The famous French bossa nova band, Nouvelle Vague, are performing in Belgrade tomorrow – Saturday, June 24 – in the Atrium of the Museum of Yugoslav History. Nouvelle Vague is currently on a world tour promoting their new album titled “I Could Be Happy”.
Unlike their previous concerts, this will be the first time that Nouvelle Vague will perform at an open-air concert in Belgrade. The concert will be held at one of the most beautiful music venues in the capital, surrounded by the unique environment of the Dedinje woods and the iconic buildings of the Museum of Yugoslav History.
I Could Be Happy
After fourteen years of fashioning some of the most distinctive covers ever — think Love Will Tear Us Apart, Too Drunk to F*** and Guns of Brixton — Nouvelle Vague have discovered a brand new trick.
The French new wave and post punk covers outfit (the name literally means “New Wave”) have put out four self-penned tunes on their new album, I Could Be Happy. Yes you heard it correctly they have released original music. That isn’t to say their other offerings aren’t original but here they have written four songs from start to finish, to accompany an array of new covers. Unsurprisingly, the original work is just as vibrant as one would hope, and the public seem to like the originals as much as the moody, bossa nova flavoured covers that made them famous worldwide.
When they regrouped for their latest tour and album, they decided they needed to do something a little different. “A lot of people really like the Nouvelle Vague sound — [so] maybe they will like our [original] songs because they’re the same kind of arrangements”, says the band co-founder, Marc Collin. “It’s working. We’ve just done a tour of Europe and everybody loved the songs. They don’t really see the difference between our songs and the new covers.”
Collin and the other co-founder, Olivier Libaux, view Nouvelle Vague as more of a “very successful project” than a band and all of its members have many other projects on the go at any time. Instead of writing as a group, Collin and Libaux dusted off a couple of songs they’d already written and gave them a makeover with the signature Nouvelle Vague sound.
It’s similar to how they transform existing post punk and new wave songs. The new album, their fifth, includes their take on, among others, I Could Be Happy by Altered Images, Athol Brose by Cocteau Twin and I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones. Collin says The Cure’s All Cats Are Grey is a good example of choosing less obvious material to cover.
“Nouvelle Vague have created an album telling tales weaving in and out of the beautifully spoken French word and the English. Regardless of whether you understand what is being sung, easy on the ear and quirky sounds are enough to entice any listener” – Clash Magazine.
A number of terrific vocalists have passed through the ranks of Nouvelle Vague over the years, including French superstar, Camille, and Aussie singer Nadéah. For their current tour Melanie Pain, Liset Alea and Elodie Frégé will front the band.