A unique and wonderful set of songs entitled Paris n’existe pas by Son Parapluie (Translation: Paris Does not Exist by My Umbrella) just came out through a partnership between French label Europop 2000 and American cohort 80 Proof Records. This project, a reverie of a classic era in French music featuring a fascinating, unexpected combination of performers, has been initially released on digital and limited-edition CD with a crowdfunded vinyl version. A unique NFT single with exclusive art and music will also be released.
Son Parapluie originates with Jérôme Didelot of the band Orwell, who has released a string of artful pop albums over the past two decades including 2020’s Parcelle brillante. Didelot wrote these new songs to evoke the late the 60’s Paris of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. Isobel Campbell (Belle & Sebastian, Mark Lanegan duet albums) leads the sterling cast as featured guest vocalist. Jah Wobble (PiL, Invaders of the Heart), Martin Carr (The Boo Radleys, Brave Captain), and noted French engineer/producer Yann Arnaud also appear providing remixes of songs from the project. Japanese singer Sugar Me rounds out the performer list singing on an alternate version of one of the songs.
Famed French artist Charles Berberian (known for his comic books, multiple movie posters and magazine covers including The New Yorker) created original artwork for the album cover, as well as second unique piece that will be available only via an NFT single.
The lead song and title track, an aching masterpiece of gentle French pop, explores Paris as metaphor. A place steeped in dreams and fantasies that are unattainable for all but a very few. Does this Paris exist? Peut-être. Peut-être pas.