Whether you’ve heard them or not, it difficult not to have an opinion on Les Breastfeeders. There, see, you just formed one. I’ve had enough people ask me what I’m listening to while this band are playing to know the exact face you’re pulling.
Formed in 1999, Les Breastfeeders are Luc Brien (vocals, guitar), Suzie McLeLove (vocals, guitar), Sunny Duval (lead guitar), Joe (bass) and Johnny Malador (tambourine). The band are currently without a full time drummer after the departure of Freddy Fortin, who joined in 2005 and has now returned to his previous band, the Quebec-based Galaxie 500 (not to be confused with the London shoegazers of the same name that spawned Luna and Damon & Naomi).
Their music is a mix of 60’s garage rock of The Sonics and the yé-yé pop music that came out of France during the same period, spawning artists like Françoise Hardy. The resulting collision of breakneck rock n roll and Francophonic pop is endlessly exciting and provides an almost inconceivable number of perfect pop songs. The contrast of Luc’s gravely shouts with Suzie’s sweet but forceful singing keeps the music, which can at time sound like The Kinks with a fire set underneath it, roughly in check.
The band’s debut album, Déjeuner Sur L’herbe was released in spring 2004 through the Blow The Fuse label, picking up critical acclaim and chart success throughout Canada. The 2006 follow-up, Les Matins de Grands Soirs, saw them step up the energy again, which in turn helped them to break into the US market with the song Viens Avec Moi and a rigorous touring schedule.
There are so many things I love about this band and have had me returning to their albums again and again since I discovered them earlier this year. The fact that they have a dedicated tambourine player, is obviously appealing. And that he looks like some kind of horror movie butler on a bad night out, more so – particularly as the rest of the band are so well turned out. I also love that the drums are given such a dead sound; no reverb, every hit is sudden and to the point. And that guitar sound is so sharp, too.
I also love that they sing in French because it’s the perfect language for rock n roll. People will tell you that hip hop sounds best in French because it’s a poetic language. Don’t listen to anyone who says that, they are wrong. Hip hop is a form of poetry that should be performed unpoetically, if it is to have any credibility. Rock music, on the other hand, is dirty and sexy, so laying something beautiful over the top of it just makes it more so.
These songs flirt with your ears, making all kinds of promises that you only hope they’ll come good on. And that’s exactly why I keep coming back, no to see if they’ll come good but because I know they will. Every single time.
Viens Avec Moi video