When the French expat Juliette Buchs was homesick for her country, she'd sing French-pop songs to her friends karaoke-style, with a few bottles of wine, as is custom. In the increasingly diverse Nashville scene, some of those friends (Fly Golden Eagle's Ben Trimble and Clear Plastic Masks drummer Charles Garmendia) were convinced to start a band — not a throwback to classic country or Americana, but something more chic, from across the Atlantic.
Now based in Brooklyn, Champagne Superchillin' is getting ready to release its second album in as many years, Beach Deep.* It still mines the yé-yé and New Wave of yesteryear, with nods to Françoise Hardy and Serge Gainsbourg, but Champagne Superchillin' has now been dipped in bombastic surf riffs, haunting electronics and a syrup-thick production that coats it all in a psychedelic glaze. It's intoxicating pop music for the dark corners of the dance hall.
That beauty and darkness twists into "Amor Fati," the album's strange, sexy and soulful first single. Juliette Buchs tells NPR Music it was inspired by Nietzsche's concept of the eternal return:
Life is like a chorus, a theme that comes back identically and that you have to listen, sing and love, again, again and again, to the infinite. This repetition of the same theme is what Nietzsche calls the eternal return, like the back and forth motion of ocean tides I felt through the writing of Beach Deep.
Through my personal experiences, I found the necessity of beauty and love in this ill-designed world, not like a spirit of surrender to a perhaps after, but an acceptance of my path with what it is. The song talks about the night, the eternal rambling under the moonlight, because the light can be actually quite dark. The night is a different way of seeing life, made of dancing and alcohol, but also fear, because it escapes other's eyes, a gloomy conversation in a dark corner. The neverending night, the one we always return to, sometimes until the bird's morning song. I feel like this entertainment is the tide to our eternal question of existence.
The music video, by Film Lies, is equally dark and beautiful, filmed at the Pocono Palace resort — a champagne-soaked hedonistic romp in heart-shaped jacuzzis and ceiling-mounted mirrors. Its deep shades of pink and red will put you in the mood for love, or at least a very deep desire for a sharp-cut bangs and a glittery dress.
Beach Deep comes out July 20 via Soft Junk / Broken Circles.
*We know that Champagne Superchillin' is kind of an obnoxious moniker, so we imagine the band-naming session maybe going something like this, perhaps after a few bottles of wine:
"What if was like an Oasis song, but, like, cool?"
"Anyway, Here's Wonderwall."
"Non. That meme's played out."
"Got it: Champagne Superchillin'."
"Oh là là. I've already printed up t-shirts."