The Divine Miss Z
Listening Post 80. The last native German speaker to capture millions of hearts in France was Marlene Dietrich, but the Austrian singer-songwriter Zoë Straub (her voice crystalline to Dietrich’s smoky) just may have the artistry and attitude to do a full Blue Angel. The 20-year-old prodigy—educated at Vienna’s Lycée Français—sounds divine in the language of Moliére and Piaf and also radiates an explosive combination of innocence and seduction. The 14 tracks of Debut Deluxe (all but two co-written by Zoë and her composer father Christof Straub) are mostly playful and mournful love songs, combining French chanson, classic Parisian jazz and a light but deftly deployed electro beat that makes things sizzle in the right places. In Je m’en fous (I Don’t Care), she’ll gamble everything on love: “Even if my heart gets broken/No one wins without risking a fall,” she sings, “If I lose, I lose it all” (video 1). She turns sultry/coy in Adieu (Farewell), purring, “Listen to me, monsieur/What you desire/Will never happen/My heart is locked” (video 2). She’s teasing and taunting in the electro-swing Devinez (Guess), challenging a suitor to discover her secrets: “I’m not a doll/Who goes silent, closing her eyes/When you lay her down” (video 3). She’s just as enchanting in the doleful Rien ne va plus (Nothing Makes Sense Anymore), intoning, “Softly he leaves me, closing the door without making a sound/All alone with my tears, I pretend I’m sleeping” (video 4). Also on the album is Zoë’s pop hit Loin d’ici (Far From Here), which she sang representing Austria in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. By the way, she also sings in English and acts (one film and one TV series behind her). Dietrich’s equal? Stay tuned. (Global Rockstar Music)
2 thoughts on “Zoë: Debut Deluxe”
A fantastic performer!
Thanks for your comment. I agree: Zoë is a rare talent. I “discovered” her quite by accident. I was in Vienna last summer and walked into a record store to do the obvious–look for artists who perform in German. A store clerk asked if I wanted to hear an Austrian singing in French.
Don’t know if you saw it, but Zoë put my review on Twitter this morning.