Le Pain presents its Mid-Century charm with “Third Group”
Designed by members of Yucky Duster and Public Practice following a move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, The bread creates a twee-oriented retro pop that sits between Stereolab and Jane Birkin. With the help of multi-instrumentalist Scott Rosenthal and bassist Alan Everhart, family members Madeline and Olivia Babuka Black have a knack for creating sunny, bilingual music that wouldn’t seem out of place in an art film for years. 60. Synths and guitar chords whirl above the smashed drums on the band’s first single “Third Group”. The catchy lyrics switch from French to English, complementing the elegant mid-century charm. Sexy, seductive and lively at the same time, “Third Group” is the perfect cartoonish midsummer anthem for the soundtrack of your next walk to the beach.
The track arrives before the band’s next album Singles collection, expected later this year on the label’s brand new record Lucky buckeye. Stream “Group Three” and see a short question-and-answer session with the group below.
How did the collaboration come about? What made you want to work together?
Madeline and Scott met playing music in Brooklyn and decided to jam. She was taking French lessons and improvised a spoken song by Serge Gainsbourg that told the story of an elegant dog walking around Paris. There was a Casio hanging out and bongos, a wind instrument; the aesthetic ensemble aligns quickly. It was obvious that a new band had to be formed to do more songs like this. Madeline claimed her sister Olivia had a wonderful silky tone to her voice, and Scott claimed he had bassist friend Alan in LA who rode a motorcycle. Both of these statements have proven to be correct.
What does “Le Pain” mean and why did you choose this band name?
Bread rhymes with “The rain” and is meant to be pronounced incorrectly on purpose. If someone accidentally pronounces it correctly, that’s fine too. A word which means “bread” or “pain” depending on the city in which you live amuses us. We have great respect for the cultural integrity of the French – in our respectful imaginations, they don’t tear down beautiful old buildings to build drab condominiums. But we also like malls, hot dogs, and roller rinks – the high / low separation is no longer there for us (or anyone?), It’s more just good quality than bad. We don’t want to, say, eat overcooked hot dogs in poorly constructed old French buildings.
How did moving from New York to California impact your creativity?
Not much yet, especially since much of the writing took place in Atlanta. LA always looks more like an exotic tropical paradise than familiar territory. If we start to introduce very specific beach and place names, you will know that the city is starting to make a creative impact on us. But it’s exciting to be in a new environment, about to tap into a new scene and meet new people. We are all fairly friendly and diligent about “smiling, making eye contact” etc.
The bilingual nature of the project is very cool. What made you decide to write lyrics in French and English?
After Portuguese, French is our preferred sung language. It looks soft and mellow. If we made industrial music, we would sing in German because it’s more impactful. But if you want to write a sweet melody and add reverb and harmonies, it’s hard to beat French.
What’s next for Le Pain?
We’ve got plenty of partially completed recordings that require distorted keyboard overdubs, drum bus compression, hastily acting self-destructing characters, and curling basslines like Mulholland Drive.