Karpatt: Angora

January 31, 2017


Listening Post 84. Long one of France’s most popular bands, Karpatt—singer-songwriter Fred Rollat, guitarist Gaëtan Lerat and bassist Hervé Jegousso—paints scenes of life’s adventure and grind, using an intoxicating mix of Gypsy jazz and French chanson, with touches of folk and rock. On Angora (named for the Paris bar where many of the album’s 13 tracks took shape), they share tales of survival, melancholy, nostalgia and a Central American journey. Salvador is a story of resilience: “She was one of those women you look in the eye when she tells you the rules,” Rollat sings, “Not so old, but she carried the weight of 1,000 sorrows of the women of Suchitoto”—referencing a town in El Salvador that was virtually destroyed during the country’s civil war but has since rebuilt (video 1). Childhood takes the stage in Partage (Sharing), as parents reassure a little daughter who is about to become a big sister: “The baby will be a bundle of love/And the three of us will take turns kissing her” (video 2). Amours d’été (Summer Loves) shows a boy and girl on a weary bus ride at season’s end: “You wake up not knowing that I watched you all night,” the lad muses, “I am proud of this/And not telling you heightens the feeling” (video 3). There’s sarcasm in the swing of Chez toi (Housekeeping), in which the messy one in a relationship has done a thorough cleaning: “Be careful what you touch, what you think, what you say/I have gloves to protect me from your bacteria,” he warns. The culinary track Pupuseria features a restaurant serving stuffed Salvadoran tortillas—and where, like Angora, the atmosphere heightens the fun. (Pbox Music/AT(h)OME/Wagram Music)








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