Heading out on a road trip is often a great way to inspire your songwriting, as French psych-pop band La Femme discovered when they hit the US highways and chronicled the journey on their new single “Cool Colorado.”
“Cool Colorado” alludes to freedom, the insouciance of a journey,” the band explains. “We were somewhere between the states of Utah and Wyoming, during our last American tour, when this ode to the San Francisco of the 70s, which is so rare and precious to us even if we never lived in this period, came to us.” Watch “Cool Colorado” here:
Cool Colorado, I am coming to join you
I come to sit down on your benches
And here I breathe the wind
Life is calm, angels caress me
And I am smoking in the streets without stress
A bit like in the old times, far away from my troubles
Where we go just to smell the heat
And feel the sweetness of the wind, of the mountains
The song’s lyrics flowed effortlessly from top to bottom, and the band recorded several takes before digging into the editing process.
“The song was recorded live first and then Sacha edited a lot of stuff. The bass line changed, the drums as well, we added voices. It has been a mix between live takes and track by track takes. We wanted to detach our sound from a classic 60s revival sound. We added side chains to the guitars, kick drum, in order to make it sound more slicy and cut.”
Colorado represents a freedom to band members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, with its wide-open spaces, legal cannabis and laid-back hippie vibe.
“Colorado is the first American state which legalized cannabis, this is where the line ‘And I smoke in the streets without stress’ comes from,” La Femme adds. “This song is also related to the Beatnik spirit, to the literature of Kerouac. Do you remember the Magic Bus? It was going from Europe to Kathmandu on a now-mythical hippie trail.”
It isn’t the first time La Femme found themselves on the backroads of America. In 2010, the band came up with an ingenious DIY angle to get the attention of French record labels. With a shoestring $3000 budget and one record release, they booked a tour of the US, playing 20 clubs and garnering just the right amount of buzz to impress the French music industry. The result? Their 2013 debut album Psycho Tropical Berlin won a Victoires de la Musique award (France’s equivalent to the GRAMMY’s).
“The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Magnée told UK’s The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”
“Cool Colorado” follows their come-back single “Paradigme,” both which will be featured on their upcoming, as yet untitled, third album, released via the band’s label Disque Pointu, distributed worldwide by IDOL. Songwriters Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée are fairly prolific as well and drew from a well of hundreds of songs for the new record.
“We actually work on a group of a hundred songs roughly. The oldest from the next album is called « Le sang de mon prochain » and was written in 2012.”
“This album does not correspond to one specific period of our lives,” the band explains. “We have always composed songs all along the journey of the band. Therefore, this album is composed with temporality, it has to be seen as a big piece of a puzzle we create. It is an ongoing process, but all this stays in the range of a concept and remains uncertain.”
To celebrate the “Cool Colorado” spirit and their first English-language song, the band has created this collaborative playlist with songs for the Ultimate Virtual US Road Trip and is asking: what’s your favorite song celebrating a US city, state or location?
Everyone who contributes a song can enter the contest to win signed vinyl from La Femme – they’ll pick three winners to receive signed copies of their first two albums, Psycho Tropical Berlin and Mystere. Check out and follow the playlist, enter the contest, suggest a song at: https://ffm.to/coolcoloradoroadtrip.
(Due to mailing restrictions, contest is open to US fans only, but everyone can still suggest a song).