I’m delighted to report that after a trip to The Royal Victoria Eye and Eye Hospital in Dublin I can now hear in stereo again, just in time to bring you our Long Player Of The Week, “Some/Any/New” (Human Sounds / Hot Puma Records), the second solo album by Tahiti 80’s Xavier Boyer. I’ve come to know this record particularly well as Xavier contacted us some months ago to ask if we would help with the English bio for the record. I listened to it once through and was delighted to see “yes”. So for once, I feel justified in lifting the blurb and using it as our review, I mean why try to write it all again?
Back in 2007, Xavier Boyer, frontman of French indie maestros Tahiti 80, released his first solo LP “Tutu To Tango” under the nom de plume Axe Riverboy. He didn’t think it would take another 10 years for the follow-up but here it is and it was well worth the wait.
The title ”Some/Any/New” is his nod to Todd Rundgren’s Something Anything album and reflects both the atmosphere and the process. Boyer crafted the new set using a laptop, an 8-track and a few cherished instruments (a groovebox, a guitalele and a casiotone). He also played everything, save a few overdubs recorded with collaborator Stéphane Laporte. The album is awash with classic melodies, sweet Odyssey and Oracle-esque vocals and the songs have a warm, organic glow, enhanced by some rough edges and little imperfections, happy accidents of the DIY nature of the recordings.
Xavier pieced together the album over quite a long period, following a complicated break-up and the beginning of a long-distance relationship – the songs were written in different places, in different towns and houses. Given all of that, it is perhaps surprising that the finished record is so coherent, light-infused and optimistic. What is supremely evident is Xavier’s ability as a songwriter, here he again delivers a set of gorgeous, contemporary and immediate pop songs. From the exquisite harmonies and frayed electronics of “Cherry Cloud Panic” through to the down-tempo, deliciously melancholic track, “Longing/The International Merry-Go-Round”, we are in the company of an artist, confident in his creative ability.
Photo by By Sylvain Marchand