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Death Trax is a new mixtape series where people (somewhat obviously) curate music for their own funerals. This week Champagne Superchillin share their playlist and a short poem.
There are two things you should know before we go any further. I don't speak a word of French and it took me far too long to listen to Champagne Superchillin' based entirely on their name. Those two factors aside, the Brooklyn art-pop band's sophomore album is stunning, an album that's heavily repeatable and hazily intricate. The story goes that French expat Juliette Buchs would get homesick and would resolve that by performing French pop karaoke for her friends. Her incredible voice struck in chord with pals Ben Trimble (Fly Golden Eagle) and Charles Garmendia (Clear Plastic Masks) and Champagne Superchillin's retro futurism sound began to take shape. Taking notes from Françoise Hardy, Serge Gainsbourg, the yé-yé movement, and Broadcast, the band's music is soft and ethereal but heavy with nuance, texture... and well, vibes, sweet sweet vibes.
Beach Deep, the band's sophomore album is a genuine work of art. Due out on Friday, July 20th via Broken Circles and Soft Junk, their experimental French pop sound swirls with touches of retro perfection, warped psych, sweeping touches of R&B charm, and gentle electronics, executed with a steady grace. The layers are delicately packed and percolating at all times. There's the brief dream pop bliss that comes from the guitar solo in "DJ Scott," the menacing low end beauty of "Armée Du Salut," the hauntingly sparse slow burn b/w acoustic motorik boogie of "Rosa Canina," and the shimmering surf groove of the album's title track "Beach Deep." It's always adapting, taking new shape, but remaining intrinsically cohesive, a vision of art-pop at its very best.
Without speaking the language, the music, melodies, and Buchs' gorgeous vocal presence speak their own sentiments, offering an exploratory freedom and beauty that can be appreciated by all.
words / dan goldin
Between waking and sleeping is a spectrum. The spectrum of the Rose. "Beach Deep" is the 2nd album offering from the spectacular Champagne Superchillin. Check it out. You're invited!!!! Via Soft Junk and Broken Circles
Taken from the band's upcoming second album, Beach Deep, "DJ Scott" is a wholly immersive experience that encourages you to fully indulge in Champagne Superchillin's unique world.
Clocking in at over five minutes, "DJ Scott" is like a delightful deep-dive into a new underworld adventure, where glimmering motifs wind in perpetual motion, whilst aquatic basslines intensify the surreal feeling of sinking ever deeper into this soft world of delicate sounds. Yet, this is all underpinned by an undeniable dance-pop groove that keeps the song pulsating onwards with breezy ease
Lead singer Juliette Buchs' voice is understated but embodies the power of the French chanteuses of the past, bringing with her a special unique magic that makes her nothing short of a magnetising figure.
Beach Deep was recorded across France, Nashville and the Rockaways in Queens, and the influences of these respective locations definitely carries through to the end piece, blending together to create something quite spellbinding.
words / amelia maher
Release show for Beach Deep will be July 20th at Our Wicked Lady.
LAS ROSAS W/ CHAMPAGNE SUPERCHILLIN'
We are pleased to announce the return of Simon Joyner to our fair city of Nashville this summer. Performing with locals Hotel Ten Eyes & Cherry Blossoms
When the French expat Juliette Buchs was homesick for her country, she'd sing French-pop songs to her friends karaoke-style, with a few bottles of wine, as is custom. In the increasingly diverse Nashville scene, some of those friends (Fly Golden Eagle's Ben Trimble and Clear Plastic Masks drummer Charles Garmendia) were convinced to start a band — not a throwback to classic country or Americana, but something more chic, from across the Atlantic.
Now based in Brooklyn, Champagne Superchillin' is getting ready to release its second album in as many years, Beach Deep. It still mines the yé-yé and New Wave of yesteryear, with nods to Françoise Hardy and Serge Gainsbourg, but Champagne Superchillin' has now been dipped in bombastic surf riffs, haunting electronics and a syrup-thick production that coats it all in a psychedelic glaze. It's intoxicating pop music for the dark corners of the dance hall.
Beach Deep comes out July 20 via Soft Junk / Broken Circles.
words / lars gotrich
Never has the judging a book by its cover expression felt more pertinent than in the case of Champagne Superchillin, the NYC-via-France psych pop band who actually make decidedly refined yet wonderfully soulful pop music, despite whatever springs to mind while reading that band name. Streaming below from today, we’re very pleased to unveil their brand new video, which is proof of the band’s decadent charm, ahead of their forthcoming show at Baby’s All Right in NYC on November 5th.
