Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Nolwenn, come into the light!

French singer Nolwenn Leroy first became famous when she won the second season of Star Academy. Earlier, during her high school years, she spent a year studying abroad in Ohio in the U.S., which isn't really that interesting to most people but is sort of exciting for me, though why she'd choose Ohio out of all the places here baffles me. She's released two albums so far; as is usual for someone off of a reality TV show, her sales have gone down somewhat, but that didn't stop the second album from reaching #3 on the charts or its lead single (today's song) from reaching #1. I haven't heard any more from her than this single, so I can't really characterize her overall style, but I have no idea why I haven't sought out more from her yet--I love this song.

Nolwenn Ohwo--I was tempted to just write "Put on this song as you're getting ready to fall asleep and be swept away to a universe where everything is gorgeous and light and bright" and leave it at that--"Nolwenn Ohwo" is so exquisite that I feared too many words might take away from it--but I can't help myself; there are a few more things I have to add. The verses feel sort of meandering, but they get more playful as they go along and somehow manage to add up to more than they should. The song uses one of the most dangerous gimmicks out there--a children's chorus--but it never seems gimmicky; it's actually a perfect fit for the song, giving it not only more lightness but also a youthful energy that manages to seem (and please forgive the ridiculousness of how this sounds) celestial, not immature. Alongside the chant, the best parts of the song are the chorus, fluttery and beautiful, and a beat that I can't figure out how to identify, but it's what helps the song have energy and seem spacey, floaty, extra-dimensional. These are all just small individual elements, though--though the song feels light and simple, there's so much going on that ultimately all I can do is beg you to listen to the whole thing--it's worth it!

To buy Nolwenn Leroy's second album Histoires Naturelles, go here (physical).

Next up: possibly that German band I said I was going to write about a while ago.

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