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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Meet the New Bossa Nova…

Posted by on September 20 at 16:59 PM

Nouvelle Vague apply a suave bossa-nova sheen to several new-wave and punk chestnuts on their self-titled debut album (they also play tonight at Chop Suey, if you’re in the Seattle area).

It’s a pleasant shocker to hear these Frenchmen (and various chanteuses) tease out the sentimental ache and alluring melodies buried beneath these songs’ spiky exteriors. Particularly incongruous yet charming are Nouvelle Vague’s renditions of the Clash’s “Guns of Brixton” and Dead Kennedys’ “Too Drunk to Fuck.” Aging poonks and their younger acolytes may scream “blasphemy,” but, hey, these artists gave permission to have their songs reinterpreted. Ultimately, Nouvelle Vague shed interesting new light on tunes that have grown overly familiar over the last quarter century (especially Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”). I, for one, “Just Can’t Get Enough.”