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Charlotte Gainsbourg

Biography

Charlotte Gainsbourg (full name Charlotte Lucy Gainsbourg) was born on July 21, 1971 in London in the family of French actor and singer Serge Gainsbourg and English actress and singer Jane Birkin. Being a child of parents with versatile talents and varied attainments, from early childhood Charlotte began to reveal her creative abilities. She sang her first song Lemon Incest with her father when she was only 13, and two years later her debut album Charlotte Forever was released, written and produced by Serge Gainsbourg. In France the disc was accepted quite warmly and that allowed to talk of a possible successful career as a singer in the future. But Charlotte got more infatuated by cinema and soon she played a role of Catherine Deneuve’s daughter in Paroles Et Musique. Soon after that her career as an actress started to grow rapidly and today her filmography includes dozens of movies. Having been filmed in several pictures, in 1996 she returned to sound studio for a while to record the main title for one of her films, Love etc. Charlotte’s voice can also be heard in the introduction to Madonna’s song What It Feels Like For A Girl, as well as on Badly Drawn Boy’s album Have You Fed the Fish?? as backing vocals.

All those facts were telling about the approaching return to music, but it took some time. The real catalyst came when she was introduced to Nicolas Godin at a Radiohead concert in Paris. After that meeting she started to think of making a new album – the second effort of consolidating the positions at the music stage twenty years later after the debut. The music was written by electronic duo Air (Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin), lyrics were co-written with Jarvis Cocker (ex-Pulp) and Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy), and the producer was Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Air, Beck, U2). The album was called 5:55 and was released in 2006. Initially the lyrics were written in French, but later Gainsbourg translated them into English (except for Tel Que Tu Es). She explained it by the fact she wanted to escape from the “shadow” of her father and create something individual. Nevertheless, many critics in England agreed that erotic contents of the lyrics were in the spirit of Serge Gainsbourg, and Charlotte’s subtle, whisper-like vocal resembled her mother’s voice. But in France the reviews were more positive. The disc reached the tops of charts and became platinum, and the track called The Songs That We Sing hit #78 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007.

One year after the release of 5:55 Gainsbourg started to work on the new material. She invited American musician and multi-instrumentalist Beck who acted as the lyrics co-writer and producer of the new album IRM, released in December 2009. The album’s title (in English – Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and the atmosphere were highly influenced by the events which preceded its creation, namely cerebral hemorrhage, surgery and coma which the singer had to go through in September 2007. It is no wonder that most tracks were penetrated with melancholy and sadness, but at the same time it should be noted that this time Gainsbourg’s voice didn’t sound like pacifying whisper and became more assertive, open and sincere. And the music, as compared to her previous album, was more diversified: beside pop track Heaven Can Wait, performed together with Beck, one can hear raw sound of acoustic guitars and drums, The Kills-like indie rock, tribal rhythm in the spirit of Bjork. At times the music is light and appealing, at times – obscure and frightening. It’s a hypnotic trip into the corners of mind which will enchant every one who listens to this album.

Studio Albums

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rest mp3Rest
2017
  • French Pop
  • Indie Pop
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stage Whisper mp3Stage Whisper
The French singer Charlotte Gainsbourg released her brand new studio work. An amazing double album titled Stage Whisper became the fourth in the singer's discography
2011
  • French Pop
  • Indie Pop
  • Synth Pop
Charlotte Gainsbourg, IRM mp3IRM
2009
  • French Pop
  • Indie Pop
Charlotte Gainsbourg, 5:55 mp35:55
Offering a nice collection of interestingly arranged electronic songs the record 5:55 contains only one track performed in Charlotte Gainsbourg's mother-tongue all the rest being refined by a piquant French accent
2006
  • Baroque Pop
  • Chanson
  • Dream Pop
  • Electronic
  • French Pop
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte for Ever mp3Charlotte for Ever
1991
  • Chanson
  • French Pop
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