6 French Indie Electronic bands worth adding to your go-to Playlist
If you enjoy the melody and simplicity of Indie Pop and the sonic
experimentation of Electronic sounds, here are some Indietronic groups
worth checking out, all of them sharing their roots from France, a country
very well known for their great, deep-rooted culture of local music, but also
for having great French pop artists and DJ’s who are recognized outside
their country’s borders.
Teenage Bad Girl
The Parisian electronic band, supported and playlisted since the beginning
of their short career by electronic music influencers such as Mylo, Chloé
Thévenin, Justice, Yuksek, and many others, consists of Guillaume Manbell
and Greg Kazubski. They mix beats and vocals connecting house and
electronic genres, employing the aggressive analogue synth lines and
percussions they have remained a staple of the French electro wave for,
although with a low profile.
Interestingly they have a unusual background story, as both members met
on Soulseek, the famous file-sharing network mostly used to exchange
music; they both shared a strong interest for punk rock and electronic
sounds. “We both played in punk-rock bands with friends, making music
when we should have been studying.” says Manbell.
It is said by the passionates about electronic music that they are a genetic
mix of Daft Punk, Aphex Twin & The Stooges. Their latest album, Backwash,
was released back in 2011, and it is the result of a project "more based on
ideas", in words of the duo.
Birdy Nam Nam
French quartet Birdy Nam Nam has implemented mixtures of different
genres since the beginning of the band; they make content entirely out of
their turntables and have presented a mix of jazz, funk, and downtempo
sound. In addition, they often experiment with hip-hop bases and plenty of
For that reason, it would be difficult to catalog them within a single genre,
but their style can essentially be defined as Indie, Electronics, French
Indietronica, Filter House and Turntablism.
Since their formation in 2001 their goal has always been to prove that the
possibilities the turntable can offer as a real musical instrument to create
new rhythms are unlimited. They have won several awards during their
career, such as the 2002 DMC World DJ Team Championship before and the
Electronic or Dance revelation of the year at Victoires de la Musique, an
annual French award ceremony that recognizes the best musical artists.
Dance or Die is the name of their last album, released in 2016, which shows
a noticeable evolution in their tracks. Their style of turntablism combined
with abstract hip-hop that was one remarkable is a little less present on this
album, as heavy motorized electro beats designed for performing live take
over to keep the crowd out of their seats and dancing.
Formed by Guido Minisky and Hervé Carvalho in 2012, and later on
expanded while creating their debut album ‘Musique de France’ to include
Pierrot Casanova and Nicolas Borne, Acid Arab is influenced by a set of
Eastern sounds and
Arabic melodies, which offer a wide range of
percussions, strings and melodic instruments, embraced by the genres of
house and techno. In their own words, the project first started "as a concept,
then a Facebook group, then a party, then (almost) a genre, then it was us."
After their first album, that features some guest vocalists and
instrumentalists, including Rizan Said, Jawad El Garrouge and keyboard
player Kenzi Bourras (who was at first their keyboardist for live sets and
then fully incorporated into the band), Acid Arab have been performing at
over 260 shows clubs and festivals worldwide.
Starting from a very techno-pop base of the 80s and embracing the sounds
of late '70s synth-pop, as well as elements of retro wave, R&B and hip hop
genres, the duo is enjoying increasing popularity around the world since the
release of their first album.
The Pirouettes consists of Leo Bear Creek and Vickie Chérie, a couple from
Annecy in France. They were formed in 2011 and have released 2 EPs and 2
full length albums, their latest one being “Monopolis” from 2018.
They are really independents as they manage to get everything related to
marketing, promotion and distribution done by themselves: they have their
own label, and Vickie is the one in charge of the whole visual aspect of the
band, including covers, the graphic design of the albums and some of the
“Basically, our style is based on the French variety of the 70s and 80s. Our
first EPs were more referenced, and they had a strong 80's sound. Today, I
believe (I hope) that we have really achieved the modern sound that is our
own: the sound of The Pirouettes”, Leo stated during an interview with
Three visionary minds, four countries, and one common desire to reinvent
and inspire through unique sounds.
Camp Claude was born in 2013 in Paris, with American-French Diane
Sagnier at the microphone, and the work of talented composers, the
Englishman Mike Giffts and the Swede Léo Hellden, both members of the
group Tristesse contemporaine.
They usually define their style as ‘Sky Wave’, a middle point between a
creative fusion of rock and pop, and electronic music. Their melodies have
definitely a touch of fineness and nostalgia, a delicate mix of sounds and
sensations that awakens serenity with the combination of smooth rhythms
The four men behind C2C (also known as Coups2Cross) are as well members
of the scratch music movement, turntablism. The crew was born in 1998 in
the city of Nantes, with Atom and pFeL from Beat Torrent and 20Syl and
Greem from Hocus Pocus.
Each member of the group uses his turntable as an instrument in order to
recreate percussions, bass guitars, or simulating trumpets and similar brass
In 2013, C2C’s album ‘Tetra’ obtained four trophies out of four nominations
during the annual French award ceremony Victoires de la Musique,
including ‘Best New Artist’, ‘Best Music Video’, and ‘Best Live Show’. They
are also winners of the 2013 European Border Breakers Awards, which
recognises the success of emerging European artists who get to reach
audiences out of their own countries.