For our non-french speaking friends, here’s some notes in english about the songs on our last album “La nausée”. Hope you’d like it.

1 – I HAVE ONLY MY BODY (Je ne possède que mon corps)
Like a few others on this album, this song is inspired by a passage from LA NAUSEE, (“Nausea” in english) which is a philosophical novel by the existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, published in 1938. “The past is a landlord’s luxury. Where’s shall I keep mine? You don’t put your past in your pocket; you have to have a house. I have only my body: a man entirely alone, with his lonely body, cannot indulge in memories; they pass through him. I shouldn’t complain: all I wanted was to be free.”

2 – THOSE WHO ARE NOTHING (Ceux qui ne sont rien)
Soon after Macron’s inauguration as French president, he gave a speech in a former train station which has been converted into a startup incubator. He said “In a train station, you cross paths with people who succeed and people who are nothing.” I guess we are the ones who are nothing, then. The end of the song is also a tribute to french railway workers and labor unions. The last sing along says, “Don’t forget that in our train stations, we sing our labor unions!”

3 – RIGID IDENTITY (Identité rigide)
Gender stereotypes have always been pressuring me since I was a kid, but it feels like these days in France, conservative minds tend to be more vindictive about it. Spitting their reactionary thoughts without inhibition anymore. This song is for all of us that float between gender stereotypes and roles: The boys and men that are being mocked because they are “too sensitive”, because they raise their kids or wear makeup. For the girls and women who speak their mind too much or too loud. Those who don’t dream about a perfect household. Those who don’t want to be a damsel in distress. We need to reclaim whoever we are and however we feel. 

4 – LOVE IS A DOG FROM HELL (L’amour est un chien de l’enfer)
The title of this song is a reference to a Bukowski’s volume of poetry mostly about love. It’s a song about the ending of a relationship, driven by indifference, resentment and a lot of alcohol consumption. The chorus says “I’ll stop drinking when the momentum will come from my own blood. I’ll stop believing that we are decent.”

5 – THE ADVENTURE OF THE ORDINARY (L’aventure de l’ordinaire) 
In “la nausée” by Sartre, the main character, Roquentin comes back from a long and exotic journey. He becomes anxious and sad, confronted with the return to ordinary life and with his incapacity to tell his stories. This song is about accepting the fact that there’s no magic in our lives and embracing boredom. “there is no adventure”

6 – A BOTTLE TO THE SEA (Une bouteille à la mer)
On one of our US tours we drove through Gary, Indiana. One of those rust belt cities that have been devastated by economic crisis. It inspired this song. Most french kids have a distorted vision of the US: An american dream ideal and opulent image spread by pop culture and hollywood movies. Even for me, as a leftist, educated adult, my first visits to the US have been eye-opening. The misery in those neighborhoods, the empty houses, the closed stores, the $4 food stamps per day for a family, the harsh reality of the healthcare system, the elderly working till their last breath, the stray dogs, the religious bigotry, the gun culture…

“en marche” is the name of French president Marcon’s new movement. It translates to both ”walking” and “working”. Implying that we must walk toward our radiant future through work and accumulation of wealth. Macron’s neo-liberal vision of progress includes less rights for the workers, downsizing public services, cutting corporate taxes and so forth…

Sometimes I feel like I’m in a Scorsese movie. Between the narrow minded pressure of still strong Judeo-Christian culture around me and the brutal neo-liberalism that seems more and more unbeatable.

9 – THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHES YOU DIDN’T BURN (les fils et les filles des sorcières que vous n’avez pas brûlées)
This is a tribute to the feminists who fought for women’s rights. There is a reference to the “Manifesto of the 343 Sluts”, a statement signed in 1971 by 343 notable women admitting publicly that they had an abortion when it was still illegal in France, exposing themselves to criminal penalty of course. It was followed by a manifesto signed by doctors claiming “We want freedom of abortion. It is entirely the woman’s decision. We reject any entity that forces her to defend herself, perpetuates an atmosphere of guilt, and allows underground abortions to persist” This led to the abolition of criminal prosecution for voluntarily terminating a pregnancy.

10 – LIFE SENTENCE (peine de vie)
This is an umpteenth song about feeling down. About how it’s hard to get better when everything around us: pop culture, advertising, shallow human connection, all seem to promote extreme consumerism, a reactionary way of life and the cult of happiness.

11 – THE MORE I KNOW HUMANS, THE MORE I LIKE DOGS (Plus je connais les hommes et plus j’aime les chiens)
This world is fucked up. Please bury me the deepest you can, so the archeologists of the future won’t think that I was hanging out with you all.

12 – THE PROS AND CONS (le pour et le contre)
A friend of ours (Jeremy Guichard) wrote these lyrics. For me it’s a song about growing old, feeling our bodies and capacities fade away. My favorite line from this song is,”Yesterday Darwin put out a contract on me”

13 – WE DIED TOO YOUNG (Nous sommes morts trop jeunes)
“We live in a spectacular society, that is, our whole life is surrounded by an immense accumulation of spectacles. Things that were once directly lived are now lived by proxy. Once an experience is taken out of the real world it becomes a commodity. As a commodity the spectacular is developed to the detriment of the real. It becomes a substitute for experience.” Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle.