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Victoria | Joueuse

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Pop: French Pop Pop: 60's Pop Moods: Mood: Fun
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by Victoria

1960s style girl group 'ye-ye' fun pop record; infectious hooks with French lyrics
Genre: Pop: French Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. C'est un tombeur
2:55 $0.99
2. Feuilles d'automne
3:01 $0.99
3. Papillon
2:32 $0.99
4. Neuf vies
3:04 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Victoria -- just one name in the great tradition of Dalida, Nico and Cher -- is a lovely paradox. She’s very much a 21st century woman of science but has been called upon to reinvigorate the mid-1960s Yé-Yé movement that was, it can be argued, the purest expression of disposable pop ever conceived. While far too young to have personally experienced Yé-Yé in its heyday, she’s long had an affinity for the music of some of its most notable practitioners including France Gall and Françoise Hardy, among others. But again, a career in pop music was never her focus until quite recently.

She studied environmental science and geography as an undergrad at L’Université de Bordeaux, (her hometown) and was an exchange student at UCLA. Thereafter, she pursued her interest in ecology at L’Université de Toulouse where she earned her PhD. She now divides her time between her native France and Southern California where she works at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. At JPL she uses satellite images to study issues related to vegetation and deforestation, serious concerns and clearly not fodder for pop songs.

Last year, an American JPL colleague who had lived in France asked her if she could help her friend songwriter/producer Andy Paley (The Paley Brothers, Brian Wilson, Madonna, Ramones, Jonathan Richman, Debbie Harry) complete lyrics for some Yé-Yé inspired songs he was hoping to record. He needed a colloquial French speaker with a pop sensibility and Victoria seemed to fill the bill most perfectly. What was unexpected is the fact that she was able to sing the songs on which they had collaborated after Andy asked her to see if she might be able to perform on demos. “Can you sing?” he asked. “I can try” was her honest response. She had never thought of herself as a vocalist though as a youngster she sang along with records “but not more than other kids.”

As evidenced by her performances of the songs on the resulting Joueuse EP, the correct answer should have been “Mais oui! Certainement!” She can’t explain it other than to suggest, “It just happened!” Now handling her dual roles as scientist and pop singer, she reconciles the two pursuits, noting, "I love the fact that both music and science allow you to explore new ideas. Music rules and scientific methods are frameworks that help you guide and express your creativity.”

Victoria recently gave us a “tour” of the songs she and Andy wrote for Joueuse (which translates roughly to “Player,” female version)

“C'est un tombeur” – (“He’s a stud”) “It’s about a guy who thinks he’s cool, a player, but the girl sees through his artifice.”

“Feuilles d'automne” – (“Autumn leaves”) “The song is about lost love. She’s wondering if he’ll come back.” We think he will.

“Neuf vies” – (“Nine lives”) “It’s something of a warning and sounds a cautionary note; you don’t want to use them all up!”

“Papillon” – (“Butterfly”) “It’s about the fact that life is short and you should make the most of the here and now.

There’s some heavy paradox at play here. She’s a French scientist, working in the U.S. where she was recruited to write and sing French pop songs in her native language. Only in America, n’est-ce pas?

Album cover designed by Elizabeth Stroll
Photos by Jessica Chou



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Vive Viva Victoria!
Victoria and producer Andy Paley (The Paley Brothers, Madonna, Brian Wilson's Love and Mercy) have done the impossible. They've replicated the '60s spirit of the French pop Yé-Yé movement and brought it up to date. You don't need to be a French speaker to enjoy this pure pop with a Gallic twist. Highly recommended/hautement recommandé.


Love these songs
Tres cool!


Congrats to Victoria and to Andy Paley!!
I love this music! Congrats to a great new artist and to her producer, Andy Paley (totally hear all the artists he's worked with: Papillon and Feuilles have shades of the Beach Boys - C'est un Tromberu et Neuf vies the Shagri-Las, too!!. This album has the French pop cool but also reminds me so much of Brazil 66. Altogether awesome!