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. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, comes from rising Belgian pop artist Benjamin Schoos. “Je Ne Vois Que Vous”, featuring Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, comes from Schoos’ debut LP, China Man vs. China Girl, out now on his own Freaksville Records.
All over Schoos’ debut LP, you’ll find excellent and emotion pop songwriting in the classic style of Serge Gainsbourg and Jean Claude Vannier. The perfectly balanced, soaring arrangements are contradicted perfectly by Schoos’ low rumble, finding itself somewhere between a heartbroken snarl and a heartfelt cry for lost love. The combination makes it impossible to waste a single track. Schoos’ music is everything that orchestral pop is intended to be.
“Je Ne Vois Que Vous” is one of several tracks on the record where Schoos lets the band take precedent over the orchestra. It’s not to say that the song is simple – rather, its rich arrangement is absolutely extraordinary. But by letting a driving acoustic guitar and a lively drum section lead the way, Schoos’ partnership with Laetitia Sadier becomes a soaring adventure through old French back alleys and under ancient European archways. Sadier’s flawless voice creates a perfect companionship to Schoos’ smokey charm. Together, “Je Ne Vois Que Vous” is the soundtrack to their own 60s French romantic comedy, and you can’t tell whether they’ll end up together at the end or not. Regardless of your prediction, this perfect pop song deserves countless repeats to supplement daydreams of lazy vacations sitting at European cafes, drinking fine wine, and taking nonsensical photographs.
Currently, Benjamin Schoos’ live schedule is open, but you can find out more about him on his website and Facebook page. For now, check out the video for “Je Ne Vois Que Vous” below, featuring Schoos and Sadier side by side. Also, check out China Man vs. China Girl out now on Freaksville Records.