The thought of listening to an entire album (or three) of covers may not be very appealing, but Nouvelle Vague put an original spin on some classics as well as lesser known music by artists such as Blondie, The Clash, Peggy Lee and Depeche Mode. Nouvelle Vague is the brainchild of French musicians Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux who metamorphose British New Wave into Bossa Nova genius.
Recording a cover – let alone multiple albums of covers – can pose several complications, the least of which is sounding unoriginal and severely unimaginative. Nouvelle Vague escape that pitfall by utilising a strategy that works wonderfully – female vocalists who have never heard the original songs, thereby ensuring that they bring their own personality to each ‘new’ tune.
My personal favourite song is Ever Fall In Love from their 2006 album Bande à Part, which is a cover of a 1978 Buzzcocks song. Visit their website to hear some songs from their first two albums, or watch a live performance at KCRW.