French duo Nouvelle Vague will embark on its first U.S. headlining tour starting this weekend in New York.
French duo Nouvelle Vague will embark on its first U.S. headlining tour starting this weekend in New York. The group is the brainchild of French producers Marc Collins and Olivier Labaux, who present well-known new wave and punk songs ("Love Will Tear Us Apart," "Making Plans for Nigel") to female vocalists who have never heard the originals and then record remakes in a bossa nova pop style.
"Our live sound is very minimal, very simple" Collins tells Billboard.com. "We bring our girls over, and some guitars, and I'm there to put some keyboards and ambient sounds here and there. But we really want people to listen to the lyrics and the vocals -- there's no big arrangement or anything."
For the upcoming tour, the group is visiting mostly rock clubs, which Collins says is Nouvelle Vague's preference. "We started out playing clubs in France, Germany and the U.K. -- mostly jazz clubs, but we've played big festivals too," he says. "And we've played some dance clubs too, but that's weird, because it's not a project to dance to. It is just to listen to."
Meanwhile, the follow-up to Nouvelle Vague's 2005 self-titled Luaka Bop debut, which peaked at No. 9 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums chart, has already been completed. "At the beginning it was impossible to only do the album -- we had to fill 40 minutes, so we added some Devo and Buzzcocks [covers]," Collins says of the set, which evolved out of the live show. "And now we have to fill an hour to an hour-and-a-half, so we were forced to get new songs together."
"We think that we touched something with Nouvelle Vague, especially with a younger, female audience, who might not have ever heard the original pieces," he continues. "We decided to do something different this time -- we stuck with the same period, because there were a lot of fabulous songs we forgot the first time. In the wake of the first album, we've added several new singers, [so] it has more of a Caribbean and reggae sound to it. I also think this is better produced."
At this point, the new album is untitled. After the U.S. tour, Nouvelle Vague plans to rest and wait for its release.
Here are Nouvelle Vague's tour dates:
Sept. 10: New York (Joe's Pub)
Sept. 11: Philadelphia (World Live Cafe)
Sept. 12: Boston (Paradise)
Sept. 13: New York (Joe's Pub)
Sept. 14: New York (Canal Room)
Sept. 17: Chicago (Schuba's)
Sept. 18: Chicago (Hot House)
Sept. 20: Seattle (Chop Suey)
Sept. 22: Portland (Holocene)
Sept. 24: San Francisco (Bimbo's 365)
Sept. 25: Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl)
Sept. 27: San Diego (Casbah)