The Brian Jonestown Massacre, “Philadelphia Story”

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The direct influence of one art form on another is not all that uncommon, but when an artist declares it outright, the expectation of doing the influencing art justice is quite high. The Brian Jonestown Massacre, on their new record, Musique De Film Imaginé, out April 27, attempts to pay homage to the filmmakers of the French New Wave, creating what could be the musical accompaniment to a film that was never produced.

In the record’s first single, titled, “Philadelphia Story”, a proper taste for theatrics is founded in wholesome bass undertones and emotional flourishes, both tonal and vocal. The vocals are entirely in French, obviously adding to the effect. It’s a deathly serious song, growing in intensity as it progresses, with its faux trumpet and synth sounds, ebbing into an eerie bridge, and then regaining all sonic momentum and finishing strong. The nasality of the language add a layer of texture, almost percussive in its consonants, to what is already a greatly complex concept.