POPINCOURT – New album “We were bound to meet”

POPINCOURT – New album “We were bound to meet” – Out on September 2023 – www.milano-records.com ! (popincourtmusic.com)


We were bound to meet… Yes, it seems we were… but more importantly… Why hadn’t we met before?

How was I so blindly unaware of Olivier Popincourt? This being his third album, and fourth record release… I must have been living under a rock or something… Hold on! How come Gabriela hadn’t given me a heads up?

Anyway… personal failings aside…


Listening to Olivier Popincourt couldn’t have come more timely point.

Lately  my musical life has had a large hole left in it due to the tragic suicide of my great friend and the huge musical talent that was Glyn Thomas aka Lucien Caine aka half of electric duo Alpinestars. Glyn had loved French music, of all eras and this came through his work, so what has this digression and lament for a late friend got to do this this latest work by Olivier popincourt?

Well… the void, no, huge chasm, left by Glyn has now been filled (at the very least in part) by the talent of Olivier Popincourt. As soon as I played the first track, the same love of structure, style and  understanding of writing – and meaning what you are writing came right through. The brittle sensibility and artistry of this album is beautiful. Yes, there are many 60’s hints and echoes in M. Popincourt’s album, but these aren’t slavish, mawkish, nor in your face. These works are smart, sharp and beautifully structured. It’s mod-ish andmodern without the overly produced sterility that today’smusic industry is prone to do.

If you’re expecting some jingoistic pastiche of 60’s ballads with a French lilt, then your sadly mistaken. M. Popincourt’sworks have far more subtly and are way more musically persuasive than that – and let’s not forget Gabriela Giacoman(French Boutik) is more than involved with the album, so the mod credentials are there from the outset.

The album seems to tell a tale of a mis-matched pair of old lovers awkwardly meeting, well, that’s the feel as it progresses.

I’m not bothered if there is or isn’t a story line -implied or otherwise, the album is silvery seductive, you know… the lush sonic vistas and audial space that someone like Bacharach conjours up. Well, M. Popincourt can do it too- but with the added suaveness and panache that only a French-romantic can bring. Oh, did I mention the spatial quality of the production? I think I did, but it’s worth a second mention at least. Now don’t go falling into the trap of thinking…. ‘Oh… It’s loooooounge music’. No. There are elements of that, but so too of Jazz, blues, soul and a dash of the old power pop as well.

The whole album is that of thought, a certain amount of introspection, calm and sweet melancholic romance.

M. Popincourt ought to be relieved that Serge Gainsbourg passed away some time ago, as I’m certain that Olivier’s art would be on his radar and Serge’s fingers would be deftly picking his musical pocket, if not tapping him up for a collabor two.

Who’s going to enjoy this? If you like Belle & Sebastian, Thebeautiful South, Burt Bacharach, the more leisurely Style Council, or even if you’ve had chance to hear of Lucien Caine, then this is for you.

Pop this on, pop open a decent bottle of red, relax, listen and breathe.

Review and words by Rik Bardsley 

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