Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Radiologie” by Malajube from the 2011 album La Caverne on MB3 Records.
For those unfamiliar with Canada’s biggest Francophone bands, Malajube reigns supreme. Formed in 2005, the French Canadian four-piece deftly blends glockenspieled dance-pop with rock, disco, and new wave — at least well enough to earn them multiple Polaris Prize nominations and widespread critical acclaim for their past albums, despite the fact the band does all their singing and songwriting in French. If you wanted a perfect example of the human voice acting as an instrument, Malajube would be a great place to start. Who knows, you might even find the all-French lyrics make you slow down pay a little more attention to what you’re actually listening to. When other popular foreign bands opted to become more “accessible” by singing in English, you have to admire Malajube for sticking to their guns over the years, despite increasing popularity from a Stateside audience.
Their latest album, La caverne (“The cave”), is their fourth studio album and was completely self-produced and recorded over the course of four months in what the band described as a “geodesic modern cave formed by multiple triangular surfaces.” The picture on the album seems to paint the best image of what the new album is all about. A simple, yet sleek exterior, with some daft-punk disco Tron neon thrown-in for good measure. “Radiologie,” the highlight — lyrically and sonically — of La caverne, starts off with a frenetic bass line and plays on the rhyming of French verbs ending in “re,” in lines like “Je suis le seule à te comprendre/ tu est la seule qui veut m’entendre” (“I’m the only one who understands you/ you are the only one who wants to hear me”). Clocking in at 32 minutes, La caverne‘s 10 tracks are a perfect size for new and experienced listeners. No matter what language they’re speaking, it sounds like music to our ears.
You can listen to more music and keep up with Malajube on their Facebook page and website; however, there are currently no scheduled tour dates. For now, here’s the video of their first upbeat electro-disco single, “Le blizzard,” from the new album: