To preview the under the radar things that interest me at this years Liverpool Sound City is ultimately a futile exercise. There are 360 acts playing next weekend and not enough time for me to even scratch the surface. I’ve written pieces about ‘Erotic Market‘ and ‘Rah Rah‘ but was also aware that there’s still much in the schedule that I’d not listened to.
So tonight, I’ve played a random Facebook game. I asked friends who were still awake to give me a letter of the alphabet and a number between one and 20. I didn’t reveal why I wanted this. My friend, James, gave me L7. I’m glad he didn’t give me U2. I looked at the list of acts playing Liverpool Sound City that began with the letter ‘L’ – and then counted down 7.
Today’s preview act is Le Prince Miiaou. Like Erotic Market, this is an act that hails from France. But, that’s where similarity stops.
Le Prince Miiaou is Maud-Élisa Mandeau. The alter ego was randomly plucked from a book of book of Persian legends. Last year, she released her fourth album, Where is the Queen?. It was written and recorded in rural Charente, in south-west France. It’s an album that I want to like but one that doesn’t have enough hooks to keep me returning.
I doubt it’s where she wants to be but to my ears, ‘Where Is The Queen?’ touches on that space occupied by an 80’s era Fleetwood Mac. You sense that this is an act desperate to add more guitars but conceding to the trends of the day and mixing in a more synthesized, fuzzy sound. It’s a lightweight P.J. Harvey and a more interesting Haim. There are contrasts at play between loud and quiet, rock and dance, spoken French and sung English, cluttered fuzziness and clean air. And, without doubt, this is a popular space to inhabit at the moment.
If you’re walking past ‘Nation’ on Saturday night and want to take a chance on Le Prince Miiaou then I certainly wouldn’t hold it against you. It could even provide one of those moments. The video below demands attention if you like cats, skewed romance and an off-kilter view of the world.