The French Connection
Australian artists Helen Croome from Gossling and Alexander Gow from Oh Mercy have joined forces to delivere a gorgeous duet dubbed La Minute De Silence - their contribution to the Aussie tribute album of French songs, Melodie Francaise.
Also featured on the compilation are artists as diverse as The Jezabels, Lisa Mitchell, Dappled Cities and Thelma Plum. Cream contributor Gemma Maddox catches up with Helen and Alex to discuss bilingual music-making.
What was the experience like getting together for La Minute De Silence?
Helen: It’s been challenging because it’s in French and singing in a different language is crazy. At the same time it’s been a fun experience, and sharing it with Alex has been a lot more fun as well.
How long did it take you to learn the song in French?
Alex: I think officially we are still learning it to be honest! In fact we’re kind of kicking ourselves and we’d love to have another crack of the vocal since our French has improved since we recorded it. It’s still extra-laughable.
Helen: You don’t have to practise too hard when you go to the studio because you’re allowed to have the lyrics in front of you, it’s a bit easier to have them in front of you like a cheat sheet. We’re about to go to Paris and perform the song live to actual French people so we’re kind of freaking out a bit.
I’m sure it’ll all turn out fine… How did the idea come up to sing and write a song in French?
Helen: We were just invited to do a song for the compilation CD and label, Melodie Francaise. It’s basically a bunch of Australian artists covering French songs.
Will you be singing anymore songs in French?
Alex: Umm, I think the joke is over for me [laughs]. Once was enough, it was challenging… and still is.
You’ll be filming the music video for La Minute De Silence in Paris. What can we expect from the clip?
Alex: Well, you can have the most specific brief [for a music video] but you never really know until you get there. You’d imagine if we’re travelling half way around the planet. We’d we using some of the things that make Paris famous, I think. Ultimately, it’ll be a clip that’s sort of ‘Alex and Helen go on a tour around Paris’.
Helen: I think I’m most looking forward to the fact that the video clip is us walking around Paris going to a few of the sights, and hopefully we’ll go to a café and eat lots of croissants.
Any other city stopovers whilst in Europe?
Helen: A French-speaking part of Switzerland or something like that would be cool. I think when they roll out the track and see the response that it gets, they’ll see whether we’ll do any promo back in Australia. It’s just one gig at the moment.
Just how good is your French?
Helen: I did French through high school and I’ve been to Paris a couple of times but I was always better at the grammar part of the language; my accent is very Australian… and Alex what about you?
Alex: My French is shocking.
Make your own mind up about Helen and Alex’s French by tuning into La Minute De Silence off the Melodie Francaise compilation, out now through Inertia.