Today's Artist is a French musician who was formerly a founding member of the London-based avant-pop band Stereolab. While a member, she formed her side project Monade in 1996 to play her own solo songs; and retired the project in 2009 to perform new solo work under her name.. ........N'Joy
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Best known as the lead vocalist for Stereolab, Laetitia Sadier was born in France and was working as a nanny in the late '80s when she met McCarthy member Tim Gane at one of the band's gigs in Paris. She followed Gane to London and the duo formed Stereolab soon after McCarthy disbanded in 1990. The pair was inspired by lounge-pop, bossa nova, film music, and Krautrock, but Sadier's hypnotic vocals and leftist lyrics made the band's sound even more distinctive.
Stereolab earned critical acclaim for albums such as 1993's Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements, 1995's Mars Audiac Quintet, and 1996's Emperor Tomato Ketchup; around that time, Sadier began working on her own project, Monade, recording with Pram's Rosie Cuckston. In 1998, she gave birth to her and Gane's son Alex, and the following year she returned with Stereolab for the group's Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night and 2001's Sound-Dust.
Sadier was working as a nanny when she met McCarthy guitarist Tim Gane at a gig of the band in Paris during the late 1980s. Sadier was disillusioned with the rock scene in France, and soon moved to London to be with Gane and to pursue her career. She contributed vocals to McCarthy's final albums and when McCarthy broke up in 1990, she and Gane immediately formed Stereolab. For the first incarnation of the band, they enlisted ex-Chills bassist Martin Kean, drummer Joe Dilworth and Gina Morris on backing vocals. While Tim Gane has written the bulk of the music in Stereolab, Sadier is the main contributor of lyrics, written in both English and French.
In 1996, Sadier formed Monade with Pram's Rosie Cuckston. Monade released the singles "The Sunrise Telling" and "Witch Hazel/Ode to a Keyring" in 1997. The band's debut album Socialisme ou barbarie: The Bedroom Recordings was released on Duophonic Records in Europe and Drag City in the US in 2003. Their second album A Few Steps More was released on Too Pure in 2004. Monade's third, Monstre cosmic, was released in February 2008 on Duophonic.
Sadier has contributed vocals to various groups and projects, at times along with the late Stereolab member Mary Hansen. She and Hansen had contributed vocals to various recordings of The High Llamas (band of sometimes-Stereolab member Sean O'Hagan) and to the Gane/O'Hagan side project Turn On. Sadier added French backing vocals on "To the End", a top 20 hit for Blur in 1994. In 1995, she recorded the Serge Gainsbourg/Brigitte Bardot song "Bonnie and Clyde" with Luna. In 2001, Sadier sang on "Sol y sombra" on Fugu's Fugu 1 LP on Minty Fresh Records. In 2002, Sadier sang the chorus on "New Wave" from Common's album Electric Circus. She sang lead vocals on "Haiku One" from Sigmatropic's 2004 album Sixteen Haiku & Other Stories which was an album based on the poetry of Greek poet Giorgos Seferis. In 2009 the French label Deux Mille released an EP which features Sadier singing with Toulouse-based band Momotte.
Sadier performing with Monade
Throughout the years, Sadier has occasionally collaborated with German electronica group Mouse on Mars. In 1997, Sadier sung on "Schnick Schnack Meltmade" on Mouse on Mars' Autoditacker LP, and she and Mary Hansen contributed vocals to the Cache cœur naif EP. In turn, Mouse on Mars produced tracks on Stereolab's Dots and Loops LP. In 2007, Sadier wrote songs with MoM and toured with them in Italy. They have yet to record the songs for release. Sadier also contributed backing vocals to the track "Go Round" on The Hair and Skin Trading Company's 1993 album Over Valence. Sadier also wrote and sang the lyrics to the track "Quick Canal" by Atlas Sound for the 2009 release Logos. Laetitia is a collaborator on the Tyler, the Creator album "Wolf". She sings an interlude on the track "PartyIsntOver/Campfire/Bimmer".
Laetitia sings on the "Summer Long" song, in Brazilian band Mombojó's Alexandre 2014 album. She wrote the lyrics and sings "La Ballade" from Adrian Younge's 2016 album "Something About April II", as well as singing on the 2016 album I'm Willing by Marker Starling. In 2017, she appeared on the Deerhoof song “Come Down Here and Say That”, from their album Mountain Moves.
Stereolab went on hiatus in 2009 and Sadier began work on her first solo album, working with the Spinanes' Rebecca Gates, April March, Richard Swift, and former Monade players Julien Gasc and Emmanuel Mario. The Trip was released in 2010, the same year that another Stereolab collection, Not Music, arrived. Two years later, the more introspective, political Silencio appeared. For 2014's Something Shines, Sadier recorded in London and throughout Europe, crafting a lavish sound that recalled Stereolab's most orchestral moments. That year also saw the release of We Are Divine, the first album from Little Tornados, which included filmmaker David Thayer among its members.
