Barbagallo is the eponymous side project of Julien Barbagallo, the French musician who plays drums in Tame Impala.
A movement is graciously but steadily spreading through France, based on the idea that we need to rethink the way in which we sing in French and make use of and adapt the language. Lyrical French was transformed by Barbara Gainsbourg and Boris Bergman in their day, and is continuing to evolve in the hands of Sébastien Tellier, Bertrand Belin or Julien Barbagallo, who has a long history of exploring the boundaries of French song with his group Aquaserge and his solo Lecube project.
Like so many of his compatriots, Julien has long sung the secrets of his soul in English, mainly for reasons of convenience. Yet now, after a few years of exile in Australia, especially as antipodean indie – pop institution Tame Impala’s master of toms and hi -hats, ‘Big Dog’ (as he is known down under) has taken advantage of his linguistic isolation to unshackle his tongue, words and ideas, and return to his past and roots.
It is just as much a revelation for him as for us: on Grand Chien, Barbagallo lets fly with the words and accents of his mother tongue (the distinctive French of his native Albi). Dropping the mask for the first time, in one flowing movement, he embraces every inch of his identity, down to its most complex obscurities, ridding himself of the ready – made clichés of pop in the language of Shakespeare and Elvis Presley. With a startling obviousness, we find him reborn: the only artist of his kind, a major driving force in the world of a progressive French pop that is set to continue its pyrotechnics.
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