Now, how can music in a language you don’t speak well be a guilty pleasure and not a banner of pretension?
I’m certainly no stranger to guilty pleasure music. I know the entire Vox Lux soundtrack by heart, I consider sea shanties to be a valid form of music, and I once skipped my junior prom to see an ABBA cover band. This was my fourth ABBA cover band. But this isn’t the time for any of that, this is the time to talk about French electroclash group Sexy Sushi (quite possibly the greatest band name to come out of Western Europe in a long time).
Well, the sound of Sexy Sushi can best be described as oily. Every strange electronic noise blurs together to be near-incomprehensible in the backdrop of almost chanted lyrics. Combine this with the spoken French, and the music becomes an enigma. What makes it so enjoyable, however, is how sincere it is. Everyone seems to be genuinely having fun making it, and the shout-singing in the style of riot grrrl is catchy without having the annoying earworm lyrics that come from the English language.
The live shows are the joy to watch. Just look up a video of one of their performances, and it’s clear it’s purely sincere, and everyone seems to be having fun with it. Take songs like Princesse Voiture for example- it’s like a pep rally for weird music, and the crowds have fun with it. Since it’s the French, the performances often grow unhinged, quickly descending into chaos as bodies churn, and the crowd is left to yell what it pleases. These shows come with a raw sexuality to them, and it’s a feminist delight.
Lead singer Rebekah Warrior (stage name of Julia Lanoë) had other musical ventures, with projects like Mansfield TYA and Kompromat falling into a more mature guiltless realm. The latest Kompromat single comes with a glittering, Clouzot-hommage music video- De mon âme à ton âme, dedicated to her then partner, actress Adèle Haenel, who is a collaborator on the track. That’s actually how I found the band, as a fan of hers. The Paris scene has many of these connections, a sort of artist’s collective across all media. The thesis of Sexy Sushi is essentially have fun, turn your brain off; and that’s sometimes exactly what I want.
Listen to Sexy Sushi on Spotify. Get the latest edition of our print magazine featuring cover star Soccer Mommy, grammy-nominated Black Pumas, Alfie Templeman and more HERE.
Get tickets for The Rodeo’s first live show in May featuring Tiña, SKIA and Darcie HERE.