Alfa Rococo are already a name amongst Francophone music fans — and not only in Quebec, either. The indie-rock duo, consisting of Justine Laberge on vocals and David Bussières on vocals and guitar, has two hit albums, two 2008 Félix Awards, 200-odd performances and two European festival appearances to their credit since their first collaboration in 2004. Alfa Rococo will be playing M for Montreal as part of the Franco M Selection showcase, and it’s a perfect venue to become a Roco-convert, as you can expect a few of their numerous Quebec radio hits to make the stage.
To an Anglo listener, Alfa Rococo comes off in the middle of the radio-friendly indie spectrum, somewhere between the girl-fronted, electro-tinged stompers of fellow canucks Metric and the pensive, reverb-heavy mope-rock of UK’s Doves. To the mix Alfa Rococo adds assorted folksy French and Quebecois influences, chiefly by way of warm male/female vocal harmonies and French lyrics. Their first album, 2007’s Lever L’ancre, has a more wistful vibe, while their second, last year’s Chasser le Malheur, is more upbeat and synth-driven.
Generally, Alfa Rococo‘s mostly midtempo pieces create a atmosphere that can only be described as pretty. It’s sweet and melancholic by turns, and no understanding of French is required to understand the mood of it all. It’s not particularly daring, but it’s slick and catchy, with not a hair out of place. As curveballs, Alfa Rococo throw in a few higher-energy, four-on-the-floor numbers that’ll pack a dancefloor fast — see the video below. Here’s hoping to see a few of those at the show!
Alfa Rococo plays M for Montreal this Saturday at 2PM @ Café Campus.