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Pearl & The Oysters

Florida may not seem like the most likely place for a whimsical French pop-loving band like Pearl & the Oysters, but it makes sense since the duo of Joachim Polack and Juliette Davis moved there from France. Using a kitchen sink's worth of instruments, calling in sympathetic musicians, and showing off a very light melodic sensibility, the band's first two albums were breezy and delightful space age pop. 2021's Flowerland was the last record, fittingly nostalgic and summery, made before they decamped to California. The duo met in high school in Paris and bonded over a love of Burt Bacharach and the Pixies. Polack had been playing in bands for a few years already, and Davis had been plotting a future as a singer since she was a toddler. They attended Université Paris-Sorbonne and began working on a sound that was equally influenced by classic French Pop of the '60s, space age pop of the '50s (and its revival in the '90s by bands like Stereolab), and the inspired simplicity of Love You-era Beach Boys. At the same time, the duo were on their way to earning Master's degrees in musicology. While living in Paris they began recording their first album, but midway through they moved to Gainesville, Florida so Polack could attend the University of Florida to study Brazilian music at a doctoral level. They finished the record, titled Pearl & the Oysters, in Florida and released it in September of 2017. It wasn't long before they started working on a second record, this time recording at four different home studios in more far-flung locales like Italy and France. Along the way, they overdubbed contributions from a variety of musicians including Vulfpeck guitarist Cory Wong, Carlos Valderrama of Fitness Forever, and Alex Brettin of Mild High Club. The finished album shared a similarly upbeat attitude and breezy pop feel as their debut, but added some fuller arrangements. 2018's Canned Music was released jointly by Burger Records and Requiem for a Twister. The duo's third album, 2021's Flowerland, is a slightly more subdued take on the bubbly pop of previous efforts with lyrics that delve more deeply into personal issues and serve as a farewell to Florida, which they left in favor of Los Angeles. Helping out on the record is a large cast of collaborators that includes Dent May, sitarist Ami Dang, members of the Florida band Edmonson, Kuo-Hung Tseng from Sunset Rollercoaster, Jules Crommelin of Parcels, and multi-instrumentalist Fay Lovsky. The album was mixed by Shags Chamberlain and released in September of 2021 on Feeltrip Records.
© Tim Sendra /TiVo
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