Cart 0

Your cart is empty

Nouvelle Vague

With a name that means "new wave" in French and "bossa nova" in Portuguese, Nouvelle Vague's moniker neatly sums up the group's concept: remaking new wave classics with a Brazilian pop twist. French producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux recruited young female vocalists unfamiliar with the songs by the Clash, Dead Kennedys, and XTC that appeared on 2004's Nouvelle Vague, adding to the freshness that made it an international success. Subsequent albums offered slightly different shadings on the project's concept, ranging from collaborations with the artists whose songs they covered on 2009's 3 to the inclusion of original songs on 2016's I Could Be Happy. Even after Libaux's 2021 death, Nouvelle Vague's dedication to playfully sultry and wistful reinterpretations of post-punk and new wave continued with 2024's Should I Stay or Should I Go. Prior to Nouvelle Vague, Libaux played with various French pop bands during the late '80s and through '90s, including Les Objets, a project with Jérôme Rousseaux informed by British acts such as the Smiths and the Monochrome Set. Meanwhile, Collin played with the trip-hop outfit Ollano, composed film soundtracks such as The Kidnapper's Theme, and released electronic music ranging from club-oriented material for Paper Recordings to more eclectic fare for Fcom and Output Records (under the aliases Avril and Volga Select, respectively). The pair met through mutual friends in the late '90s and bonded over their shared passion for punk and new wave music. In 2003 -- the same year Libaux released his first solo album, L'Héroïne au bain -- the duo recorded a bossa nova-tinged version of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Excited by the results, Collin and Libaux expanded on their idea, recruiting French and Brazilian vocalists who hadn't heard the original versions of songs like XTC's "Making Plans for Nigel" to ensure that their renditions had their own identity. Released in Europe in 2004 and in the U.S. the following year, Nouvelle Vague won praise for its stylish refresh of new wave, appeared on the French album charts, and sold over half a million copies worldwide. Following a 2005 world tour in support of their debut album, Nouvelle Vague returned with their second album A Bande a Part in June 2006. Featuring reimaginings of New Order's "Blue Monday" and Blondie's "Heart of Glass," the album charted in France, Germany, Portugal, and the U.K., and was certified gold for its sales throughout Europe. In the U.S., A Bande a Part reached the Top Ten of the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. In 2007, Libaux issued his second solo album Imbécile, but Nouvelle Vague remained prominent with several mixes and curated compilations. These included a volume of the Late Night Tales mix series; New Wave, which gathered well-known songs as covered by the Flying Lizards, Duran Duran, and others; and an installment of Stereo Deluxe's Coming Home series that collected some of Collin's favorite film music. Similarly, 2008's Hollywood, Mon Amour presented songs from '80s films given the Nouvelle Vague treatment with Juliette Lewis and Yael Naim among its singers. The guest vocalists continued on June 2009's aptly named third album 3, which found Ian McCulloch, Terry Hall, Martin Gore, and Barry Adamson duetting with the project's roster of singers on songs that included blues and country influences as well as bossa nova. Certified silver in Europe, 3 appeared on the French, German, and Portuguese charts. For November 2010's Couleurs sur Paris, the group reimagined French punk and post-punk of the '70s and '80s with the help of singers such as Vanessa Paradis, Coeur de Pirate, and Nouvelle Vague alumnus Camille. The album charted in France and several other European countries. The following year saw the release of The Singers, a collection of tracks by the singers' other projects that included Phoebe Killdeer & the Short Straws' "Fade Out Lines," which became a hit throughout Europe when it was remixed by the Avener. Appearing in 2012, Acoustic gathered the highlights from a 2009 concert in Portugal. Nouvelle Vague took a break for a few years, during which time Collin co-wrote and produced Ya Nass, the official debut album from Lebanese artist Yasmine Hamdan, and Libaux created Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age, a tribute album to the band featuring Emiliana Torrini, Inara George, Katharine Whalen and other well-known female vocalists. Nouvelle Vague returned in 2016 with I Could Be Happy, which featured original songs written by Libaux and Collin alongside the expected new wave and post-punk covers. Three years later, the project celebrated its 15th anniversary with a tour, the documentary Nouvelle Vague by Nouvelle Vague and a pair of collections: Rarities, a set of B-sides and hard-to-find tracks, and Curiosities, which gathered previously unreleased recordings. In 2021, Libaux died at the age of 57, but Collin continued the project and helmed live dates with the group. Nouvelle Vague returned with new material in February 2024 with Should I Stay or Should I Go. Reuniting Collin with Mélanie Pain, one of the project's original vocalists, the album offered covers of songs by Yazoo, Blondie, Duran Duran, the Clash, and others.
© Heather Phares /TiVo


20 album(s) • Sorted by Bestseller

My favorites

This item has been successfully <span>added / removed</span> from your favorites.

Sort and filter releases