You might know French electro-pop trio Yelle for notorious reasons: frontwoman Yelle (born Juliet Budet) hit it big rapping about tiny male members in “Je Veux Te Voir” (“I Want To See You”). But the cheeky gamine has range — she sang demurely in the electro-pop version of ‘80s classic “A Cause d’un Garcon” (“Because Of A Boy”). And she even spoofed hip hop in “Parle a la Main” (“Talk To The Hand”), with Fatal Bazooka — a track that topped the charts in France and Belgium.
Since forming in 2005, Budet, drummer GrandMarnier (Jean-François Perrier) and keyboardist Tepr (Tanguy Destable) have built a carefree image and attitude around their music–exuberantly expressed in their name (derived from an acronym for “you enjoy life”), mallrat outfits, and the Day-Glo stylings of their music videos. “When we began to work on music in 2005, we were like, ‘Happy, happiness, fun!’” Yelle explains . The band’s 2005 debut Pop-Up became a calling card of unabashed joy and cheekiness, attracting a following for their music beyond the French-speaking world.
Six years later, Yelle has set their sights on evolving musically as they enter further into adulthood. The band’s 2011 follow up, Safari Disco Club, doesn’t betray the joyful spirit of Pop-Up. This time, they make room for tonal moodiness and tribal beats in the high-gloss club tracks, and deeper, darker themes join the girl-meets-boy lyrics.
Photo by MTV Iggy