Photo by Eric Beckman

Photo by Eric Beckman

They describe their music as romantic and flamboyant, arrogant and haunting. They are TRISTESSE CONTEMPORAINE and they come from Paris. Well, not originally since it’s one Japanese girl, a Swedish and a British guy who are glued together by their musique. Somewhere between cold wave optic and the intensity of shoegaze with slices of krautrock – that’s what the trio is about. Leo Hellden, Narumi Herisson and Maik released their self-titled debut album in spring 2012 and are about the release their second one soon. Stay Golden is the name of the longplayer which arrives these days. What a pleasure for us and for you that TRISTESSE CONTEMPORAINE found the time to contribute to NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION‘s ‘Seven Songs’ series. Find out more about their musical influences and favourites right here.


01. DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS – “This Is What She’s Like”

This was in Kevin Roland’s yuppie look days. I can listen to this song again and again, I like when he say’s ‘I’d like to express myself’ and then starts singing his heart out and then starts talking to his friend again. There’s even a saxophone in the song which would usually be againts all laws of great music, but with this one they even find a way to make that work.


I like it because it’s simple and repetitive. Blixa Bargeld overhead a conversion between two old women and used it to make this song, but maybe the strings are too much at the end, it depends which mood you’re in… It looks like he’s wearing an old woman’s funeral hat in the video.



As long as the door is closed the party goes on.


04. FELT – “Stained Glass Windows In The Sky”

It’s less than two mins, short but it’s complete but there’s everything, I like the perfect mix between the guitar and the keyboards, and Lawrence’s voice, nonchalant and nearly dead.


05. MYLÈNE FARMER – “Maman a tort”

This is Mylène Farmer -A very famous french singer, this is one of her first songs. I discovered this recently by my french friends. I’ve been here long time but strangely I’ve never listened this song! This is reminiscent of fantastic french pop songs from 80’s, with controversial lyrics. ‘Maman a tort’ (Mum is wrong) it’s about a young girl’s love for her female nurse, who is in hospital. I love both, the sounds and lyrics, for it’s simplicity and I like the way she sings innoccentely and nonchalantly.



It’s from a short story that Lou Reed wrote when he was in college, a guy sends himself as a package to his long distance girlfriend and when she tries to open the box she has to use a pair a scissors and stabs right through the center of his head which split slightly and caused little rhythmic arcs of red to pulsate gently in the morning sun.

07. COCTEAU TWINS – “Lorelei”

Dreamy pop song to empty your head from all the horrible things in life.