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Vincent Delerm

The music of French chanson Vincent Delerm channeled the sophisticated, archly literary pop tradition first popularized by American songwriters like Randy Newman and Paul Simon. No surprise, given that he is the child of acclaimed novelist Philippe and children's writer/illustrator Martine Delerm. Born August 31, 1976, in Evreux, Vincent was raised on the romantic, melancholy pop of French icons Alain Souchon and Françoise Hardy. As a teen, he embraced British post-punk icons the Cure and Joy Division, and at 17 formed his own mope-rock outfit, Triste Sire. He continued writing songs and teaching himself piano while studying modern literature at the University at Rouen, later expanding into theater and cinema as well. Delerm nevertheless reserved his greatest passion for music, and in 1998 made his solo live debut at Rouen's Ronsard Hall. A Parisian cabaret tour followed a year later, and in early 2000 Delerm befriended comedian Jérôme Deschamps, who passed his demo to producers with radio broadcaster France Inter, who in February invited the virtual unknown to perform on the network's flagship program, Sur le Pont des Artistes. A stint in support of Matthieu Bermeulen followed, and in the summer of 2001 Delerm opened for Thomas Fersen during an extended residency at Paris' Cigale Club. After the run came to a close, Fersen recommended him to the Tôt ou Tard label, which issued Delerm's self-titled debut LP in the spring of 2002. Inspired in large part by Delerm's love of French cinema, complete with nods to stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Irène Jacob, the record quickly racked up sales in excess of 100,000, with a tour highlighted by a five-night stay at Paris' famed Le Bataclan. In early 2003, Delerm also received the Victoire de la Musique award for the year's best debut album. Guests including Keren Ann and Dominique A populated the 2004 follow-up, Kensington Square. The record was another considerable commercial success, but Delerm temporarily mothballed his musical career to write the stage production Le Fait d'Habiter Bagnolet, which was staged at Paris' Théâtre du Rond-Point at year's end under the direction of Sophie LeCarpentier. Delerm's third album, Les Piqûres d'Araignée, followed in the autumn of 2006, featuring a guest appearance by Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy on "Favourite Song". In 2008, Vincent Delerm released Quinze Chansons, his fourth album.
© Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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