hope people will feel the same.
From a personal perspective, it’s one my most important track, I would say song as I’ve written and composed it from the bottom of my soul. My hometown is something I think all the time. It’s where I belong. It running in my veins. It will always do. During my teenage years, that’s where I discovered all the music that made me, and which would influence the artist I would later be. And this track really brings me back to my hometown Epinal. If I perform it live or listen to it I really have the impression to be there. I think it can work for anyone and anyplace in the world. It’s more about feelings than geography. The images I have about my hometown still inspire me although I’ve left the city for more than 15 years now. Every time I go back there, memories and inspiration come right away. It’s a tribute to the life you once had and the kid you once were. But it’s also about moving on: it’s not only nostalgia, but it’s also a celebration of perspective.
Louise And Thelma
The melodies and the mood of the track express how I feel when I’m alone in the mountains or alone on my boat. I love the feeling of facing mother nature. The strength of the elements can surprise you: you can quickly feel naked and helpless. It’s good for keeping your feet on the ground but also for dreaming. I wanted to transcribe the humility necessary for anyone who wants to overcome the sea raging or a storm in the mountains.
‘Quartz’ is a tribute to film composers who have not used an orchestra but rather synthesizers to dress a long sequence and convey emotions. I am much less sensitive to the music of John Williams than the music of John Carpenter, Francois de Roubaix, Wendy Carlos or Tangerine Dream. All this music inspired me without knowing it when I was a kid. It’s only been a few years since I realized this when watching all those movies again. Since my childhood, this kind of music is in me, but I didn’t really know how and why. It’s only recently that I understood why my music was often described as cinematic, I guess that’s one of the reasons. I didn’t mean it to be cinematic, it just happened because that’s what always had echoed in my brain and soul.
4807 is the height of the Mont Blanc mountain, the highest peak of the French Alps. All the pupils learn this in school. It represents all my dreams of youth, my need for escape and adventure. This piece is built like an ascent to a summit, it rises more and more. There’s also some darkness and breaks because it’s not that easy, but a loss of excitement. The song is about the different states of mind that anyone can feel when climbing a mountain, the power of nature in front of the man, the problems that you encounter and the solutions that you have to find to overcome a challenge. And in the end, the track is pretty calm, like when you’re on top of a mountain and feel like on top of the world. You’re happy, proud, feel huge but also super small.
Touch The Stars
‘Touch the Stars’ means to me the moment of grace when someone managed to face the insurmountable. This moment where the fullness settles down when you feel untouchable. It is often a feeling that you have when you feel alone, it may seem selfish for my entourage too. I need that in my life, that’s what makes me move on, it motivates me. I need, at certain times of my life, to get out of my comfort zone – and I think I’ve never done a track like this before. The mood of it makes me think of the alchemy that can exist between a mountaineer and a summit, a sailor and the ocean, or even between two people who discover themselves
This piece is based on a long series of chords that transcribe the different stages of my life, the way I built my environment and my personality. The simplicity of the rhythm interferes with the complexity of the melodies. ‘Sailing’ is based on a very simple beat which is a bit like time progressing regularly like arithmetic. The melodies and different layers are a bit like life complications and surprises: it’s always surprising and moving. Son the song gives the impression that it’s always evolving and changing. The same feeling that I feel when I’m on a sailboat where I always have to adapt to the weather.
I wanted to close the album with this song because it sums up two core things of my music: the importance of the melodies, and the need to express a wide range of emotions. It represents the vision that I have of myself, both complicated and simple, melancholic and positive, dreamy but rational. I hope, with this title, to be able to convey all the emotions that I felt in my childhood or that I still feel today when I escape, when I travel, when I identify with a movie character or one of my heroes who sails alone around the world!