I was in Belgium the other week, on a short stopover to Blankenberg and Brugges, to be exact. I was there just enough time to sample the local cuisine, a few waffles and goblets of Leffe Blonde. And take in a mini slice of Belgian culture. Unusually for me on this trip, I didn’t get to check out any homegrown Belgium music. I will not lose any sleep over this because I know Angèle is a multi-hyphenate who is making waves and is Belgium’s hottest music export of the moment. She is also about to join Dua Lipa next week, for her UK “Future Nostalgia” tour dates.
As expected, ahead of her UK visit, Angèle has conveniently just put out something new. This is the video for the track “Libre” that appears on her sophomore album “Nonante-Cinq“. It’s almost impossible to criticize “Libre” because it is a typical euro-pop song. Musically, the song replicates the sound championed in the 80s by the French actress and songstress Vanessa Paradis. The kind of music you will always find in continental Europe.
About the Aube Perrie directed music video for the track. The clip begins with a scene dedicated to a slice of pizza. We see the tasty fast food snack levitating out of a pizza oven on a street vendor’s stall. The slice of Margherita spins through the air before it lands in the hands of Angèle. Without hesitation, she takes a bite. I would have preferred they chose a waffle over a pizza slice, to be fair. Due to the videos setting in New York, pizza won. What brings Angèle to New York, I hear you ask? The explanation is simple. In this music video, she transforms into an explorer by imagining herself as an astronaut.
Well, that hasn’t helped much! Rolling Stone, however, managed an interview with Angèle. About “Libre” she told them the track explores themes of freedom in “an off-beat and humorous way.” (Full Interview here). Ah, see, it does make sense. Maybe, some cartoon bubble captions would have lessened the confusion for non-French speakers like myself.
The above little criticism aside. The song is instantly memorable in a nostalgic kind of way. A complete earworm. Consider yourselves warned.