Le SuperHomard is Christophe Vaillant (guitars and keyboard), Pandora Burgess (vocals) and Olivier Vaillant (drums and bass). A distant cousin of Dorian Pimpernel, Christophe Vaillant also performs with the band Pony Taylor. A five piece band with a taste for 60s beat music, they have been dormant for sometime because of family commitments.
However, Christophe found himself at a loose end and decided to record a solo record which he began in November 2014. To begin with he played and sang all the parts himself but decided to recruit his brother and friend Pandora who sings on half of the songs on the disc. ‘I did everything at home. I record at home ... I even did the mastering at home’, Christophe explains. ‛Benoit Pithon (who also plays keyboard on stage with me) helped me mix and finalize everything. My brother Olivier played drums and Pandora Burgess sang on 4 tracks.’
Now that he had a new band, Christophe decided it needed a name and took inspiration from "Let us not get angry" by Georges Lautner. A very sixties film (1966), with Lino Ventura, Costantin Michel, Jean Lefevre and Mireille Darc. At one point in the film, the characters are in a box and it is called ‘The Great Lobster’ (le super homard).
LeSuperHomard's electronic pop naturally resonates with a classic French pop references including those of spiritual fathers of the electro-pop genre, Stereolab and Medhi Zannad, author of a French pop masterpiece, Fugu 1.
In early 2015, Le SuperHomard signed with Rallye records in Japan, who released the album MapleKey on CD. Mega Dodo then snapped up the rights to issue their album in the UK and EU. It’s also being released on CD and limited edition 10-inch white vinyl early in 2016.
LE SUPERHOMARD. Maple Key. CD (MegaDoDo) A great mix of Pop styles, mixing electronica, Sixties-era French pop, soundtracks, Stereolab, Krautrock… Despite being named after a giant lobster, it has a relaxing, cheerful atmosphere that draws you in and will have you shuffling around your home with a knowing smirk on your face. It’s like Summer has arrived early and you can’t argue with that. Put simply, this is a great Pop record, full of tunes, melodies and smartly understated vocals. There just isn’t a thing to dislike about it !
Thanks to Andy at Fear and Loathingfanzine.com
In 2006 Christophe Vaillant formed the 60s beat music group Pony Taylor in Avignon, France. Then in November 2014 he began work on a solo album by singing all parts and playing all instruments. Once he felt ready to produce the album he recruited his brother Olivier to play drums and his friend Pandora for vocals. Le SuperHomard was born. For those of you who don’t know, "homard" is French for lobster. Their debut album Maple Key is set for release on March 26, 2016. Maple Key consists of eight electronic pop songs, four on each side of the disc. The tracks are also evenly split between instrumentals and songs. Le SuperHomard’s electronic pop is not dance music or techno, it is gentle, easy listening music with French pop references. Some of the songs have a moody dreamy ambience with Pandora’s exquisite vocal harmonies (“Maple Key” and “On a Sofa”). The New Wave band The Young Marble Giants can also be thought of as a point of reference, especially on “Dry Salt in Our Hair.” If you yearn for French electro-pop, be sure to snag one of the 250 copies on white vinyl. Maple Key may just satisfy your craving.
Wow, this is a groovy record of 60s influenced Psychedelic Electronic Pop that fans of Stereolab, Air, High Llamas and early Broadcast really should check out. Already available in Japan on the very cool Rallye records, Maple Key, the debut mini album from Le SuperHomard (French multi-instrumentalist Christophe Vaillant) has been picked up by the good folk at Mega Dodo for release in the UK and Europe. Seeped in classic French pop influences including those of spiritual fathers of the Retro Futurism genre, the aforementioned Stereolab and Medhi Zannad, with a little help from his brother Oliver (drums and bass) and singer Pandora Burgess, Christophe has recorded a fantastic record full of up-beat, melodic pop music that is immediately recognisable but also sonically ambitious.
