by Darren Clarke, January 20, 2022
“Then I decided to throw myself in the water! And then, what was not my surprise! I was struck by the timeless universe of Mademoiselle K!!!”
A. Pujol, Amazon Review (Amazon French to English translation)
Let’s start here- From the past five years of doing deep dives into music from across a wide variety of decades and destinations, Mademoiselle K is my favourite discovery.
First, there’s a sense of electric daring and mischief to their music. Second, there’s that genuine, original, enigmatic, charisma that defines the most magnetic of entertainers from James Brown to Joe Strummer to Prince. Finally, and as Gang Starr has suggested, mostly, it’s tha’ voice. More than just capable of languid ebbs and thrilling crescendos, of primal punk urgency and complex flights of fancy, Katerine Gierak also serves up sudden left turns that you never saw coming, took a second to get but are never going to forget. Yeah, Mademoiselle K is potent, powerful and precocious.
I’m going to supply you with Spotify and iTunes playlists of Mademoiselle K’s music in a moment but let’s start with a live video. Check it out. If you like it, stick around. If you don’t, move on (and really- don’t come back buddy… there’s no point in revisiting this blog if we can’t agree on Mademoiselle K).
The only issue with Mademoiselle K for the purposes of doing this blog post on their work is most all the interviews are in a language that, though I was educated in it through Grade Nine, I can’t read. As I would tell folks the summer I made the odd choice of living in Montreal, Quebec, “French is too beautiful of a language for a schmuck like me to be able to learn.”
Which leaves me with the generic Wikipedia profile containing a brief synopsis of the Paris band lead by Katerine Gierak. And you know what? I love Wikipedia. I love the fact Wikipedia exists as kind of a readily accessible POINT A for information of any and all types. In fact, I urge you to check out Mademoiselle K on Wiki when you get a chance. I found something better though for the purposes of the blog- Amazon reviews of her outstanding Ca Me Vexe album. Reviews written in French and translated to English via Amazon’s, “Translate Review to English,” button.
Will this exercise provide us with much insight into Mademoiselle K? No. No, it won’t. But we have videos and a playlist for that. I’m sharing the reviews purely because they made me laugh and because I think their whimsy reminds us of the fact that the impact of music is always much larger than conventional language and logic can convey. A great song is much more than the sum of its’ parts- its words and chords, it’s notes and beats. It doesn’t matter if you know the lyrics of a song like Jalouse, the emotional impact of the offering is in no way lessened by being in a foreign language, in some ways, it may make it even more profound. Or as Virginie said in her five-star Amazon review-
Just press play.