If we were doing a top 10 of 'French Indie bands you've never heard of but who would blow your mind', Sierra Manhattan would be number one. No doubt...
Sierra Manhattan's new record marries the rough naïveté of Indie pop with soft 60's influenced jazzy music and 80's feel vocals. Strange combination you might think, but combining classic 60's pop with a kind of punk DIY ethos, this record makes you want to cherish a new found pop gem and share it with as few people as possible. That's right, it's so good you don't want to share it. In the past the songs have relied upon the simplest, most dog-eared lyrics imaginable, mostly about love. This is still the case but now things have changed, turning more imaginative, looser, livelier, and more appealing aspects of music together than ever before. Sierra Manhattan's mission is simple; to use pop music to comfort and uplift, and to remind you that you are loved. It does this does brilliantly;
“I try to write the songs as quickly as possible. We then rework the songs to be fun and easy to play”.
There are clear influences who Sierra Manhattan point towards, the likes of Felt, The Vasselines, Television Personalities, Third Outing favourites like Nathan Roche, as well as covers of The Pastels, but thankfully this record remains very much an original and current (apart from Dancing, which does in fact sound like The Pastels). Earings and Kiss Me are two stand out tracks. Both are charming, simple, but efficient. The LP clearly reflects the band's current confidence, and therefore we see the brave sounds, the delicate songs about romantic frustration, even crisis of confidence and faith. We'll call it the 'wearing the heart on the sleeve' album, if you will.
But that's the standard for the Indie Rockers from Annecy, the French Alps; by putting on gigs at the local bar with friends, being active within the DIY community, it's no wonder there's a tremendous confidence in the camp. Now based in Lyon, there is a capability to make the local and even the national Indie scene thrive. How?...