…meeting two jazzmen, LP: Polly & the Fine Feathers
Polly & the Fine Feathers are available at Bandcamp.
by Walter Price
Just this past week I stumbled upon the delicate homebound cover of The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” by French indie folk-star Isabelle “Pollyanna” Casier. Which subsequently led me down a welcomed rabbit-hole of this artist’s authentic wares. Which then, eventually, I found my way to Pollyanna’s alter-ego LP, ‘Polly & the Fine Feathers. A beautiful collection of jazz-influenced folk tracks with sprinkles of the Big Easy dusted about. For reference, imagine if Mark Oliver Everett & Gillian Welch joined forces with the fellas from Billy Momo to bírth a fresh take on time-honored roots music.
Or, as the LP’s press blurb, entitled ‘Pollyanna meets two jazzmen!’, explains the set’s backstory, “For the time of her third album, the French folkster Pollyanna shifts her name to “Polly & the Fine Feathers”, focusing on the meeting that gave life to this series of 12 songs. Indeed, the project of this new record was born from her meeting with two educated jazzmen from Paris: Abdesslem Gherbi (drums) and François Fuchs (double bass). Abdesslem is an experienced funk and New-Orleans percussionist, familiar with American southern jazz clubs. He also teaches Gamelan at the Paris “City of Music”. François Fuchs is an omnivorous double bassist who loves to play anything from the Cramps to free jazz, French chanson, soul (Kimberose), or edgy Turkish traditional music.
“Fine Feathers make fine birds”, they say. So Pollyanna wanted, with these two gentlemen, to dress her songs with southern and country-bluesy colours, reminiscent of Jolie Holland or classics like Patsy Cline. Most of these songs have been written on the road while touring in Tennessee folk clubs.”
While it’s hyperbole-free to say that all the tracks work in stellar fashion on this marvelous album, standout titles you should wet your beak with are “Chocolate Jesus”, “Last Night (I Dreamt That You Were Dead)”, “A Landscape” and the indelibly catchy “We Are Like Birds”. Oh, and be sure to add that last one to your feelgood playlist.
POLLY & the FINE FEATHERS
Artist courtesy of Solaris Empire
Video by Julien Bourgeois
“Pollyanna is an indie-folk act based in the North of France, singing in English and led by Isabelle Casier. Folky and rocky, surrounded by a fair collection of cool musicians, its Krafty sound makes it reminiscent of Laura Veirs, The Decemberists, PJ Harvey, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young etc., with a hint of Celtic folk. It was once coined as a “Neko Case with a European flair” by the American magazine “Jezebel”. Pollyanna’s music is both rooted in traditional music and indie rock: they love wood and electricity.” – bio