The Parisian producer-singer has done his 80s homework
Name: Yan Wagner
Where he’s from: Paris, France
Genre: Louche Neo-Eighties
Most Like: New Order, the Drive soundtrack
Sounds like: If Serge Gainsbourg had been born in 1990 and collected a lot of Detroit techno and eighties New Wave.
I know I’m always going on about how every song I write about is a summer anthem, but really, this one is. Even if it’s kind of loungey and more than a little dark — a pop song dipped in early Joy Division — “48 Hours” makes me want to start a June drink-a-thon, al fresco. Yan Wagner, a young producer coming out of Paris, is a lover, nay, a disciple, of New Order and the Happy Mondays. And his rich baritone completes the eighties picture, in that sweet spot between Ian Curtis and Rick Astley.
The Paris native — born in the 18th arrondissement — has been bubbling up for several years. And though he sings almost exclusively in English, his vibe is undeniably French. He was an easy choice for last year’s Kitsune Parisien compilation, along with Birkii and Total Warr, and he’s already opened for fellow countrymen Air.
He’s also got stateside connections — he dropped a vinyl single earlier this year on boutique NYC label Uno, which promised synth goodness to come. Beyond the single, available as an EP on iTunes, his debut full-length is dropping October first. Produced by Arnaud Rebotini of Black Strobe, it promises to be a less New Wave-influenced than “48 Hours.” But not toooo much, we hope. Reliving the Drive soundtrack for the rest of 2012 is kind of a life goal of mine, and I’m loving how Yan is helping me get there.