Thursday, January 04, 2007

Francoise Hardy - the model of French cool

When I was growing up, there was still a bit of lingering French cool. Traces of 60s France lingered on in movie soundtracks and sort of off on the edges of my conciousness. I didn't know it at the time, but everything I thought of as French cool was to be found in Francoise Hardy.

Hardy was in the top ranks of French Ye-Ye in the mid sixties. Ye-Ye was pretty much a movement of hip, bubblegum, girl singers that swept French pop in the sixties. Their music was pretty much, pure, un-cut pop shot directly into the veins. Ye-Ye was probably the closest thing to mainlining pop music that ever existed - although some might argue that Swedish pop is perenially pretty gooey and Japanese schoolgirl pop is over-the-top perky too.

Amid this, stood Francoise Hardy - part of it, but apart from it. Hardy was the smoking brunette in the sea of blonde and her long, slim, model look set a new standard for French beauty. And, yeah, her voice is darn sexy too.

For a sweet look at Hardy then and now, watch this last one - a video featuring Hardy and Jacques Dutronc. It's beautiful portrait of youth and maturity, and maybe just a good example of how to age gracefully.