“CES MOTS SIMPLES,” the beautiful new single by Vanessa Paradis, translates as “these simple words.” The video of Vanessa swinging with water below her, which she dips her tip-toes in, is rather simple, too. Suffice to say, it fits brilliantly with the song’s sweet and mellow vibe and lyrics, which are mostly about enfants (translation: infants, though it can also be used to mean young children). As usual, Vanessa’s voice is precious and light and the song is one you can listen to over and over without ever tiring of.
Vanessa remains one of France’s biggest stars, both in terms of her music and film acting careers. It’s such a pity that here in the States she’s mostly known for being the mother of Johnny Depp’s children and his now ex-longtime-girlfriend. If this song was in English, she’d probably become a new folk sensation here. Not that the song is folk, per se, being that it’s more so French chanson, but the light guitars and ethereal vocals are characteristics of what we consider folk here in the States.
I saw Vanessa in concert in 2001 at L’Olympia and she was amazing, performing songs from her album Bliss, which is my favorite of her records, along with new, almost jazzy arrangements of her classic hits and fan favorites. The first night, I sat in the front row of the balcony and seated to my right — with several empty seats between us — was none other than Johnny Depp, who wore a winter hat all night in spite of the fact that it was rather hot inside the venue. At one point, we made eye contact and he nodded at me as if to say, yes, it’s me, but I’m keeping a low profile tonight. Needless to say, I didn’t go bother him for an autograph, as much as I wanted to, knowing he was there to watch his girl perform, not to be swarmed by fans.
Also, check out Vanessa Paradis & Gaëtan Roussel’s bittersweet new single, “Tu me manques (pourtant, tu es là),” which would also fit nicely on a mellow music playlist. The title of this one translates as “you miss me (nevertheless, you are there)”.
Vanessa’s new album, Les Sources, will be released on Friday, November 16, 2018. Click here to order the vinyl as I did.