Françoise Hardy - Le temps de l’amour
I know little of the French language. In fact, the only bit that’s stuck with me is a line from a Muzzy commercial I was exposed to as a child, which I would later proudly exclaim to French speakers only to find out that I was saying “I am a little girl” the whole time.
Personal mortification aside, and onto the task at hand, I can confidently say I know even less about Françoise Hardy than I do about French. I came across a reissuing of a self-titled compilation one afternoon and found her music to be pleasant enough. From this particular reissue, I’ve selected “Le temps de l’amour”.
Compared to the rest of what I’ve heard from Hardy’s songbook, “Le temps de l’amour” is unusually modern. Her other songs are dated, like a Sinatra collection. But here, the bassline is omnipotent and the wiry guitar strums with an indignantly surf-rock ‘tude. In the first few seconds the percussion sounds warlike.
What I can gather from the title is that Hardy is addressing her love, maybe saying they are her love or she is their love, but is forceful about it. As if Hardy pulls up on a cream colored moped and nonchalantly presses you for a cigarette. She’s not asking, she’s telling. Françoise is on her worst behavio(u)r right now and she’s the only one aware of it. She’s Thelma and Louise.
Hardy is enigmatic to you. She’s reminiscing about memories you haven’t even created yet. Her voice is calm warmth. You ask her to repeat herself a few times.
There is charm to Hardy that’s elusive at first but slowly becomes more evident. She’s eye-rolling to the fact that she’s singing about love in the language of love to her love. The moment everything starts to make sense Hardy is over this bullshit. She stomps on the cigarette butt and glides away.
I know, I know another dumb list to throw on the ever-growing mound of dumb lists. I’m sorry.
But this past year I worked an office job where I was able to stream music for practically 40 hours per week, giving me ample time to explore and connect with more music than ever before. I want to share my findings, not in an unquantifiable list of “Bests,” but just what I returned to most of the time.
So, in one fell swoop, here are my favorite releases - albums, EPs, mixtapes - from this past year. Thank you for reading.