After working with Giorgio Tuma on a 2015 single, she formed another new group: the Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble also featured Thayer as well as longtime collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Xavi Munoz, keyboardist Phil M.F.U., and guitarist Mason Le Long. The group's debut, Find Me Finding You, was released in 2017 and included contributions from Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor and cornetist Rob Mazurek.
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It took almost 20 years of making music for Laetitia Sadier to release a true solo album. Though her Stereolab side project Monade began as her own endeavor, it morphed into another band (albeit one fronted by Sadier). While it features two former Monade members, The Trip feels more like a true solo effort, if only because its raison d’être is so personal: Sadier was inspired by her younger sister Noelle’s suicide, and her grieving process, to write these songs. On both Stereolab and Monade's music, Sadier's lovely alto is aloof, and her lyrics largely theoretical; while this is true on The Trip to a certain extent, the atmosphere is much more intimate, and the subject matter is so emotional that a little distance is welcome. The Trip's first step is its most stunning: “One Million Year Trip” begins with a Krautrock-tinged groove that will be familiar to fans, but it’s more open and flowing here than on any of her other projects. Sadier has never sounded so direct: “I lost someone precious,” she sings as analog synths sparkle like starlight around her, “She has a long way to travel, so I will open my heart/And let the pain run along as there is no point in holding on.” It’s a pretty remarkable way of looking at death and loss -- philosophical and somewhat detached, yet also kind, to herself and her sister’s memory. The rest of The Trip charts the journeys she takes through her grief and her sister takes to wherever she’s headed. The Spinanes' Rebecca Gates provides backing vocals that evoke Sadier's little sister, particularly on the surprisingly groovy “Natural Child,” and the organic, largely acoustic arrangements give the album a warmer, more immediately welcoming sound than either Stereolab or Monade. Sadier’s moods range from “Fluid Sand”'s reflections to “Statues Can Bend”'s unadulterated grief to the anger she injects into her restless cover of Wendy & Bonnie's “By the Sea.” She imbues The Trip's other covers with just as much emotion, whether it’s the short and somber reading of “Summertime” or the more lighthearted “Un Soir, un Chien,” originally by Les Rita Mitsouko. Covers aside, this is the most personal music of Sadier’s career, and a promising glimpse of what she can do on her own.
Laetitia Sadier - The Trip (flac 195mb)
01 One Million Year Trip 5:03
02 Fluid Sand 4:34
03 Our Interests Are The Same 0:11
04 Natural Child 4:01
05 Statues Can Bend 2:57
06 By The Sea 3:45
07 Unfasten 0:25
08 Un Soir, Un Chien 4:50
09 Another Monster 2:49
10 Ceci Est Le Coeur 3:21
11 Summertime 1:59
12 Release, Open Your Little Earthling Hands 0:30
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Laetitia Sadier's first solo album, The Trip, centered around accepting the loss of her sister, but Silencio's focus is more global, and yet more intimate. Inspired by a profound moment of silence Sadier experienced in a medieval Spanish city filled with churches, the album finds her slowly but surely evolving Stereolab's style into her own thoughtful version of singer/songwriter pop. There's a newfound directness and intimacy on the largely spoken word "Moi Sans Zach" and the other songs in Sadier's native tongue, but most strikingly on Silencio's many political moments. While it was fairly easy to tune out the Marxist leanings of Stereolab's songs if one wanted, there's no missing Sadier's intelligent outrage on "The Rule of the Game," where she sings, "The ruling class neglects again responsibility/Overindulged children drawn to cruel games" or "Ascultation to the Nation"'s takedown of the G20: "What do we care about these self-proclaimed authorities?...They are politically illegitimate" or the enough-said song title "There Is a Price to Pay for Freedom (And It Isn't Security)." Her protests may be cerebral instead of fiery, but the passion behind them is unmistakable; indeed, Silencio's righteous anger is sometimes a more immediate hook than the subtle music surrounding it. While there is a definite lounge-pop feel to these songs, the tenor is understandably more serious and sophisticated, stripped of much of the musical irony that Stereolab played with as deftly as any Moog. Despite its stardust synths, "Between Earth and Heaven" tilts further toward jazz than any of Sadier's previous music, and the larger parts that guitar, piano, and strings play on songs such as "Silent Spot" and "Fragment pour Le Future de L'Homme" reflect an increasingly mature style that flatters her distinctive and timeless vocals. While she allows a few light-hearted moments among Silencio's heady concerns -- including the lovely "Find Me the Pulse of the Universe" and "Next Time You See Me," a tiny burst of pop sunshine that reunites her with Tim Gane -- the album's heart resides in its final track. A whispered-word meditation in French and English, "Invitation Au Silence," culminates with Sadier urging listeners to "return to ourselves" in reverberating stillness recorded in a church in southwest France. It's a fitting ending to an album that begins as a one-woman cabaret show discussing humanity's past and future and remains the work of a singular voice, one that recognizes that silence is just as vital as music.
