Quirky Modern Pop
NPR’s Laura Sullivan chats with Chic Gamine’s leader Andrina Turenne – listen here.
Mavis Staples told Chic Gamine “you reminded me of my sisters and I singing!”
Winsome, wicked and witty, Chic Gamine embody the ‘60s girl-group vibe all grown up and living in a new century. Wall-of-sound harmonies, hip-shaking beats – these women could be straight out of Motown, before you throw in the curveball of French pop and four rotating lead singers. By all the laws of the music business, this group is like the unicorn – it probably shouldn’t exist, let alone be performing at the Olympics and winning Juno Awards. And yet, here they are, soon to release their official U.S. debut, a group singing soulful, captivating four-part songs that artfully span the musical map.
In 2007, three Winnipeg-based friends and former bandmates Ariane Jean, Andrina Turenne and Annick Bremault recruited Montreal drummer and percussionist Sacha Daoud, and a fourth singer, Winnipegger Alexa Dirks, for a fresh new project. Utterly seductive, Chic Gamine’s Canadian debut album teased with traces of Daoud’s Brazilian roots winding their way underneath the irresistible vocal hook of rhythm and blues, nouveau-pop and vintage soul. Chic Gamine alchemized these mixed elements into compelling musical magic.
Chic Gamine’s musical relationship has been fruitful from the start; a demo flowed effortlessly from their first recording outing in 2007. This led to a string of performances, including opening for Smokey Robinson, and playing in a lineup featuring the legendary Mavis Staples – who told the band that they reminded her of her family, the Staple Singers. In 2008 came their self-titled Canadian debut, which went on to win a Juno Award for Best Roots Album of 2009. Their long-awaited first official U.S. release, Closer, was released earlier in 2013.
Chic Gamine (which translates roughly as stylish mischievous young thing – let’s face it, the French say these things so much better) will tease and tempt you with a nostalgia-inspired, fresh new sound – the mix is indescribable, but unbearably tasty. Do you believe in Chic Gamine? You’d be a fool not to.