Although Maple Key is short, coming in just over 20 minutes, the eight tracks here are sweet, sweet stuff indeed. Channelling the “space age bachelor pad” vibe of Stereolab’s most commercial period (around the time of their Emperor Tomato Ketchup album), Le SuperHomard mix bubbling, sophisticated instrumentals which evoke the feel of the early Air EPs with some great retro futuristic pop songs that feature the wonderful voice of Pandora Burgess. The title track is a shimmering, psych tinged pop tune straight from a 1960s imagined future where we all have jet packs and spend holidays on the Moon……check the video here. The rest of the record is in the same vain…….much of the inspiration for this mini album can be heard drifting from the ether with brief snatches of familiar sounds catching the ear before vanishing and although the influences are obvious, Maple Key is so much more than the sum of its parts. If a cocktail party on Mars is your thing, then you are really going to like this record.
Maple Key is due for release on Mega Dodo on March 26th and can be pre-ordered from either the Mega Dodo Bandcamp page at https://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/maple-key or their online shop where it is available as a CD, limited edition (250 copies) 10” white vinyl or a digital download. You can also buy the CD from Rallye records in Japan or if you are one of the 50 or so hipsters that actually own a tape deck/Walkman (an original 1982 TC/WM-D6 Walkman Professional obviously) there will be a limited cassette release on the Greek label Melotron Recordings on 14th February.
This is up there with that rather spiffing Lake Ruth single (see earlier), a forthcoming treasure from the mighty mega dodo imprint due at the end of March wherein when it appears it’ll come adorned on 10 inches of white wax. We’ve momentarily lost the press release so the promised oodles of information might have to wait a little, but this is Le Super Homard and the ‘maple key’, an instantaneous rush to senses all at once showering your listening space in euphoric twinkles, its sunny 60’s lines literally beaming soft psych floral psych effervescences whilst adored in a crystalline craft that’s dreamily hazed in cool seduction, sound wise imagine a trip-a-delic picnic gathering of Broadcast, Remington Super 60, fugu, beautify junkyards, Double Francoise and Free Design types, essential then.
Posted on January 28, 2016 by marklosingtoday at The Sunday Experience
Badly translated from Italian by Google
To want to profess optimism for once a year, it would want to whisper that the French touch is finally back in fashion. Maybe not in the dazzling dresses and hyper-celebrated its heyday in the late nineties and early millennium, perhaps still too embryonic form, episodic to talk about a real movement.
Yet something beyond the Alps is moving, and that is enough to make us yearn for yet another, exciting new wave of French music.
While it is discussing since the length and breadth of the comeback after three decades of lethargy Ludovic Navarre, in the rear of the transalpine scene we witness a renewed ferment that is already producing several, notable fruit still more or less "hidden."
In purely chronological order, and citing only three names mo 'sample, the electro-pop arrembante of La Femme, the sweet and sour rock of Ropoporose and finally here this debut album of The SuperHomard, trio of Avignon led by Christophe Vaillant (guitars and keyboards) and completed by his brother on drums and Olivier from Pandora Burgess voice to frame the whole.
Already it fired last year in Japan by Rallye Records, the debut "Maple Key" is now published in Europe by Mega Dodo on CD format and white vinyl limited edition. Eight equally divided tracks on two sides for a total of a generous twenty minutes: just enough to appreciate the refined electro-pop combo the Provencal, whose sound seems designed to jump on the chair orphans of Stereolab, lovers of Air and - crack avarice - the followers of Jacco Gardner, who also opened several dates.
Far from the disc recalls what the mainstream ambitions, The SuperHomard settling in a retro-futuristic limbo within which each prospect is crushed to overlap with each other, so that the diseases Sixties go hand in hand with the space-rock and the lounge music is tinged psych shades. If "Dry Salt In You Hair" and "Mister Corn" do heart the lessons imparted by Letitia Sadier and partners, "Bituminized" and "From My Window" would be credible as outtakes of "Talkie Walkie".
The "Maple Key" space trip and the elegant performance of the two parts of "On a Sofa" complete a debut marked by brilliant writing, and a light touch yet sophisticated that never degenerates into snobbery.
All things considered, not bad.
Ondarock, the most important italian webzine
The Mega Dodo label is one of the leading progressive neo-psychedelic labels out there and this new release is worth seeking out. Le SuperHomard is Christophe Vaillant (guitars and keyboard), Pandora Burgess (vocals) and Olivier Vaillant (drums and bass). The rich textured instrumental intro gives way to dreamscape which is influenced by Air and Fugu1.
