Back in 2003, when he was a teenage musician, painter and animator, François Marry moved from France to Bristol with the ambition of making music with like minded musicians. He became a member of Movietone whilst assembling his own set up with instruments purchased at car boot sales around Bristol, and after a few shows on his own, he formed the Atlas Mountains with a floating line-up which often included members of Rozi Plain. This led to a relationship with Fence Records and a further Scottish connection when François joined the touring line-up of Camera Obscura.

Originally a loose collective, François and the Atlas Mountains have settled into a steady four-piece line-up over the last couple of years. Three Frenchmen and the Scottish musician Gerard Black (Bill Wells, Babe, Tangles) have honed themselves into a very tight live unit following a lot of touring, most notably with Camera Obscura, King Creosote and Jon Hopkins, and Electrelane.

E Volo Love is their debut recording for Domino records and it's their strongest work to date. These songs and production bring a new lushness and depth to their music. The album is only 35 minutes long but it crams a huge range of influences into its brief duration It is pop music with a depth to it, sometimes sunny and bright, occasionally wistful and melancholic.

There is a definite French feel to the vocal arrangements in particular, which is combined with indie-pop songs worthy of any of his Scottish peers.This time around the African influences have been given greater emphasis courtesy of producer Jean-Paul Romann, best known for his work with Malian group Tinariwen. These factors all combine beautifully on the opening track 'Le Plus Beaux' which is a stunningly catchy romantic pop song, and it's not hard for anyone with basic French to follow what they are singing about. Those African influences are very much to the fore on 'Edge of Town'; the gentle guitar lines, busy percussion and backing vocals work brilliantly together. This is an example of what the Atlas Mountains do best – they take experimental ideas and disparate influences and manage to work them into superb pieces of pop music.

'Muddy Heart' is a straightforward indie-pop song, while 'City Kiss' manages to blend an incredibly catchy tune with a sweeping string arrangement. I thought I might get through the review without mentioning Serge Gainsbourg but the dreamy and bilingual 'Azrou Tune' recalls some of his best work. Having said that 'Cherchant Des Ponts' is the most quintessentially French track here, laid back with brushes on drums and it's a duet between François and Françoiz Breut which will invite inevitable Gainsbourg/ Birkin comparisons.

The choral ending weaved onto the end of 'Bail Eternal' is another delightful surprise, and closing track and live favourite, 'Piscine', is so great you wish it could go on for ages.

Ultimately E Volo Love is a collection of pretty and occasionally melancholic tunes weaved over a backing of skilful percussion and shimmering guitars. It is remarkable as it is the sound of an indie-pop band immersing themselves in European and African music and getting it totally right.