Laetitia Sadier - Silencio (flac 287mb)
01 The Rule Of The Game 5:01
02 Find Me The Pulse Of The Universe 2:53
03 Silent Spot 3:00
04 Auscultation To The Nation 4:47
05 There Is A Price To Pay For Freedom (And It Isn't Security) 4:22
06 Moi Sans Zach 3:49
07 Between Earth And Heaven 4:08
08 Lightning Thunderbolt 3:16
09 Fragment Pour Le Future De L'Homme 4:41
10 Merci De M'Avoir Donne La Vie 4:34
11 Next Time You See Me 2:43
12 Invitation Au Silence 4:30
Laetitia Sadier - Silencio (ogg 107mb)
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Something Shines is nothing if not aptly named. Filled with music that's luminous and a little distant, Laetitia Sadier's third album often feels like a culmination of her career to date in its mix of elegant sounds and political lyrics. Recorded throughout Europe and featuring collaborators such as Giorgio Tuma (who co-wrote the standout "Release from the Centre of Your Heart"), these songs find Sadier returning to a more lavishly orchestrated, Stereolab-like sound after the relatively intimate Silencio. The tumbling backing vocals on the seven-minute opener "Quantum Soup" even feel like a twice-removed cousin of Emperor Tomato Ketchup's "Metronomic Underground"; meanwhile, "The Scene of the Lie" sets lyrics that allude to Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle -- a longtime influence on Sadier's work -- to music that's psychedelic down to its flanged drums. A more open-ended set than Silencio, Something Shines requires closer, more engaged listening as Sadier alternates between concise statements and stream-of-consciousness reveries filled with complex musical and emotional interplay like "The Milk of Human Tenderness," which is both deeply personal and more abstractly philosophical as Sadier sings to and about her dead sister (whose passing inspired her solo debut, The Trip). Whenever the album threatens to become too meditative, she balances it with one of the more direct moments that make for Something Shines' immediate highlights. "Butter Side Up" moves from drifting to driving in its second half, and while its refrain "we need answers!" could seem too obvious coming from another artist, Sadier makes it sound both authoritative and refreshing. Likewise, "Then I Will Love You Again" allows her to put a poetic spin on the choice between responsibility and heartache. However, the album's most striking moment may be "Oscuridad," a stripped-down, scathing call to arms in the class war in which she spits out "rich" like it's a dirty word. While not all of Something Shines is this raw, listeners who take the time to absorb the album's deeper meanings as well as its surface beauty will find it another rewarding addition to Sadier's body of work.
Laetitia Sadier - Something Shines (flac 246mb)
01 Quantum Soup 6:57
02 Then I Will Love You Again 2:52
03 The Milk Of Human Tenderness 3:11
04 The Scene Of The Lie 5:26
05 Release From The Centre Of Your Heart 2:56
06 Butter Side Up 6:36
07 Transhumance 4:07
08 Echo Port 3:52
09 Oscuridad 3:19
10 Life Is Winning 5:53
Laetitia Sadier - Something Shines (ogg 93mb)
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Refried Ectoplasm: Switched On, Vol. 2 collects 13 singles and rarities Stereolab released between 1992 and 1995, and it is far more than a mere oddities collection. More than any other album, Refried Ectoplasm charts Stereolab's astonishing musical growth between those three years, and offers several definitive songs -- including "Lo Boob Oscillator," "French Disko," and "John Cage Bubblegum" -- not available on any album. While such items are essential for collectors, the quality and accessibility of the music is very strong, showcasing Stereolab's complexity and providing an excellent introduction to the group.
Stereolab - Refried Ectoplasm (Switched On Volume 2) (flac 411mb)
01 Harmonium 5:55
02 Lo Boob Oscillator 6:33
03 Mountain 4:05
04 Revox 4:14
05 French Disko 3:35
06 Exploding Head Movie 4:48
07 Eloge D'Eros 3:53
08 Tone Burst (Country) 2:12
09 "Animal Or Vegetable (A Wonderful Wooden Reason...)" (Crumb Duck) 4:00
10 John Cage Bubblegum 3:19
11 Sadistic 2:36
12 Farfisa 2:23
13 Tempter 5:54
Stereolab - Refried Ectoplasm (Switched On Volume 2) (ogg 142mb)
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