Woodkid is international Video Director turned Romantic Indie musician Yoann Lemoine. Born in Lyon, Lemoine studied illustration and animation before a brief period at Swindon college followed by him moving to Paris. Whether or not you’ve ever heard of Woodkid you will indeed know Lemoine’s video work: being the brain behind Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’, Lana Del Ray’s ‘Born to Die’, Taylor Swifts ‘Back to December’ and the Mystery Jet’s ‘Dreaming of Another World’. Eclectic tastes it seems.
So knowing that Lemoine is a talented video director, how about his musical ability? iTunes have been nice enough to gift us the track ‘Run Boy Run’ from his latest album ‘The Golden Age’, the follow up to his 2011 ‘Iron EP’ which featured on the soundtracks of Hitchcock and Django Unchained.
‘Run Boy Run’ opens with an ominous bell toll, that echoes and reverberates in a way that makes you think of ghost stories, horror movies, death and (because of the title of the track) being chased by a murderer! The track quickly switches from this into the opening vocals layered over a heavy, tense texture of percussion: everything from hand claps, snare drums and sounds that would place you firmly in an Iron Mill.
As for Lemoine’s vocals: they are exquisite. Forget about love at first sight, this most definitely was love at first listen: A cross between Morrissey and Anthony and the Johnsons, his voice is velvety smooth, with his French accent giving his vocal tonality that exotic hint that makes it stand out from all the British and American acts of today.
Between these vocal feather beds we get intense snare percussion, that sounds almost gun like in nature, and keeps that intensity going. A great running tempo and track. Then just as you’re getting into it the track switches up again introducing amazing orchestral brass and strings that makes you think of epic movie soundtracks, war zones, lost loves and emotions running sky high.
By the time we reach the instrumental break that finishes the track I was so caught up in this imagined emotional world that it brought tears to my eyes (it doesn’t help that I’m currently reading Beautiful Redemption which this track fits brilliantly with). This has been the best Single of the Week since we started here at That’s What She Heard. Fabulous textures and an instrumental world that literally transports you somewhere else. Lemoine’s video work has definitely aided his music making, making it a full scale, epic, hollywood blockbuster in a 3 minute audio frame.
I could definitely see Woodkid being booked for a venue such as The Royal Albert Hall with full orchestra and musical theatrics. This is someone that I would love to see live, since having heard ‘Run Boy Run’ I have downloaded his album and EP, listening to them non-stop. I genuinely have’t been this excited about a piece of new music since my Jamie Woon and James Blake obsession a couple of years ago. This is one person who I would genuinely love to meet (fan girl-ing already).
If you spend your extra cash on one thing this pay day, spend it on Woodkid, it will most definitely be worth your while. If it’s not you can always email me and have a go. Now to finish Beautiful Redemption with the perfect soundtrack…