The LP drops Sept. 30 via Luke's Kemosabe imprint
Just about any pop act in America would be dying to work with Lukasz Gottwald -- aka Dr. Luke -- the producer behind some of the biggest hits from Katy Perry, Kesha and others. But when Dr. Luke reached out to the French synthpop trio Yelle, their first impression? No big deal.
"We didn't know who he was," frontwoman Julie Budet admits. "In France, nobody knows the name Dr. Luke because nobody cares who is making the music. They are more into the artist, but not into the producer."
Along with that producer (whose superstar status they'd discover soon enough) Yelle completed their latest album -- "Complètement Fou," due Sept. 30 via Gottwald's Kemosabe imprint.
Dr. Luke discovered Yelle when they remixed one of his biggest smashes, Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold."
"He came to one of our shows in L.A. in 2010," says Budet. "Then we started to send e-mails to each other. One day we Googled his name and we realized, 'Okay, Dr. Luke is huge.'"
Check out the lyric video for Yelle's new single, "Bouquet Final":
So when Luke offered to sign Yelle to his Kemosabe Records imprint for their new studio album, the decision was a no-brainer. Having opened for a string of dates on Katy Perry's California Dreams tour, the trio was already acquainted with the wonders of Dr. Luke's mass appeal pop. After completing a song remotely, the producer was impressed enough to invite Yelle out to Los Angeles for a studio session.
"We never did writing sessions, meeting someone for 15 minutes and creating something together," says Yelle's GrandMariner (real name, Jean-François Perrier), noting the band previously wrote and recorded on its own in Brittany, France. Working with Dr. Luke pushed Yelle to write music around chords and melody, rather than beats.
Here is the album art from "Complètement Fou":
"Melody is everything for Luke," GrandMariner says. "I played the songs to a friend the other day and he was like, 'That's Yelle, but bigger'"
Language has anyways been a point of interest with their western fanbase, as Budet feels most comfortable writing lyrics in French.
To assist with translations this time around, the trio tossed out some lyrical themes for the upcoming album. There's "Moteur Action," a song about letting loose after the work week that takes its name from a command commonly used by French film directors. The title track (French for "completely crazy") tells the story of the album and Yelle's popularity in America. "Florence En Italie," unsurprisingly inspired by Florence, Italy, discusses Stendhal syndrome, a feeling of disorientation when overwhelmed by extreme beauty, linked to Florence's Renaissance frescoes.
Cliffnoted or not, Yelle love using music as a crash course in their native tongue. "We had a French teacher in Milwaukee reach out to us to come to school and talk to the class," Budet remembers. "It was really fun to meet all the young people; they were all trying to prove their French. I receive lots of messages -- people are telling me they are learning French because of our music, which is crazy."
Here is the complete tracklisting from Yelle's new album:
1. Complètement Fou
3. Coca Sans Bulles
4. Les Soupirs Et Les Refrains
5. Nuit De Baise I
7. Moteur Action
8. Florence En Italie
9. Un Jour Viendra
10. Nuit De Baise II
11. Jeune Fille Garnement
12. Dire Qu'on Va Tous Mourir
13. Bouquet Final
And here are Yelle's upcoming tour dates:
Oct. 9: Boston, MA (Paradise Rock Club)
Oct. 10: New York, NY (Irving Plaza)
Oct. 11: Washington D.C. (9:30 Club)
Oct. 12: Philadelphia, PA (Union Transfer)
Oct. 14: Montreal, Quebec (Corona Theatre)
Oct. 15: Toronto, Ontario (Virgin Mobile Mod Club)
Oct. 17: Cleveland Heights, OH (Grog Shop)
Oct. 18: Chicago, IL (Bottom Lounge)
Oct. 19: Madison, WI (Majestic Theatre)
Oct. 21: Englewood, CO (Gothic Theatre)
Oct. 22: Salt Lake City, UT (Urban Lounge)
Oct. 24: Seattle, WA (Neumo's)
Oct. 25: Vancouver, British Columbia (Fortune Sound Club)
Oct. 26: Portland, OR (Wonder Ballroom)
Oct. 29: Santa Cruz, CA (Rio Theatre)
Oct. 30: San Francisco, CA (Regency Ballroom)
Oct. 31: Los Angeles, CA (The Fonda)
Nov. 2: Solana Beach, CA (Belly Up Tavern)
Nov. 3: Phoenix, AZ (The Crescent Ballroom)
Nov. 7: Austin, TX (Fun Fun Fun Fest)
Nov. 8: Dallas, TX (House of Blues)
Nov. 10: Atlanta, GA (The Loft)
Nov. 11: Carrboro, NC (Cat's Cradle)