He’ll Love You to the Motherfucking Very End
Alas, in this day and age, nothing can truly be considered “new” anymore in the big, bad world of entertainment. This is painfully obvious in the music industry where comparisons have become the absolute norm and artists rarely seem to try and push themselves to create a sound that is remotely fresh. Sure, you have artists like Grace Mitchell making her mark with excellent Pop music but her music still carries the influential weight of other recording artists. Influenced or not, excellent music is still being produced and that is the key thing to remember.
South Africa’s Yannick Ilunga,who uses the monicker Petite Noir, is a prime example of an artist emerging onto the scene with a distinct sound…that is reminiscent of those before him. Kelechukwu Rowland Okereke (or Kele to most people), the lead singer of British rock band Bloc Party, is exactly who I am referencing. If you listen closely enough, there is even the slightest trace of Joseph Mount from Metronomy which I mostly approve of. While Kele can be a bit whiny, Yannick sounds more secure. Mount gives you a bit of indifference but Yannick is more direct. The greatest thing about Yannick is how he strikes an attractive balance of vulnerability and strength.
Yannick, who has been endorsed by the supremely talented Solange Knowles, will release his full-length debut album, La Vie Est Belle, on September 11. It features “Chess” which was originally heard on his The King of Anxiety EP and includes my current obsession, “MDR.” With lyrics like “I’ll love you to the motherfucking very end,” the aforementioned track features vocals that are almost pleading with us to step further into a world full of romantic ideas.
This album is an actual body of work with an energy that remains consistent throughout its eleven tracks. As the last song begins to fade to black, it is apparent that Yannick has taken many of his musical influences out on a couple of dates so they become familiar with one another and then had them go into the studio to create a handful of songs. Most times with album reviews, I highlight a few tracks that stand out but La Vie Est Belle is so strong as a whole, there’s no need to try and isolate any one song.
If you just can’t wait until September 11 to get your hands on a copy of Petite Noir’s La Vie Est Belle, listen to the album now.