There are many types of popular music but there is little that is as innovative, exciting and challenging, not to mention danceable, as the creative flair as the music of Lola Dutronic. In the build up to an exciting new album, Digital Journal
was given the opportunity hear the dazzling record ahead of its release.
are a bilingual electronic pop duo. The band consists of Toronto-based producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Richard Citroen and Dusseldorf-based vocalist Stephanie B. The duo have a solid musical pedigree. Richard Citroen was a former member of Canadian punk/new wave pioneers The Diodes, and was also a top club DJ in Toronto in the early 90s, playing at the RPM Club. Stephanie B was the former lead singer of German electro pop band DKDent.
Lola Dutronic have released some good albums, where they adapted songs from the French and British sixties accompanied with modern electronic arrangements. Unfortunately their music has slipped from the ears of the regular radio listener. This is set to change following their signing with legendary Marty Thau
(Blondie, Suicide, The New York Dolls etc.) and his newly-revived Red Star label, together with a delightful record packed full or original compositions.
Although from the first listen Lola Dutronic are hard to categorize, a sense of foot-tapping joy emerges immediately, overlaid with Stephanie B's captivating ethereal vocals. After repeated plays, a number of musical styles are apparent as the music glides between French Pop, Euro-Disco, Lounge and Electro. There are influences of Serge Gainsbourg
, Jane Birkin
and Saint Etienne
. In a sense the duo as have one foot in the past and foot in the future.
This reviewer's choice cuts were the pensive electro ballad "On My Radio" and the epic title track "Everyone's A Star", which should, if there is musical justice, become a hit single. Another contender for a hot 100 single is symphonic and eerily happy "Everybody Loves You When You're Dead". For this song the duo drew upon a number of eminent names in the music world to provide backing vocals. Providing deep richness to the song are Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth (of the celebrated Tom Tom Club
), Hugo Burnham, Mona Mur and En Esch, Jeremy Gluck, David Buckley, Eric Debris, Ian MacKay, Ray Coburn, Bill Wood, Billie Bucko Brock, Jaymz Bee, Teddy Fury, and Project Heartbreak.
Here is the video of the song:
Another stand out track "My Summer Song", which suits the late summer / early fall feel, drifting along capturing the last rays of the sun. "Strangers", with its dreamy vocals, could be lifted straight from the St. Etienne song book, and there is a subtle reggae beat to "On My Radio".
The music is played on a range of different instruments, each played and entwined to produce a sumptuous musical delight by Richard Citroen, including beats, synths, piano, and guitars.The vocals of Stephanie B range in pitch and style, but always retain a touch of sultry sweetness, which complements the variations in beats and musical styles extremely well.
The band have a unique approach to making music and one which fits well into the network of modern communications. The band explained that Richard Citroen writes and records the music in Canada and then sends the finished product to Stephanie B in Germany via the internet. On hearing the tracks, Stephanie then records her vocals and sends them back to Richard, who polishes them up, mixes the tracks ready for release.
Although the band are not, as yet, widely known outside of specialist radio and hip clubs, their music has featured on television shows and movies, such as "The L-Word" and "Perfect Strangers".
If you are seeking something to chill out to, or to drive along to, check the band and there new recording out. Electric charged pop with a sixties vibe.
The track listing for 'Everyone's A Star' is:
1. LAST NIGHT A DJ RUINED MY LIFE
2. KISS ME
3. L'AMOUR EST BLEU (LOVE IS BLUE)
4.ON MY RADIO
5. MY SUMMER SONG
6. EVERYBODY LOVES YOU WHEN YOU'RE DEAD
7. EVERYONE'S A STAR
8. LA NOTE BLEUE
9. GIRL ON A CAROUSEL
10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY
12. S.O.S. (SULTANS OF SWING)
13. I COULD GO ON SINGING
The album, 'Everyone's A Star', is released on October 11 on the Red Star label
. The release will be supported by a Canadian and European tour.