France’s Papooz today release a new single and video, ‘The Garden’, their first release since their debut U.S. tour earlier this year saw them play to sold-out venues, just ahead of the global C-19 lockdown. Last year Parisians Ulysse Cottin and Armand Penicaut released their second album as Papooz, ‘Night Sketches’ (produced by Adrien Durand of Bon Voyage Organisation), which drew them widespread critics’ tips and airplay at 6Music, alongside a sold-out London headline. The video & audio for ‘The Garden’ are now available to stream from here.
The DIY video which accompanies languid new track ‘The Garden’ – mixed by Ash Workman (Metronomy, Christine and the Queens) shows Ulysse and Armand have lost none of their draw towards irreverent, oddball skits (the surreal, Soko-directed video for their breakout hit ‘Ann Wants To Dance’ has clocked over 8 million views and counting). Upending the story of Adam & Eve’s fall from grace, ‘The Garden’ imagines an alternate scenario in which it is Adam’s greed, not Eve’s, which is their undoing. Taking tongue-in-cheek cues from both Renaissance biblical paintings and peak-era MTV, the video was shot in South-West France during lockdown, just 3 days after the track was recorded. Speaking about the video – which stars his girlfriend Klara Kristin and is directed by Armand’s partner, illustrator/film-maker Victoria Lafaurie – Ulysse notes; “We shot the video in the garden of the studios where we recorded the track – it was just after confinement in France began, so everything was closed. We asked the local farmer to make a few ‘pommes d’amour’ (apples dipped in red caramel) and we bought a few rolls of fishing lines and drapes for the band. Victoria shot it on an old DV camera she had – we used backlights, tricks and zooms”.
Armand & Ulysse were originally thrown together as teenagers during boozy gatherings of literary obsessives in Paris. Regularly bunking off from Literature studies at the Sorbonne, Penicault would meet up with Cottin at the city’s Luxembourg Gardens. Early and altogether more earnest aspirations – made whilst outrunning the garden’s guards in a haze of weed smoke – to create a political zine together were soon ditched in favour of finessing the demoes the pair had instead begun writing. Early iterations of their warped, bossa nova-informed pop fed off of a shared affinity for bedfellows as unpredictable as the Beach Boys & Ella Fitzgerald, to The White Stripes & Karen Dalton.