Sebastian Tellier is set to cement his reputation as one of the pre-eminent voices in French electronica with the release of new album “Sexuality” on February 25th.
Over flowing with filthy synths, “Sexuality” discusses primal urges as only the French can. A geniune triumph of electro-pop, “Sexuality” was produced by Daft Punk co-founder Guy Manuel De Homem-Christo. Astonishingly, this is the first full length work Homem-Christo has been involved in outside of Daft Punk.
Sebastian Tellier talks us through “Sexuality”, track by track:
I love sex and sportswear
Inspired by Tellier’s summer holidays, the album opens with the sound of waves, before going into a blissfully melancholic number. Jean-Luc Ponty meets Laidback on the beach.
Sebastien says: “It’s a song about my holidays in Biarritz. I remember a great bar there called Blue Cargo. This bar still exists and I did this song to be played in this bar.”
Despite its subject matter, Kilometer remains remarkably sensual. A fine, electrofied counterpoint to Olivia Newton-John’s Physical.
Sebastien says: “It’s a representation of the endurance and sexual stamina. This song is cold and German sounding, because that’s my vision of the sexual, German way.”
Overly yearning synth arpeggios, Tellier examines the subtle practice of eye fucking.
Sebastien says: “A song about sexual attraction. You know, when you go to a restaurant or a discotheque; it’s a song about seduction, about the look.”
A truly standout track. Sebastien pairs West Coast pop sensibilities with vintage electronica, to conjure up a tune that sounds like a missing inclusion from The Beach Boys’ 20/20 album.
Sebastien says: “This is about the old-fashioned, sexual ways of a Californian guy. It’s a tribute to The Beach Boys, but also to the Phantom of The Paradise film by Brian De Palma”
A slow motion, erotic bassline and cries of ecstatic foreplay come together to form Sexuality’s fruit of carnal knowledge.
Sebastien says: “It’s the most sexual song on the album. I’m very proud of the bass. It’s music that can excite people. It has a Latin feel.”
6) Une Heure:
Over another sensual bassline an almost oriental sounding guitar lines, Tellier advocates bedroom switch-hittery.
…just a normal guy with a wonderful sexual dream
Sebastien says: “The lyrics are about bisexuality. I say to the bisexual person: ‘you are very lucky, because you can taste everything.'”
7) Sexual Sportswear:
Finally, he climaxes. Great name, great evocation of crisp, synthetic heightened states sensuality. Gotta love that peel of thunder at the beginning too.
Sebastien says: “This is about a very beautiful woman in a very beautiful house. She has a personal trainer and after a few exercises the coach takes off the sexual sportswear of the woman. I think sportswear material is great. I love sex and sportswear.”
And for now the warm glow of love’s sweet aftermath. The honest, loving lyrics combined with the rarefied guitar lines bring to mind McCartney’s more experimental love songs.
Sebastien says: “I did this song with Guy-Man; it’s a co-composition. It’s the sweetest song on the album. This is about the feeling just after the act of love, and everything is completely perfect and you’re on your back and you’re thinking about nothing. It’s a kind of happiness. I tried to reproduce this kind of perfection.”
9) Fingers of Steel:
Moroder keyboard progressions and a Kraftwerk-style exultation of sex and technology combine in Tellier’s salutation to the synth’s automatic properties.
Sebastien says: “This is a kind of tribute to the electronic music. You play chord on a synthesizer and it immediately plays lots of other notes. This song is full of that; it’s a computer playing a piano.”
A breathy, baroque motif and snatches of feminine laughter follow’s Sebastien’s own vocals, as he describes his Italianate fantasy.
Sebastien says: “For me, this song has a kind of Italian feel, like a very erotic move from Italy. I can’t think of any movies; its stuff you find on the TV, but I don’t know the names. I’m not a specialist.”
11) L’Amour Et La Violence
Perhaps the simplest song on the album, L’Amour’s solo piano only contains a hint of electronic augmentation, while Tellier’s voice is at its most honest and vulnerable.
“It’s my most sincere song. It lets the listener know I’m not a sexual king, but just a normal guy with a wonderful sexual dream. It’s self criticism. At the beginning of my life I was too crazy and I remember trying to destroy a train or shoot window. I’m ashamed about that. So I make this song to say ‘excuse me’.”