La Petite Mort — James — W.A.C.#1


La Petite Mort

My thoughts

Well how can you go wrong with a title that can double between a feeling of mortality and the French euphemism for an orgasm?

Oh it’s just such an upbeat feeling, with choruses that you feel either you must join in with them or that an entire group of friends already has (Gone Baby Gone, anyone?)

For me the album conjured feelings of festivals, listening to an act as the sun set. With the earlier tracks being the “sun is out and we’re here” feeling and the later ones allowing people to chill a little more in a warm evening, with  the music washing over as a hypnotised crowd listens to the music flowing over the field. James has a very synth-based, almost ethereal dance sound, certainly in this album. You just seem to get the impression that these songs are not necessarily for the individual, but to be pulled out of the aether.

James makes real use of a kick, hat, kick, hat drum beat, embodied in Curse Curse backed up with a rugged bass and synthy overtones. The occasional burst of trumpet perforating where necessary (also popping its nose up in Interrogation). Further, I have to say something of the 90’s hasn’t quite left these guys. It’s not dating them by any means but the occasional synth, riff or melody just sends down memory lane.

Moving On is a particularly strong track of this album, with the real feel that people will be scrabbling to play and feature it. It’s one of those tracks that has real staying power, and I am really intrigued to see if it will be one of the more memorable ones.

The whole album has the feel of life and death, exploring both in its lyrics but I don’t want to share the lyrics here. The lyrics, melodies, chords and rhythms feel particularly intertwined here and to pull some lyrics out robs them of the vital context and feel that the songs give them. Indeed, La petite Mort is a completely gestalt entity. The whole completely outweighing the sum of its parts.

Is this album for you?

There’s always going to be some divide to those who cannot stand indie rock, and there will be those who find the more sombre side too whiny and just irritating. Indeed even within fans of the style, divisions pop up between groups. Enough about bickering.
This album is perhaps going to best find its audience of a certain generation, those in their 20’s through to 40’s just due to its sounds. As for me, I say definitely listen, its one of the most escapist albums I’ve listened to in a while.

And for those of you who just remember Sit Down you’d do well to listen to this one. They are not just feature artists of the 90’s.


  • Writing: 7.5/10
  • Performance: 9/10
  • Style: 8/10
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