With five atmopsheric, eerie tracks at the confluence between French rock with literary appetence and Anglo-Saxon poetic rock (3 tracks in French and 2 in English that may recall Nick Cave or Gallon Drunk), the new double single “Nous tournons en rond dans la nuit et nous sommes dévorés par le feu” and the new EP from French rockers FINE LAME offers a frantic sonic experience that evokes historical disenchantment, the end of the century, and a certain contemporary melancholy. The tumultuous declamation intertwines with the finesse of the arrangements, in a haunted ceremony with shamanic overtones, the heart of Fine Lame’s essence.
Following into the footsteps of Léo Ferré, Noir Désir, or Alain Bashung, their influences also encompass Nick Cave, Patti Smith, and The Doors. The daring quartet combines incantatory poetic declamationand spoken word with tumultuous post-rock. The brutality of the compositions is balanced by layers of splendour, conveying inner vulnerability. All culminating in a feverish, keyboards-led conjuration, supporting the powerful voice of Raphaël Sarlin-Joly.
1. Nous tournons en rond dans la nuit…
In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni. It is a palindrome, which is already a statement of how we want the track to be a journey inside language itself, as much a journey per se. It is designed as a haunting dive in a world of visions, of wandering, vagrancies, nightly, ghastly apparitions – of how solitude and visions intertwine and the latter takes precedence over the generally conceived idea of reality.
It is also iconic as our take on mixing spoken word poetry (and further on, incantatory poetic declamation) and feverish rock’n’roll, frantic rhythms. It is also a both incisive and disillusioned approach to our contemporary realities.
2. … et nous sommes dévorés par le feu
Those two really form double-track, so the same could be said that about this here part 2. But specifically, there might be a sense of relief here, as dark as the text can get in the first part – the final lunge into the abyss -, it is carried away somehow when the backing vocals kick in, as joy would in the heart of darkness. Those vocals always bring us back to an epic moment during the studio recording, when a lot of friends gathered around to expand them out further, in the middle of the night.
That track as a whole really tries to get to understand what it means to experience the desire to watch the world burn, the tentation to end it all, yet coming to terms with inhabiting that very world, to enter a state of mind in which reality cannot harm you anymore.
3. Sortie de route
The gloomiest track on our EP, for sure. Which is surprising in a way, because the way it first came to life was with me (Raphaël) arriving one early morning in the studio (we were in a residency at the Maison de la Poésie in Normandy, at a very early stage for the band) claiming to have finally managed to write an uplifting poem and that we should work on creating music around it. Then it somehow drifted away…
Not that far away, though: as dark and shadowy and dreadful the piece is, as irremediable its assertions can be (pushed out by that implacable drumming and piano riff), it’s all about finding an exit. There you have it, the Sortie de route: a way out. Out of the tunnel, and back to the light, however long the tunnel might seem. And it is probably why is it also the most danceable of our tracks, with that constant, trance-like rhythm.
We were also really adamant about mixing two genres of music that we equally love and that do not get to dialogue much: (actual) contemporary poetry, demanding and somewhat lyrical; and noise music, industrial music. Léo Ferré and Nine Inch Nails, somehow. As equal references, not as a diverging fork.
4. Complaint of the little spider
The emanation of the old tentation for classic rock and, again, the idea of trance. Hallucinations, dreams coming to life. The spider in the song actually came from a feverish dream, in which it delivered advice about life – in general. And musically convey the same, delirious feeling than the opening scene of Apocalypse Now, the hotel room in Saigon. So, of course, the main influence here had to be The Doors, and that “the world is coming to an end” atmosphere. It’s obviously condensed, but I guess that is what the devil dogs are all about…
And the little girl… ah, well. We wanted an atmosphere resembling a monstrous cabaret, such as the depictions in Dylan’s Ballad of a Thin Man. All of these images coincide in there, in that loss of consciousness.
5. Follow Me
Follow Me actually takes the idea of “inhabiting a world of visions” (to quote Swiss poet Blaise Cendrars) one step further, that very road that might be the very crux of our EP. Yet it does it with a twist: that catchy, uplifting riff, the energetic percussions, the resonating bass, our signature backing vocals also quite popify the Apocalypse. You have our incantatory spoken word, reminiscent of Patti Smith’s Horses era, haunted by the idea of a great Fall and ominous figures; but also that obsessive, almost love song-themed chorus: and I guess that really anchors the nocturnal dimension of our band. Thanatos, but Eros. As Rimbaud would have put it, “the savages dance ceaselessly in the celebration of the night.”