Popkomm has ended
avatar for FORTUNE (FRANCE)


At the End of 2007, Fortune released their first Ep, an intense delivery of four Synth Pop-Rock bangers brightly crafted to simultaneously create uproar in the crowd as well as stir the emotions inside you. Needless to say the album to come was eagerly anticipated.

Miles away from his former Electro Hip-Hop duet Abstrackt Keal Agram that saw him pairing with Tepr (Yelle), Lionel Pierres now writes Pop songs in English destined for Fortune. In turn, as the musicians in the band get to add their creative input, the tracks then start to sound like new-wave hits, just highlighted with more contrasts. Indeed, the melodies flow easily against an often darker groove, requiring some time to tame this unusual antagonism when first introduced to “Staring at the Ice Melt”. Another significant feature of this album is the permanent balance between writing and productions, acoustic, electric and electronic sounds, conscious or unconscious references.

As for the influences, whereas most bands now labelled as ‘post-punk’ are clearly heir to one or more mythical acts (take your pick from Joy Division, Talking Heads, Gang of Four, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Human League, New Order etc), Fortune goes against the flow : if you can spot, here and there, a few familiar sounds from those artists in the band’s music, the references put forward by the front man range from 60s Pop Rock bands such as the Zombies, The Troggs or Love, to basic Disco for its rhythm, or even the “King of Pop” himself Michael Jackson. Grandaddy, Doppler Effekt, Lo-Fi-Fnk and Vampire Weekend are quoted amongst the more recent bands having come to light in the last decade. Also The Cars, a band not often brought up despite their 1982 hit “Since you’re gone”, feature here through an astounding and memorable cover. A somewhat interesting choice since The Cars (far from being the main influence) and Fortune have a lot in common, starting with the song writing itself. Moreover they create a particular blend of pop, art rock and synthesizers, a little in the style of the initiator of that sound, Roxy Music.

However the chemistry could not have stuck together had it not been for an overwhelming production effort. Pierrick Devin, also regarded as the band’s fifth member, was given this task, as he had been before by Adam Kesher, Alex Gopher, Cassius or even Cut Copy. His involvement also extended beyond producing, since he also wrote the music for the light-hearted interlude “Cars” and co-wrote the very romantic “Venus”. The mixing, vital to find the adequate balance of elements described above, was put in the trusted hands of Stéphane “Alf” Briat, also producer and mixer for such artists as Phoenix (“United”), Air (“Premiers symptoms”, “Moon Safari”, “The Virgin Suicides”), Sebastien Tellier (“Sessions”) etc. Finally, three additional artists also contributed to the album’s musical richness: Arnaud Roulin from Poni Hoax (bass guitar and clavinet), Jean Thévenin (percussions, who also played with Soko, Toyfight, Hopper, Tahiti Bob & The Palmtree Family) and Melody Prochet (aka My Bee’s Garden) adding vocal harmonies.

As you will have gathered by now, “Staring at the Ice Melt” is the result of a well rounded-off effort, with various contrasts evolving around writing and production. Enough to spike your curiosity to see the band convert this into a live performance; an attempt that should be rewarding since all four musicians have proven their worth in the past, whether with Fortune or with their previous tryouts.

My Artists Sessions

Thursday, September 8

7:00pm CEST