10 French Artists You Need To Know About

Yes, Phoenix and Daft Punk are great. Now check these guys out.

Updated – June 27, 8:10 a.m. ET

1. Christine and the Queens

She got noticed a couple of years ago when she opened shows for Austra or Lykke Li and immediately mesmerized audiences with her kooky personality and diva voice. Now everyone is rapidly becoming obsessed with her, with good reason. Her appreciation for voguing and cross-dressing only makes us love her more.

2. C2C

If you’re into DJing, you probably already know this band, as they won the DMC championships four times in a row. If you don’t know them, just listen : They’re incredible.

3. La Femme

These guys (and girls) started a few years ago and their song “La Planche” quickly became a hit. With their first album Psycho Tropical Berlin, they’ve become increasingly popular in France, and the song was recently used in a car commercial (hipster fans are already crying in agony). Anyway: Their synth-pop is quite hypnotic, and incredibly fun. Enjoy.

4. Lescop

This brilliant cold-wave singer is the perfect mix between Etienne Daho and New Order.

5. Sébastien Tellier

He represented France on Eurovision in 2008, which isn’t always a sign of greatness. But Tellier is clearly unique on many levels: A few years ago, he pretended he was a cult leader to promote his album release. And 10 years after his first big hit, he has proven to be one of France’s most famous and talented musicians. His music varies between dreamy acoustic ballads and more eccentric, electronic sounds. Altogether, it’s pretty great. His latest album sounds very tropical, and is actually inspired by Brazil, so again, perfect for the season.

6. François & The Atlas Mountains

François Marry and his band make beautiful, nostalgic pop music, sung both in French and in English. They’re an indie favorite for every self-respecting French hipster.

7. Moodoid

Another bunch of joyful weirdos. Their songs make no sense (this one’s called “I Am the Mountain”), but they’re a psychedelic delight.

8. Mermonte

These 10 boys and girls from Rennes (in western France) make sunny, poetic pop songs, with very few words but a lot of heart. They may not be as famous as some other musicians on this list, but they’re definitely worthy of attention.

9. Woodkid

You may know him as a talented music video director — he helmed Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die,” for instance — or if you like to play Assassin’s Creed. Two years before his first album even came out, Woodkid became an absolute French favorite with only two songs, thanks to his unique and mysterious voice as well as his gorgeous videos (self-directed, obviously). Now his album is finally out, and all of his shows get sold out within minutes. Careful, you might become obsessed.

10. Fauve

Well… These ones are a bit of a headscratcher. They’re incredibly successful, and some say they’re geniuses, but others have mocked them for sounding like emo eighth-graders. Their “spoken word” technique is definitely debatable. We’ll let you be the judge.

This post previously featured a song by Ariane Moffatt, who is Canadian, not French.

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