The first of the day was London-based band Wooze. Jamie and Theo met while living in an art collective called Muddy Yard, which was created as subsidized housing for artists from a disused building in London. In search of a house band to play after events and exhibitions, Jamie and Theo began quickly writing songs and formed Wooze, working out new songs and ideas in real time at these events. Now with 10-15 regular songs in their rotation, they are working to release their first EP in April or May of next year. Earlier this year, they released a couple singles with amazing videos shot by a friend in South Korea which have been getting them attention and bookings on festivals and shows.
You will love Wooze if you are a fan of Devo, Gary Numan, Of Montreal, MGMT, all of which have just slight hints in their extremely catchy and technically impressive songwriting. Their KEXP session was great, with Jamie on drums and vocals, Theo on guitar and vocals in brightly colored outfits and dyed yellow hair and joined by Macca on bass and Scott on guitar who dressed in yellow raincoats with the hood up and yellow face masks, they kept the tight timing and stood as guards, rhythmic choreographed moves to frame Jamie and Theo. During one song, Theo even plays guitar behind his head!
I cannot recommend Wooze enough, definitely check them out and hear a snippet of what their session sounded like here. We can't wait to share their performance video when we post it early next year!
Next up was a band from right here in Rennes called Initials BB. Named after the Serge Gainsbourg album and song of the same name, Gainsbourg's "BB" stood for Brigit Bardot, whereas this band's "BB" stands for bouvier bernois, a Bernese Mountain Dog, which they had a little, stuffed animal of near the drum kit. It was that already good sense of humor that immediately endeared Intitials BB, but when they started playing the deal was sealed.
They play a sleek set of 60s film noir, Bossanova, lounge jazz, and classic French mixed together. With Pierre on vocals/organ/guitar, Léo (also in Madcaps who we filmed at Trans in 2016) on drums, Valentin on bass, and Thibaud on flute and saxophone, their self-titled full length was released in May of this year, check it out here. This was such a great session, while you wait for it to be released you can listen to a bit of it here.
Our final act of the 2018 festival was another local from Rennes, pop artist Praa. Praa began playing guitar at the age of 7 and was already in a band playing shows by 15. She began playing in a folk band and after a while grew tired of being shy and lacking self-confidence so she decided to change her viewpoint on life and break through personal barriers by going solo and using pop music to face her fears to get out in front and speak her mind. The lyrics to her finely crafted, smooth and catchy songs touch on being confident, love, and being a woman in 2018. For her live performance, she is joined by Marine on guitar, Anthony on bass, and Frederico on drums, while she is front and center and intermittently grabbing her guitar to join in with the band on the melodic hooks.
Praa definitely has the vision and drive and is a lovely person to boot. Make sure to check out her new EP when it's released in early spring 2019, to be released on Elephant and Castles Records, owned by her production partner, Timsters. While you wait for the KEXP session to be released, check out a clip of it here.
That's a wrap for the KEXP road crew for the 2018 Trans Musicales fest! We are so thankful to Trans Musicales for having us back again, Jean-Louis Brossard, Gwenola La Bris and especially our coordinator and amazing host, Jeremy Meleard. Thank you to our France based crew for making everything seamless and taking amazing care of us – Jean-Marc, Alex, Sebastian, Jean-Baptiste, and Pinar. A huge thank you to our kind and generous hosts at the Musée de la Danse, especially Fatima. And of course to all of the bands that spent their time with us and were generous enough to share their music. We can't wait to share all of the performances with you when we post them to our YouTube channel in early 2019 and make sure to tune in as I'll be doing features on each band as their performances are released on my show, Saturdays from 12-3pm. I leave you with a picture of Mont Saint-Michel, which we were able to visit on our day off before heading back to Seattle.
Love, from France.