MTV may have shifted from music videos to reality TV, but in all honesty, it still has some pretty rad music premiering in those 30 seconds at the end of each show, and a few years back, some pop, synth sounds and French lyrics started blaring out of TV speakers across America. About the only thing any of us understood were the words fixated on the screen: “Artist: Yelle." There it was... the inception of Yelle’s popularity stateside. A band that sings exclusively in French had broken through our TV sets and onto our MP3 players.
In 2000, Julie Budet and Jean-Francois Perrier transformed from French citizens to international music-makers and booty-shakers, releasing their first '80s-influenced recording in 2005 under the artist name Yelle. Years later, we pose the question: Can artists that are up against lingual barriers transcend cultures and be celebrated just for their sound? Really, it comes down to the age old question of which gets us groovin’ more– the lyrics or the music?
Last night, Yelle took to the stage at The Wiltern in Los Angeles and put our aforementioned questions to the test. Lights, drums, synth machine– so far, so good. Then, frontwoman Julie Budet scooted to center stage in a shaggy get up that resembled a green version of Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster. This was better than good. This was definitely some cultural transcendental artistry. Before the foreign words even left her mouth, Julie had her American audience captivated. The rest of the night followed in suit. With the seemingly romantic-sounding, French lyrics “T’en as marre, j’en ai marre”” echoing through the heavy air, no one seemed concerned that they didn’t know she was actually re-living a break up of sorts, saying “You are rid of it, I’m rid of it”.
And so what did we learn? That maybe flipping your post modern haircut 'round and 'round means the same thing in the States that it does in France. All in all, music melds us together.
Still think you need to understand the lyrics of a song to properly bop along? Find out for yourself! The Wiltern gig was the kick off to Yelle’s Fall Tour to promote their latest album drop, Safari Disco Club Remixes. Check out their upcoming show dates below and start yelling for Yelle.
Yelle US Tour Dates:
11/14: Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern
11/12: San Francisco, CA @ Mezzanine
12/02: Miami, FL @ Fillmore
12/03: Orlando, FL @ Social
12/04: Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
12/05: Atlanta, GA @ Loft
12/07: Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
12/08: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
12/09: Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall
12/10: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer