What happens when a singer and multi-instrumentalist from the land of “savoir vivre” teams up with a male counterpart of the "happiest country in the world" (World Happiness Report 2015)? A pretty large portion of endorphins should be distributed to the audience, right?  With Sophie Léonard and Gogniat Burande this is, in fact, the case. The duo, who has, from the Swiss Jura, strongly mixed up the Neo-Chanson scene, is now releasing their new, third work and have very confidently named it L’Euphorie.

By listening to the Greek root words, one doesn’t end up merely with the definition “extreme happiness”.  Literally translated “Euphoria”, means namely “fertility” or “productivity”.  This is true for these two, since they met quite accidentally. Therefore, it’s not only a musical history hiding behind Carrousel, but also a beautiful love story.  It begins in a café in southern France: Gogniat is sitting with his accordion and a few friends, as suddenly from somewhere else the swirling sound of keynotes hits his ears.  He follows them, and sees on a terrace across the way, the stunning Burande with her instrument. For both, it is love at first sight. Or perhaps one should say: at first sound?

They quickly realize how wonderfully their individual musical preferences, can be melted together to form brilliant songs. This realization already resulted in the 2010 album “Tandem”, followed by “En Equilibre” (2012). Both discs aligned themselves with the playful originality of the Neo Chanson movement, which has been en vogue for many years. It has a light-footed retro touch and often bears a sassy femininity with the likes of Zaz, Brigitte, Fredda and Coralie Clément. Only, the sounds of Carrousel were not composed on Montmartre or the Côte d'Azur, no, this lovely Francophonie comes from the middle of the Helvetic Jura.

After a large boost in popularity both in the French-speaking as well as German-speaking Switzerland, and appearances at Paléo, the Montreux Jazz Festival and over 450 other dates and after a short pit stop, Carrousel is now is back with new drive. The third disc was produced under the creative supervision of Jean-Louis Pierot, who has worked the sound mixer in France for the greats such as Bashung or Étienne Daho. The conception took place in many stages: In Provence, in Amsterdam, and the Auvergne, Burande’s original homeland. Lyrics and music emerged, and were finally recorded in the epicenter of chanson, Paris. For this the two have the finest craftsmen from the Parisian scene at their disposal, which Piérot wisely compiled, just as he devised the famous arrangements that show to be much more elaborate than the first two works. “We wanted to again virtually start from scratch, in order to preserve our freshness”, says Sophie.

This “fresh”, is felt immediately in the opener and at the same time in the single “Eva”, with its incisive melodic riff and the twang of the guitar. This song portrays a turbulent, self-confident, life loving personality, something like the godmother for the “euphoric” cycle of the 13 songs. It continues on with the atmospheric “Reviendra” that is carried by broom percussion and the circular sound of accordion lines in the Chanson. Ukulele and chimes accompany the listener in “Dans Le Prochain Express” and with “Faire Face Á L’Horizon” and “Le Virage” the duo has two successful ballads packed away, that bring new piano qualities to their sound. “Sur Un Volcan” harbors a surprise with its tango-like bonds which soon dissolve into a rock-like melody.

Piérots arrangements embed in a sound, the telling of width and journey, refined Hammond sounds, banjo and electric guitars. However the finer parts of the songs are brought to life by the duo- or the singing exchange between Sophie and Léonard. One can feel the passion between the two when their voices embrace. Which brings us to Euphoria again: “This extreme feeling accompanied us from the very beginning”, Sophie Burande summarizes. “The music is intoxicating, then it calms down, and then it takes us even higher. We also could have called this record ‘roller-coaster’. It is for this feeling that we play, for this dream.”


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