For any music listener born after 1990, a foray into the music of the past might seem like a daunting task, with thousands of bands, hit singles and styles waiting to be discovered in an endeavour of time travelling. Reputable French group NOUVELLE VAGUE have been building a career on that premise since 2003, reworking songs from the last 40 years in a style that is typical for a time much longer past – Brazilian bossa nova and easy listening. Especially the dark wave rock tunes of the late 70s and early 80s caught the attention of producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux who work as a core of the group. Maybe it’s the contradiction between sinister post-punk vibes and summerly bossa nova vibes that makes this band so exciting.
When asked about it, NOUVELLE VAGUE put their idea in the following words,
Originally called ‘Nouvelle Vague’ as the French translation of both expressions ‘New Wave’ and ‘Bossa Nova’, our first purpose was to turn ‘New Wave’ classics (or rare tracks) into Bossa Nova.
Some of their extensive influences are featured in their playlist they curated for NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION. Aiming to provide a quick overview of their work together, they featured both the originals and their covers back to back – classics from the 80’s like DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS’s Come On Eileen and JOY DIVISION’s Love Will Tear Us Apart, but also artists from other genres like MANO NEGRA or DEAD KENNEDYS. They also added lesser-known cuts, like ALTERED IMAGES’s I Could Be Happy, a cover of which serves as the title track to NOUVELLE VAGUE‘s new album which happens to be out today (Order it right here). It’s their first one in seven years but its sunny character shows that their unique idea is still working perfectly.
Check out their Be Happy playlist below, stream the new album on Spotify and catch them live via the tour dates below.