Irish music is delightful even if it doesn’t originate in Ireland. For Music Mondays today, I’m taking you to France.
If you know me very well, you know how much I love the French language and the region of Brittany. Brittany is a beautiful cultural region in the north-west of France and considered to be one of the six Celtic nations (Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales). The Breton language is spoken in this area, much like Irish is spoken mainly in western Ireland. It’s a beautiful language that is related to Cornish and Welsh.
Because Brittany has Celtic ties, you can hear a lot of Celtic music in the area. Musicians that once played exclusively at pub sessions, are now branching out and releasing albums of some really great traditional tunes.
It was at Irish sessions that four friends came together to form the band Poppy Seeds. This quartet revisits traditional Irish themes but does not hesitate to borrow from other styles.
Composed of Benoît Volant on violin, Pierre Cadoret on flute, Tom Lemonnier on guitar, and Camille Philippe on mandolin and vocals. Poppy Seeds presents Irish music with a French flair; in a way that, I think, will appeal to anyone with a love of traditional tunes.
They have released two studio albums, the self-titled Poppy Seeds, and their latest Close Shaved.
Both albums are exceptional in my opinion. And who can’t resist an Irish song in English with a French accent? Definitely not this girl!
Take a listen to Antrim Rose, the first track off of Close Shaved.
Another favorite of mine is the Polka Set.
Poppy Seeds can be found online at their website, but be forewarned, it’s in French. If you can read some French (like a few of us dancers) you’re in luck! They can also be found on SoundCloud where you can stream multiple tunes from both albums; no French required.
À la prochain!