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Onemind Presents Onemind

Tahiti 80 - Wallpaper For The Soul [CD]

Human Sounds

  • £13.75 ( )
Genre: Alternative / Indie Rock
Format: CD
Catalogue No.: HS030CD 
B/C: 3296630242324
Release Date: 16th July 2021

Human Sounds are proud to be re-releasing Tahiti 80’s 2002 classic album Wallpaper for the Soul expanded with 8 bonus tracks (vinyl version only) ;
CD is classic edition, not expanded

« This is the pop album of 2003 which everyone else will have to beat » — Uncut: 5 Stars
« Vive le pop » — Mojo Magazine: 4 Stars
« An album for hot afternoons and pensive showery days, the perfect July-September soundtrack »
— The Guardian: 4 Stars
« A gorgeous, multifaceted jewel of acid-washed guitars, glittery horn flourishes, and frayed electronic texture » — Pitchfork

After the worldwide success of their first album Puzzle (1999), which sold over 200,000 copies and went gold in Japan, Xavier Boyer (vocals, guitars), Pedro Resende (bass), Médéric Gontier (guitars) & Sylvain Marchand (drums) reunited with producer Andy Chase to record the follow-up, Wallpaper for the Soul, in New York City. Starting in November 2001 at Stratosphere Sound, the prolific sessions gave birth to twenty tracks, twelve of which appeared on the original tracklist. The eight outtakes were compiled on the mini albums A Piece of Sunshine (2003) & Extra Pieces of Sunshine (2004). This new vinyl edition will be the first time all these songs appear together.

Almost 20 years on, WFTS is a tour de force of contemporary songwriting with obvious nods to the past somehow revisited in a timeless fashion. Tahiti 80’s second effort can also be seen as an alternative and more sophisticated snapshot of an era often associated with the rebirth of rock (The White Stripes, The Strokes…). This set of songs also established them as stalwarts of the Post French Touch cannon, showcasing both their ability to write catchy songs and their knack for mélanges & experimentation. 1,000 Times or The Train are unique examples of blue-eyed soul augmented with French flair (« Prefab Sprout as produced by Thomas Bangalter » suggested Uncut which listed WFTS in their Top Ten’s albums of 2003). Listen to Don’t Look Below today, and ask yourself who was mixing Destiny’s Child with My Bloody Valentine in 2001? Delicate numbers like Open Book or live favorite Better Days Will Come both demonstrate T80’s songwriting skills and their innate sense of melancholia.

Listening back to WFTS today, one cannot help but think of it as an album recorded in a state-of-the-art fashion. All four members would typically perform together in the same room. Basic takes were printed on a 24-track analog tape machine and then bounced onto a computer for editing. A fine example of this method is the title track itself. Originally written on acoustic guitar, Wallpaper … is the result of three eight minutes synthesizer jams pieced together. The Frenchmen were keen to try out multitude of ideas and had developed a taste for experimentation. The sessions also coincide with a rich outburst of creativity from a band on top of their game after several months of touring around the world.

Another typical WFTS characteristic is Richard Hewson’s orchestration. Veteran string arranger, famous for arranging The Beatles’ The Long And Winding Road or writing RAH Band’s ‘80s classic Clouds Across The Moon Hewson gave the songs a sweeping orchestral touch. Strings, Horns & woodwinds were all performed at the now defunct Olympic Studios in London. Urban Soul Orchestra, a 24-piece ensemble who played on Oasis’ or Spice Girls’ hits can be heard on five songs: the opening trilogy Wallpaper…, 1,000 Times and The Other Side, then on the Northern Soul revival Soul Deep and lastly on the album’s closer Memories Of The Past.

Rouen’s most famous four-piece, now relocated in a house on France’s North West Coast, in the quiet seaside town of Étretat, added more bells & whistles and resumed production on the songs. With one last transatlantic leap during the summer of 2002, the boys flew to Portland, Oregon to attend the mixing sessions held by sound wizard Tony Lash (Elliott Smith, The Dandy Warhols…). Suggested by Sub Pop’s craftsman Eric Matthews, also a guest on trumpet and keyboards, Lash would later become a major collaborator on Tahiti 80’s subsequent albums.

In the meantime, Laurent Fétis, the designer behind Puzzle’s iconic artwork, had started working with artist Elisabeth Arkhipoff on a set of nostalgic photographs transfigured with a soft air-bush technique. Those visuals, like their predecessors, have since become an inseparable companion to Tahiti 80’s music.
Many musical fashions and flavors of the month have come and gone, but twenty years after its release, WFTS still sounds fresh and relevant. And always forward-looking, Tahiti 80 is currently wrapping up the recording of their eighth album, to be released in early 2022.

Tracklist CD
1. Wallpaper For The Soul
2. 1,000 Times
3. The Other Side
4. Separate Ways
5. Get Yourself Together
6. Happy End
7. Fun Fair
8. Soul Deep
9. Open Book
10. The Train
11. Don't Look Below
12. Memories Of The Past
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