New Automne video: Soeurs de Coeur

Video: Automne – “Sœurs de cœur”

Sœurs de cœur – Automne

Directed by Joséphine Lajeat. From the Automne EP, due March 23.

Paris has style. I mean, come on. Look at this video. Who has house parties where everybody is so elegant and chic? Not in a trendy or pretentious or stuffy way, but just totally stylish. Wine, pistachios, tarot cards, chaises longues, cigarettes… So damn cool.

Full disclosure: Autumne’s guitarist, Perry Leopard, is a friend. I’ve hung out with him in divy little bars in outer arrondissements far off the tourist track. We’ve listened to his pals play blues and jazz to an audience of a dozen locals drinking 1664s. We also went and saw the remains of the MC5 together at the Élysée Montmartre. Perry’s a great guy, an Alabama native who’s called Paris home for many years, and a fine connoisseur of rock and roll.

And now, he’s involved in a new project with classically trained Parisian cellist Automne Lajeat. They’ve been woodshedding and playing gigs together for about a year along with drummer Thomas Gromb and guitarist David Haddad. They’re planning on recording a full-length album to be released early next year.

My français is très rusty so Perry helped translate the lyrics for me. The chorus (“à mes potes, à mes copines, à mes sanguines, à mes sœurs de cœur”) roughly means “to my homies, to my blood sisters.” And “sanguines” has a double entendre: a “sanguin” is someone who easily gets carried away.

“Sœurs de cœur” is a celebration of friendship, and the video features our women friends, who are poets, theater technicians, photographers, musicians, and painters. The director, Joséphine Lajeat, is Automne’s younger sister, and she and her director of photography, Joanna Cognard, have been a movie-making team for a while. They made Automne’s previous videos for “Lovecrafter” (words are a Patti Smith poem) and “Nedjma.” Their most recent film of their own is a short called Pouce, in which Automne and I have bit parts.

Even if you can’t understand the words, you get the feel of what Automne is singing about. She sounds brave and defiant. The song is arranged beautifully: subtle but dramatic with brooding cello and gnarly guitars and spooky background vocals, building up to the climax: “Aux optimistes, aux féministes!”

Automne: web, facebook, youtube.

“Sœurs de cœur” – Lyrics by Automne Lajeat, translation by Perry Leopard

A mes potes, à mes copines, à mes sanguines, à mes sœurs de cœur
Aux amoureuses aux combattantes (those in love and those who fight)
Aux bienveillantes et aux grandes gueules (the benevolent and the loudmouths)
Aux volages et aux matrices (the capricious and the, well, literally, “uteruses” – the matrixes of humanity? I wouldn’t know how to translate that one, ha!)
Aux anarchistes et aux artistes (obvious)

A mes potes, à mes copines, à mes sanguines, à mes sœurs de cœur
Aux fêtardes et aux pétardes (partiers and firecrackers)
Aux sans-culottes et aux salopes (I reckon you know “sans culottes” from your French history, and probably that it’s literally “without underpants”! Salope = slut, bitch)
Aux pique-assiettes, aux adeptes de la sieste (those who eat out of others’ plates and siesta aficionadas)
Aux coquettes et aux girouettes (the flirty and fickle)

A mes potes, à mes copines, à mes sanguines, à mes sœurs de cœur
Aux aventurières et aux sorcières (obvious)
Aux douces-amères et aux doux-dingues (bittersweet and eccentric)
Aux marginales, aux originales (obvious)
Aux branleuses, aux audacieuses (first word, literally “masturbators,” is not like “wankers,” but rather lazy… “audacious” is the same as in English)

A mes potes, à mes copines, à mes sanguines, à mes sœurs de cœur
Aux névrosées, aux angoissées (neurotic and anguished)
Aux rebelles et aux sans-gênes (rebels and brazen)
Aux apaches et aux pudiques (gangsters and chaste)
Aux sans attaches, aux excentriques (footloose, unattached; 2nd obvs)

A mes potes, à mes copines, à mes sanguines, à mes sœurs de cœur
Aux nébuleuses et aux furieuses (obvs)
Aux excitées et aux paumées (obvs; the lost)
Aux cantatrices, aux prédatrices (singers and predators)
Aux optimistes, aux féministes (obvs)

Pôtes, copines, sanguines…

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