Parisian pop genius Sébastien Tellier took one of his famous leaps into the unknown with the release of his recent single ‘A Ballet’. Sonically it was full of the character you’d hope for him to deliver – dreamy French electronica, classic pop songwriting and yacht rock-style sax. Thematically, however, it played with the unlikely parallels between music and the never-ending routine of domestic life. As he questions, “Maybe the key to happiness is there, hidden under a dirty laundry basket?” It’s a topic that Tellier delves further into with his sixth studio album ‘Domesticated’.
He’d once been carefree and single, but then came love, marriage and children. And then one day he found himself alone at home, entranced by a toaster. A machine designed to make bread hot suddenly became Tellier’s unexpected muse for an airy adventure full of eclecticism and eccentricism. The album is an electronica album that buzzes with humanity, his most melodically refined work to date and a joyous Franco-pop fantasia. Tellier picks ‘Stuck In Summer Love’ as a personal favourite (“It was always my wish to make a song like it, but I never found a way”). ‘Venezia’ is another immediate standout, as it demands attention for its boisterous ‘80s beats, swirling vocal harmonies and muscular funk. The luminous ‘Atomic Smile’ is radically different. “It talks about destruction and revolution but in a soft way,” says Tellier, “which is key to my personality. I want destruction and revolution but without anyone to be hurt.”
The album reaches its denouement with ‘Won’, produced by Jam City and nit, which finds Tellier embracing the domesticity that would’ve been an alien concept to him as a teenager. “I know the names of household products at the supermarket, and I asked for a Dyson hoover for Christmas. In the end, there’s something comforting in all of this, because all the endeavour makes you happy too, it’s not all tough. I have never been as happy as I am now that I’m domesticated. That primitive being who lived inside me as a teenager has fled and it’s better that way.”
1. A Ballet
2. Stuck in a Summer Love
4. Domestic Tasks
6. Atomic Smile
7. Hazy Feelings