Gaspard Royant

4201 fans

Have you met Gaspard Royant? on tour!

have you met gaspard royant?
release april 8, 2016

After laying the foundations with his take on elegant, vintage rock ’n’ roll, the French crooner shifts into second gear with an album running on Northern Soul sounds and Edwyn Collins riding shotgun. Vroom-vroom!

Bridging the glory days of The Kinks and The Smiths, Gaspard Royant is a walking anachronism. But it would be simplistic to define him as a well-versed 60s aficionado, even if his light penchant for dandyism does suggest that period. Gaspard is no taxidermist, let alone a grave keeper. In one of his early self-penned songs, Marty McFly, he proudly sang of his admiration for the hero of the Back to the Future trilogy. Any lessons he may have learned from the past are simply absorbed into his ultramodern energy. In fact, ultramodern could also apply to his look, which might remind some of the glossy 60s French pop magazine Salut Les Copains until they remember that Sweden’s The Hives are also devotees of the style.

Rock will never die. Our apologies, but that four-letter word still sums it up best. Gaspard Royant draws on the genre to generate a vital, infectious energy; a blend of timeless essences that spreads the joy and fills us with the urge to dance (and and work up a sweat too).

Gaspard, who has been around for a few years now, is no Johnny-come-lately. The man honed his art (and paid his dues) like Elvis in his Sun days. He has already released a number of singles on his own label, made a few videos and (obviously) played countless venues all over Europe. In fact, it is because of his impressive early career, the power of his writing and his dazzling performances that a major record company has now helped him take things to the next level. Not many such jewels are to be found in these days of globalization and we cannot let them slip through our fingers.

“I’m originally from the Haute Savoie region of France, from a small town as dull as any other rural community, but as beautiful as any, too. I started out by learning the rudiments and theory of music, and dabbled in saxophone. At 14, I invested in a guitar when I realized it was a much more practical way of attracting girls. When I moved to Paris, I didn’t know anybody, so I hung out in bars and venues to meet musicians. It was the same for my records: I learned how to make the sound I wanted empirically.”

Gaspard recorded a number of singles – including one with Liam Watson, who earned his stripes working with The White Stripes and The Kills. Then in 2014, he compiled them on an album dubbed 10 Hit Wonder. The sounds were disparate and the collection mainly marked the end of an era: his early years. It left him free to think about the future and a real first album, more coherent as a whole and with a producer worthy of the name. Working with Edwyn Collins was a childhood dream and a guarantee that Gaspard was headed in the right direction.

“For me, the guy is a hero. He’s had an incredible life. His band Orange Juice piled up number ones with their brilliant mix of soul and pop. He set up his Postcard label, which had a genuine cult following, but it went bust. Although that left him penniless, he made it back to the top with A Girl Like You. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage that left him disabled, but he’s still recording albums.
Edwyn Collins is an unconditional fan of Northern Soul and there are a lot of tracks inspired by that genre on my album. So he was my obvious choice.
Northern Soul is a movement that was launched in the North of England in the early 70s by the children of blue-collar families. They dug out unknown American soul records and played them at dances. The songs had a strong beat, but weren’t frenzied in a James Brown way. Relatively restrained, British style, but totally irresistible. That’s why I wanted raw, chunky sounds, to make the music appealing…”

Edwyn Collins recruited an elite team to produce that dream sound: the brass section of Dexys Midnight Runners (including founding member ‘Big’ Jim Paterson on trombone) and the string players of Belle & Sebastian and Tindersticks.

The album’s name, Have You Met Gaspard Royant?, is a nod to the flamboyant ads that directly questioned consumers in the 60s – ‘Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?’ or ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?’ – but it also invites the listener to get to know the artist. “Who knows who I am today? Almost nobody, I’m very aware of that. But things are going to change!”

The album was recorded in Carpentras, France, at the Vega studio (which is equipped with a magnificent EMI desk identical to the one at Abbey Road) and then in London, where Edwyn is a regular. It was finished in the little village of Helmsdale in Scotland, where the man has hidden his vintage sound treasure trove.

