Label: Fake Diamond Release date: 20/09/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon My last review was of Ólöf Arnalds' latest single, ‘Crazy Car’, and about how it managed to transport me, quite by accident, away from an otherwise mundane drive home one afternoon last week. Today, I’m writing about a Dutch four piece named Cours Lapin, whose self-titled album is in fact designed for the purpose. The group, made up of film composers Asger Baden, Louise Alenius, Peder, and Jonas Struck, have produced an album of many fascinating aspects. The over riding atmosphere is undoubtedly a melancholy one, with singer Alenius’ haunting voice draped over acoustic tracks quite beautifully (as in album-opener ‘1,2,3’), and the lyric-driven chanson style favoured by the group suits the narrative feel of their songs perfectly. That said, every song on the album is in French, making it slightly tricky for the average English speaker to fathom exactly what is being sung about but here, I feel, is where the rest of the group (particularly Peder Struck’s production) come into their own. Throughout the duration of the album, the listener is guided from the intimate ‘Mes Larmes Secrétes’ (My Secret Tears), where a simple piano refrain provides a fine complement to child-like, innocent sounding vocals, all the way to the acoustic guitar led ‘Blanc’, which provides an uplifting highlight towards the end of the album. The often subtle instrumentation (‘The Last Shadow Puppets’ this is not) could create a scene all on their own, which I feel is the defining feature of this album, and what makes it such an involving listen. Language barriers and all, somehow an incredibly strong ambience is portrayed. Here, quite simply, is an album guaranteed to conjure up all kinds of scenes and characters that fit this quartet’s cinematic style, with new elements thrown up by every listen. Most certainly deserving of Rough Trade’s ‘Album Of The Week’ accolade, and of a place in your collection. Photobucket