With a rebel Yelle, I cried “more! more! more!” Ever since I got into French electro group Yelle at this year’s Coachella, I can’t stop playing their new album, Safari Disco Club. It’s fantastic. And of course I’m in love with front woman Julie Budet, who now just goes by Yelle. She’s fascinating, and surfaces the best qualities of my favorite pop stars: the voice and look of Martina Sorbara of Dragonette, the fiesty energy of Robyn and the out-there fashion sense of Gaga. Rounding out the group are producers GrandMarnier (Jean-François Perrier) and Tepr (Tanguy Destable). The name of the band, Yelle, began as an acronym of the phrase You Enjoy Life or YEL, but was later feminized to “Yelle” because a Belgian band was already using YEL.
So on with the show. The boys come on stage first, dressed in safari chic couture and banged on their drums to “S’eteint Le Soleil” before Yelle appeared wearing what looked like a cross between Cousin It and a green muppet. Amazing. Underneath was a giraffe print dress from the closet of Wilma Flintstone which was revealed in their second song, the Robyn cover “Qui Est Cette Fille” (Who’s That Girl). I love that they covered this song, and such a compliment to my favorite Swede (don’t tell Lykke). It’s in this song that I actually understand some of the words: “Ah, ah, ah, ah, avec moi. Ah, ah, ah, ah, avec moi.” The set list continued with “Unillusion,” “Ce Jeu,” and “La Musique.” For the latter, I captured this little video for your viewing pleasure:
“J’ai Bu,” “Comme Un Enfant,” “Je Veux Un Enfant,” “C’est Pas Une Vie” followed. Before their encore featuring “Cooler Couleur” and “A Cause Des Garcons” from their 2007 album Pop Up, Yelle ended their show with the first two singles off their new album, the title track “Safari Disco Club” and my favorite song, “Que Veux Tu.” Needless to say, the packed house at Irving Plaza went ballistic, especially between songs when GrandMarnier and Tepr shot the crowd screaming with digital cameras. They’ve done it at all their shows in the U.S. and you can see them all on Facebook. While I captured a decent video of “Que Veux Tu,” I prefer Yelle’s full-length video that features both songs. While long, it’s worth it. So weird. So fierce. So genius.
Baby, I was born to Yelle.