The initial reason I got onto French songstress Camille was that I liked to raid my sister’s things. So one day in 2006, during an episode of music thievery in her iTunes, I came across Camille’s second album, 2005′s Le Fil. What a gold find that was. I found myself instantly attracted to her unique sound.
This newest record, Ilo Veyou, seems to encapsulate the gaiety of new love with some fast-paced vocal gymnastics alongside more sobering tracks that have Camille reflecting on love when it is not so kind. Camille has a wonderfully absurd ability to transform her voice into nearly any desired pitch and texture; older tracks on past albums have featured layers, layers and more layers of hand-claps, beat boxing, and other such additions; Ilo Veyou is stripped back in comparison.
It features a great deal more English and a whole lot less of her startling vocals arrangements- don’t get me wrong, her absurdity is brilliant, and when it is there, it’s captivating, but this is a new side to Camille and it is to be welcomed with open arms. It didn’t surprise me to hear that the album was recorded in an assortment of different French churches and abbeys in the French countryside; there is a depth and refinement to the overall sound of the album, as if you can hear her vocals reverberating off the walls of a twelfth- century piece of Cistercian architecture.
Le Berger is my pick of the litter: it has a beautifully simple arrangement with Camille’s soothing, untainted vocals weaving amongst a restrained use of the acoustic guitar and Camille’s own voice eerily embodies qualities like that of a quavering trumpet. The beauty of Camille is that she never delivers too much of the same; a song may float along for the duration and then, out of left field, she will introduce a whole new dimension by quite simply transforming her voice into something else exquisite.
Ilo Veyou celebrates the versatility of such a ridiculously talented vocalist and her lack of restrictions on where to draw the line. I look forward to handing this album over to that same sister, from whom I originally stole that Camille album back in 2006, with a thank-you for unknowingly introducing me to such a voice.
Words: Laura Main