David Bowie, Portishead
Intimate, mutant pop
" Bittersweet songs from a French outsider "
Admittedly, “Cancer” is not the most appealing title for a single. It would be a shame not to listen to it, though. Set your fears aside and you’ll discover a delicate, melancholic song with elegant rhythms, in the vein of Portishead or Cigarettes After Sex. “Cancer” is the first single off San Carol’s new album, Houdini, which will be released in October 2018. The song reflects the general mood of this third album: introspective, bittersweet, synth-infused… As you may have guessed from the title Houdini, escapism is a major theme in these electro-pop pieces.
Operating under the moniker of San Carol, Maxime Dobosz has already released two albums, La Main Invisible (2013) and Humain Trop Humain (2015), showing his love for rock, krautrock, electronic music, and experimental sounds. At the same time, this busy man kept several other activities: writing about music, working for the French social security administration, collaborating with other artists… He started recording Houdini in late 2016, when he came back home after a series of shows in Texas. He wrote all the songs, but San Carol is more of a team than a one-man-band. These days, the musicians playing with him include Stw, Nerlov (VedeTT) and Raphaël d’Hervez (Minitel Rose, Pégase…) who produced and mixed Houdini in Nantes, at La Maison du Futur studios (or “the house of the future”, a fitting description of the resulting music). On the brilliant “Turn to Dust”, Maxime sings “I’m running out of time” — a heartbreaking chorus turning anxiety to sheer beauty, like many of San Carol’s songs.