The record’s tracks are sometimes unstoppable and sometimes sweetly melodic: therapeutic outbursts vying with calms before the storm. Naturally, each song has a story. In fact, one of Gaspard’s gifts is that he avoids delivering messages, preferring to tell tales and describe the world around him without an eye on the rearview mirror.

Baby I’m With You explodes on our ears like a theatrical Phil Spector wall of sound. “I love those huge, powerful numbers from the 60s that always have a tragic feel to them. In the song, an unrecognized lover is rather desperately declaring his passion, but that doesn’t stop the beat from winning out.”

Getaway draws you in like a magnet. It is an ode to a shyness responsible for missed opportunities in life. “I remember parties when I was a teenager. I sometimes spent hours agonizing over whether to ask a girl to dance.”

New Religion (Edwyn Collins’s favorite track) is about religious fundamentalism. It asks why some people choose to embrace centuries-old dogmas. “It’s a song about a desire for spirituality and especially wanting to live in the present age. I can’t understand why you’d wish to follow totally obsolete, outdated rules. This is 2016, not the Middle Ages.”
Finally comes a tearful, romantic experience that sweeps everything away and brings us to our knees. Summer’s Gone is about the coming of the fall. “I grew up by Lake Geneva and if there was ever a place where you genuinely felt the changing seasons, that was it. Suddenly, the shores were deserted, it started to get cold and you realized the magical times were over.”

Gaspard Royant’s magical times are far from over, though. They are barely starting with this second album, a record that stylishly reconciles past and present while dismissing labels. Its fresh, spontaneous songs display a startling proficiency. Even better than the 60s, it is very much now.


CONTACTS

Promotion management: Pierre Etting - +33 (0)1 55 07 47 58 - pierre.etting@sonymusic.com
Press: Caroline Verdem - +33 (0)1 55 07 45 26 – caroline.verdem@sonymusic.com
Radio: Jean-Christophe Zaire - +33 (0)1 55 07 68 50 - jean-christophe.zaire@sonymusic.com
Radio: Christophe Martinez - +33 (0)1 55 07 47 69 - christophe.martinez@sonymusic.com
TV: Falamak Fatemi - +33 (0)1 55 07 47 55 - falamak.fatemi@sonymusic.com
TV: Jennifer Arfi - +33 (0)1 55 07 47 55 - jennifer.arfi@sonymusic.com
Web: Antoine Berger – +33 (0)1 55 07 47 37 - antoine.berger@sonymusic.com

Top Tracks

01
03:40
Composers: Gaspard Royant
03
03:13
Composers: Gaspard Royant
02
03:29
Composers: Gaspard Royant
08
02:03
Composers: Gaspard Royant
01
03:14
Composers: Gaspard Royant
04
03:37
Composers: Gaspard Royant
02
03:42
06
04:07
Composers: Gaspard Royant
07
02:33
Composers: Gaspard Royant
05
03:08
Composers: Gaspard Royant
09
02:59
Composers: Gaspard Royant
09
03:11
Composers: Gaspard Royant
10
02:55
Composers: Gaspard Royant
12
04:07
Composers: Gaspard Royant
05
03:26
Composers: Gaspard Royant
10
04:16
Composers: Gaspard Royant
01
03:12
Composers: Gaspard Royant
02
03:17
Composers: Gaspard Royant
06
04:05
Composers: Gaspard Royant
08
02:54
Composers: Gaspard Royant
11
02:17
Composers: Gaspard Royant
04
04:13
Composers: Gaspard Royant
03
02:51
Composers: Gaspard Royant
07
02:29
Composers: Gaspard Royant
01
03:12
01
02:23
02
04:10
07
02:03
Composers: Gaspard Royant
01
03:16
04
02:34
02
02:50
05
04:48
03
04:36
01
03:14
02
02:21
01
02:39
13
02:34
02
03:19