The light dreamy late ’60s mood permeates the album and the electronic rhythms are subtle till the finale “From My Window.” “On A Sofa” floats along, “Bituminized” is a simple melody much like The High Llamas recent work, and when Burgess vocals are added it takes “Dry Salt In Our Hair” to a more danceable place. Fans of space lounge music will find much to love here.
Le Super Homard - Maple Key
Baroque pop grandeur and harmonic soft pop. United States of America's 1968 vision of what the future would be. Stereolab's technicolor pop. The Free Design's kindergarten pyschedelia. The Leaf Library's suburban electronics.
The only album in the last 10 years that has decided it can pick up where Fugu's As Found left off and start running.
Best band name of the year must surely go to France's Le SuperHomard. They take their name from a club featured in '60s French crime caper flick Let's Not Get Angry. OK, so in English, The Great Lobster might lose some of it's cool but the music the band make is as groovy and sophisticated as you'd expect.
Le SuperHomard is the brainchild of Christophe Vaillant, formerly of Pony Taylor, and started as a solo project before the addition of his brother Olivier on drums and friend Pandora Burgess who sings lead vocal on four of the tracks. Together they've swapped Pony Taylor's garage rock for a more optimistic and breezy style of electronic pop.
Musically Le SupeHomard are part retrogressive cool and part forward looking indie nonchalance; stylish, intelligent and the epitome of Gallic élan. There's a lot packed in to the album's eight tracks; from the propulsive bass and drum clatter of 'Intro' through the gentle electronic dreaminess of 'MapleKey' and lo-fi folktronica on 'Bituminized', it all fits together. Taken as a whole the album has a definite widescreen cinematic vibe and comes across as the soundtrack to the best cult movie that never got made.
I wish I could just fucking escape. Away from the noise and the bricks and the concrete. I’d happily walk down a tree-lined street right now but until that can happen I’ll have to make do with the summery electronic pop of French three piece Le Super Howard.
If, like me, you like to spend an afternoon bathing gently in the sounds of the likes of Stereolab, the High Llamas and Fugu then this is for you. It’s jammed to the brim with 60’s sounding organs and harpsichords and vibraphones picking out lovely melodies whilst insouciant vocals glide on top. The music is lovely. On tracks like ‘On a Sofa’ (mmm sofa’s) the wobbling sounds are very similar to those created on High llamas ‘Could and Bouncy’ with lots of things oscillating amidst delicious chord changes. Delightful finger picked instrumental ‘Bitumized’ reminds me of some of the breezy music on Air’s ‘Talkie Walkie’ LP with a lovely easy listening feel which takes you immediately to some kind of wonderful resort. The album is a mixture of instrumentals and four vocal tracks featuring Pandora Burgess.
These latter tracks have a very Stereolab feel particularly ‘Dry Salt in our Hair’ and probably the only thing that holds the record back is that the vocals lack the character of a Laetitia Sadier or a Trish Keenan and so can be a bit inconsequential at times but the music is elaborately gorgeous throughout. We now just need summer to do it’s thing
On the eve of its long-awaited republication, Jonny Trunk’s encyclopedia of old library music album art gets a wholly unexpected boost with this – an album whose very presence seems to reach back to those glorious days when musicians would gather under the oddest names they could muster, to record music that would then be sold on to movies and TV, commercials and jingles… anything and everything that could possibly require a slice of skillful mood setting music, without having to worry about superstar egos.
It’s not a thankless world. The Pretty Things, Brian Eno and half of Van Der Graaf Generator are among the myriad names who dipped musical toes into that world, and if we look back over the past couple of decades of rock, the likes of Saint Etienne, Death by Chocolate and Eno (again) could be said to have maintained the mood when the inclination hit them.
And so to Maplekey, the debut album by a French act whose name rather nicely translates as the super lobster, and which is… every great soundtrack that has yet to find a movie. Every great commercial that has yet to sell you anything. Every great theme that awaits an action hero.
Electronic dream pop shot through cinematic prisms; breathlessly harmonic, brilliantly realized, eight tracks that not only go for baroque, they sweep past it too, to create a magical mound of the very same good times that Pandora Burgess promises on “Mister Corn” – a song so irrepressibly gorgeous that it’s the height of a sixties summer every time you hear it.
Which, if you have any sense, will be a lot.
Thanks to Dave Thompson Goldmine Magazine