I was searching furiously for a video clip that would help me teach my students breakfast-related vocab words and I came across the French band Yelle. I found a simple interview that takes place in an American-themed diner in Paris. In it, Julie Budet, lead singer of the group, talks about the first time she went to a diner in the US, and her obsession with chocolate chip pancakes and bacon. Any major public figure who still hangs out in her native town (which is in Brittany, not Paris), cooks daily, and states that sitting down for a meal with friends daily is one of the most important parts of the day is someone who has my attention.
Yelle’s music is grounded in 80s pop, with light-hearted, funny, and often non-sensical lyrics. But what I find most interesting is their visual aesthetic. Every video I’ve seen of theirs is on point. The videos capture the whimsy of the lyrics – surreal, colorful, and everything from simply modern to over the top styling. We’re not talking major dance moves, but a marked visual aesthetic that have become the group’s signature. For a solid idea of what the group’s all about, I recommend the full-length edit of Safari Disco Club/Que Veux-Tu. Yelle takes you from a world where people’s heads are buried in sidewalks to a studio where eighties fashion reigns. If you’re feeling like a triple-header, check out the video for La Musique – entirely composed of gifs, it’s an ingenious ensemble of pop cultural references. I sincerely hope you will not be disappointed.