sun 26/05/2024

CD: Le Prince Miiaou – Where is the Queen? | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Le Prince Miiaou – Where is the Queen?

CD: Le Prince Miiaou – Where is the Queen?

A unique French voice homes in on the contrast between anxiety and security

Where is the Queen? doesn’t hide where it’s coming from. Drawing so gracefully from disparate strains of Nineties rock while augmenting them with a literate sensibility, it immediately sets itself up as an album which stands apart.

The soft-loud dynamic which The Pixies pretty much invented – probably heard most widely on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – is here. So is the rave-rock rhythmic collision heard when My Bloody Valentine began venturing inwards immediately before their lengthy hiatus. “Country Bliss” confesses “I can’t remember what my butt looks like in a dress, I’ve built a nest in my grandpa’s knitted sweater-vest….I’m too scared to have children.” Although a pop album, Where is the Queen? is a dark, textured journey through a world where the contrasts between light and shade, domestic security and urban anxiety are sharply in focus.

Le Prince Miiaou is Maud-Élisa Mandeau. The alter ego was randomly plucked from a book of book of Persian legends. Inspired by a stay in New York City, Where is the Queen? is her fourth album. It was written and recorded in rural Charente, in south-west France. Although the disc is produced by Mandeau, Antoine Gaillet, a ubiquitous French engineer-producer who has worked with Mademoiselle K, M83, Yeti Lane and Zombie Zombie, is a collaborator.

Like Yeti Lane, but in a completely different way, Le Prince Miiaou has nothing to do with what preoccupies many of Frances’s indie-poppers. There are no nods to Phoenix or M83. No François & the Atlas Mountains-style sweetness. With Manchester’s Pins or Sweden’s I Break Horses as cousins, Mandeau might have a hard log to roll in her own country but the compelling Where is the Queen? inhabits its own space.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Overleaf: watch the video for “JFK” from Le Prince Miiaou’s Where is the Queen?


Watch the video for “JFK” from Le Prince Miiaou’s Where is the Queen?

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