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Who doesn’t remember their hit song "Ann Wants To Dance"? Soundtrack of the summer 2015 and which music video made by Soko got a few million views. This cheerful and addictive tune laid the foundations for the four-handed songwriting style of Ulysse Cottin (brown hair) and Armand Penicaut (blond hair). Those two performers, who compose and sing effortlessly in English, posed with a cheerful attitude on the sleeve of their first album Green Juice (2016) recorded at the Cap Ferret and mixed by Ash Workman (Metronomy, Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains, Baxter Dury). Papooz have a talent for sway pop and irrefutable groove like very few of their compatriots, aside from Phoenix we cannot think of anyone else. Tropical pop here, wild bossa nova there, all of it deeply anchored in the American style of the Seventies, Ulysse and Armand are perfectly matched. Falsely dabbler and completely inspired, the duo fights the ambient gloom with their songs.
In the midst of winter, what’s better than an album by Papooz to heat things up? Let’s avoid the whole “difficult hurdle of the second album” cliché and say that Night Sketches reveals another face of the duo. Darker and more electric, this album is the result of a meticulous work of production, in close collaboration with Adrien Durand, head of Bon Voyage Organisation (BVO) who is behind the brilliant production. “Unlike our first album, which contained miscellaneous songs written years ago and without any knowledge of either production or arrangements, we “mentalized” this new album. We wanted to bridge the gap between the seventies and the eighties, by bringing in even more groove.” Hence a clever combination between vintage pop (Steely Dan ahead) and synth pop, giving an astounding result. “Their strength lies in the songwriting” bluntly admits Adrien Durand.
Surrounded by the finest musicians of the young French music scene: drummer Wendy Killman, bass player Maxime Daoud (Forever Pavot, Ojard) and saxophonist Julien Cavard (Amadou & Mariam), the two Papooz can therefore give free rein to their artistic ambitions, perfectly captured and rendered by Bon Voyage Organisation’s leader and his gigantic culture. Mixed by Italian Andrea Suriani (Cosmo, Calcutta, Giorgio Poi), Night Sketches gives prominence to Ulysse and Armand’s writing and composition, both classical and modern pop. From the undeniable first single ("You And I"), a poignant ballade ("About Felix" inspired by the loss of a friend), an unavoidable melody ("Theatrical State Of Mind"), an impetuous saxophone ("Let The Morning Come Again"), a soft rock tune ("Danger To Myself", the first extract of the album), to a shift to ska ("Undecided"), Papooz spare no expense and gain support without any resistance.