Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest
The actress, musician and daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, returns with a new LP and her first since 2009’s IRM. Like that album, Restis also a response and reaction to a traumatic experience she experienced a few years ago. While IRM was influenced by the sounds of an MRI following a skiing accident, Rest comes to light following the suicide of her half sister Kate Barry. With that in mind, the record is surrounded in an air of melancholy however Gainsbourg utilizes this to produce songs that feel urgent and rhythmic.
Gainsbourg wrote “Kate” in memory of her sister and the song is wrapped in a swell of lush strings, closed mic’d vocals and warm synths. Rest nicely ebbs and flows stylistically from symphonic ballads, dark orchestral synth pop and even dance pop that would not feel out of place on Daft Punk’s last LP (see “Sylvia Says”). She actually worked with Paul McCartney on “Songbird In A Cage” which the Beatle wrote for Gainsbourg and he even played guitar, bass and piano on the track. It’s a surprising result, as rubbery basslines, propulsive rhythms and a sparse vocal melody nicely walk the line of restraint and majestic grandeur.
Stylistically, Rest dips its toe into an array of styles such as the swooning space-pop of Air, the aforementioned Daft Punk on the dancier numbers as well as Beck’s rich introspective work and it’s all filtered through some of the classic touchstones from her father’s most classic records.
All in all, Charlotte Gainsbourg’s Rest is full of heart and beauty even as the subject material is weighty. And it feels current and modern while still retaining a classic flavor. Nice to witness Gainsbourg’s resurgence after a difficult loss and certainly recommended. (Dom)
Check out a track here.