The video to latest track ‘Fragment’ is suitably erratic too, flipping between high-brow aesthetics and nostalgia-laced chic, but it acts as the perfect accompanying piece for a track that is immediately endearing; the kind of sparkling French pop we associate much more with days of yesteryear – which is just about the highest praise we can bestow upon it.
words / tom johnson
Champagne Superchillin' craft raw, psychedelic French pop for fans of Francoise Hardy, Broadcast, and heavy absinthe. That vibe-checking ain’t to suggest that these Nashvillians don’t have their own personality. They do. “Fragment” arrives replete with crushed velvet curtains, thick, thick smoke, and a mod-friendly groove. Another reminder that the Music City ain’t all country. Here’s hoping for a vinyl release of their debut, Destino!.
words / j steele
photo / alexandra peace
Positioned in the back of the speakeasy was Champagne Superchillin,’ a fairly new trio, hot on the heels of a move from Nashville to New York City. The lead, Juliette Buchs, is not a Nashville native and it seems overtly obvious that she isn’t upon a first glimpse of her. She’s tiny, with dark bangs framing her incredibly angelic face. Her style alludes to that of another continent, but clearly that’s due to her being born and raised in France. Buchs' decision to move to the States came once she met her American, musician husband, who was based in Nashville at the time. In Nashville, Buchs was introduced to her bandmates Ben Trimble (keys/guitar) and Charles Garmendia (drums) and the trio decided to take the plunge and move to the concrete jungle of New York City together.
Buchs sings in her native language which adds elements of sexuality and mystery to the music, even if her musicianship is still juvenile. The band acts as the glue that binds all of the elements together. They meld psychedelic tones with sixties era French pop to create a bubbly back drop against Buchs soothing vocals.
words / alexandra graber
Listen to Champagne Superchillin' and let the bubbles take control.
The recently NYC-based band (by way of Nashville) is giving ’60s French pop a contemporary twist. Lead singer, Juliette Schultz, sings in her native French tongue, while the band adds futuristic melodies and experiments with synth and keys.
Their debut album Destino will be out Sept. 24th via Soft Junk Records, but in the meantime they’re sharing “Mon Loup,” a track from the upcoming album. Recorded in the famous Electric Lady Studio, the song leaves you babbling for more. It’s slow and eerie, as if you’re in a drunken haze, forcing you to sway back and forth. Yet, it’s also sweet and enchanting, as if part of a dream.
The music video is no exception. Filmed on the set of ’80s public access show Eternity Now and edited live, it pays homage to the kind of home videos we’re all used to watching on our VHS player. The slightly blurry images layered over gritty colors takes you down a strange psychedelic lane.
words / elena childers
Local psych-poppers introduce themselves via far-out vineyard 'commercial'
Watch the above video and you may have some questions. Who is Champagne SuperChillin? Do they really make wine? Am I looking at some sort of long-lost Alejandro Jodorowsky project?
The answers to those questions, respectively, are: a relatively new Nashvillian rock 'n' roll act, not really, and no (although it definitely looks like it). Featuring Fly Golden Eagle frontman Ben Trimble, Clear Plastic Masks drummer Charles Garmendia and frontwoman Juliette Shultz, Champagne SuperChillin — a band that, according to Do512, has a name that "even Kid Rock would dismiss for being too tacky" — released the above video as a commercial of sorts for the band's debut record Destino, out this summer via Soft Junk. Featuring Destino track "Instant Destino," the video introduces the trio as a family of vintners, with French ex-pat Shultz speaking in her native tongue.
It's a trip indeed, and a solid intro for a record that will likely go over well with fans of the members' other groove-laden, blues- and funk-infused rock 'n' roll projects. (Keep an eye on the band's Bandcamp page for preview tastes.) Think Australian psych act Pond crossed with '60s French pop icon Francoise Hardy. If you're SXSW-bound, catch Champagne SuperChillin this weekend in Austin.
words / d. patrick rodgers
Here’s a neo-psychedelic bash from a Brooklyn-transplanted-to-Nashville band that’s equally raucous and self-conscious, confronting mortality, media and general pandemonium all at once. It’s from the provocatively titled album “Nazi Hologram.” The verses pound one chord into fuzz-toned drone ecstasy; the bridges jump around but come back to that drone. “As I lay there dying/She cruised up to me/she had something she was hiding/It looked sinister and green/She stuck it in me/she stuck it in me!” Then the drums crash harder and Andrew Katz sings, “Turn on your TV sets!”