« Joan » (Talitres)
The first effort from these Parisians turns out to be a miniature masterpiece: eleven incendiary indie pop tracks sung in English and in French, liberally laced with shimmering organ and guitar work.
These young musicians wear their Gallic origins on their sleeve: the French accent remains clearly audible in their English-language vocals, and the album even includes a few French-language tracks. But their musical roots lie equally in the faintly melancholy tendencies of some Anglo-Saxon pop-rock.
Right from the start, however, they have successfully transcended their reference points and models with a hard-won confidence and maturity born of five years of communal living.
Today, the three Parisians offer their own extremely personal and original rendition of the strong tonal contrasts in classic indie pop. Older listeners will find themselves reminded of the golden late-eighties era when Australia and New Zealand, not content with their undoubted rugby prowess, were also fertile soil for a fabulous proliferation of musical invention courtesy of bands like The Go-Betweens and The Apartments (Australia) or The Clean and The Verlaines (New Zealand).
Onto this dense and highly detailed backdrop Maison Neuve project poetic imagery drawn directly from the world around them. The songs themselves cover subject matter ranging from life in the suburbs (The Wrong Class) to the Wild Boy of Aveyron (Victor) – a breath of fresh air that stands in welcome contrast to the navel-gazing of the majority of their rivals. A paradoxical tour de force, at once ambitious and wholly unpretentious.