As well as being a palindrome, E Volo Love is the latest long-player from Domino's first ever French signing. The album's eleven songs were created by French born-and-raised (but UK-based) songwriter François Marry while he cycled and wandered the French countryside. They were then laid down in a church in Saintes, the town in south-west France from which he hails.
The record references a range of influences, all the way from Aphex Twin to the African and Middle Eastern sounds that start and end the album with Les Plus Beaux and Do You Want To Dance. The French lyrics and tasty Afrobeat lilt of the former kick proceedings off with a dreamy vibe that continues throughout. Elsewhere, Edge of Town belies its winter imagery (“Sitting by the fire/Drinking alcohol”) with perky-yet-soft, summery electronica and delightful harmonising. Muddy Heart takes the album in a guitar-led, European indie/folk direction. An interesting tale of Marry literally burying his heart until he is reunited with his lover, the song sounds remarkably like something Shout Out Louds would come up with in one of their more pensive moments. Changing direction again, Cherchant Des Ponts offers classic French chanson. With female vocals over delicate percussion and strings, it is reminiscent of Carla Bruni and is really rather lovely in its elegance.
E Volo Love is not an album that demands your attention by slapping you around the face, rather it gently woos you with its unfussy yet inventive tunes and its whimsy. While the record offers lyrics in both French and English, the language of a romance that François & The Atlas Mountains bring is universally evident.
Review by Bobby Townsend. It first appeared in Sydney's Drum Media.