New Year's Playlist: French Pop

December 29, 2012 | By Adrien Colle
Yan Wagner

In 2012, it is hard to define the sound of French pop. There are still echoes of the classic 60s sounds of Serge Gainsbourg and Françoise Hardy in the sly, globetrotting jazz of Nouvelle Vauge and the retro references of Bertrand Burgalat.  But young French musicians draw their influences from far beyond their native soil, with artists like Yan Wagner incorporating Berlin techno or Tristesse Contemporaine experimenting with British shoegaze and new wave. If one thing unites these musicians, it is, perhaps a willingness to cross-pollinate, creating new forms out of the intersection of a multitude of styles. Sometimes, as in the case of M83's sweeping synthpop symphonies, these experiments create their own sub-genres with scores of followers. France, like any exciting 21st century musical hub, is a place where pop music grows out of a constant exchange of ideas across boundaries both geographic and aesthetic.

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