sun 21/04/2024

CD: Le Prince Miiaou – Where is the Queen? | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Le Prince Miiaou – Where is the Queen?

CD: Le Prince Miiaou – Where is the Queen?

A unique French voice homes in on the contrast between anxiety and security

Le Prince Miiaou's 'Where is the Queen?': inhabiting its own space

Where is the Queen? doesn’t hide where it’s coming from. Drawing so gracefully from disparate strains of Nineties rock while augmenting them with a literate sensibility, it immediately sets itself up as an album which stands apart.

The soft-loud dynamic which The Pixies pretty much invented – probably heard most widely on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – is here. So is the rave-rock rhythmic collision heard when My Bloody Valentine began venturing inwards immediately before their lengthy hiatus. “Country Bliss” confesses “I can’t remember what my butt looks like in a dress, I’ve built a nest in my grandpa’s knitted sweater-vest….I’m too scared to have children.” Although a pop album, Where is the Queen? is a dark, textured journey through a world where the contrasts between light and shade, domestic security and urban anxiety are sharply in focus.

Le Prince Miiaou is Maud-Élisa Mandeau. The alter ego was randomly plucked from a book of book of Persian legends. Inspired by a stay in New York City, Where is the Queen? is her fourth album. It was written and recorded in rural Charente, in south-west France. Although the disc is produced by Mandeau, Antoine Gaillet, a ubiquitous French engineer-producer who has worked with Mademoiselle K, M83, Yeti Lane and Zombie Zombie, is a collaborator.

Like Yeti Lane, but in a completely different way, Le Prince Miiaou has nothing to do with what preoccupies many of Frances’s indie-poppers. There are no nods to Phoenix or M83. No François & the Atlas Mountains-style sweetness. With Manchester’s Pins or Sweden’s I Break Horses as cousins, Mandeau might have a hard log to roll in her own country but the compelling Where is the Queen? inhabits its own space.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Overleaf: watch the video for “JFK” from Le Prince Miiaou’s Where is the Queen?


Watch the video for “JFK” from Le Prince Miiaou’s Where is the Queen?

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