The much-awaited fifth studio album, Maps, marks the triumphant return of the French indie-pop trio Exsonvaldes to the music scene. Breaking a six-year silence, the mathematician rockers have crafted a concept album that not only serves as a sonic cartography of their travels but also explores their musical evolution over the decades.
The A-side of the album opens with the track Change, presenting a stark reality: the future of the planet is in peril “Everything is going to change because nothing ever changes!”. With a B-side that bids Good-Bye Europe, a pre-Brexit farewell song, Exsonvaldes showcases their ability to blend French and English songs with tongue-in-cheek humor and irony.
In tracks like Dansé and Party People, the band explores the denial and overindulgence associated with nights out. Collaborating with French-English singer Emma Broughton (aka Blumi) in Barbican, they present a haiku-style enumeration of the ravages of a battered England. The journey continues with Torino, a romantic road trip chosen for the Emily in Paris soundtrack.
At the heart of ‘Maps’ lies the anxiety of a world on the brink of collapse, a world blissfully unaware of its excesses. Change, Rien Appris, and Silence & Hyperacusis ring alarm bells about the environmental crisis, painting a chaotic vision of today’s world through a mix of irony, indie pop, and anxiety.
The album, written, recorded, and produced nearly entirely by the band, bears the signature Exsonvaldes sound. Mixing maestro Etienne Caylou (known for his work with Louise Attaque and Mustang) brought the final touch.
Meeting during their engineering studies in Paris twenty-five years ago, Exsonvaldes has always been a band with a unique identity, rooted in astute tones that derive inspiration from their scientific background. Maps marks a chronological voyage, traversing the musical landscape from the ’70s to the present day, with nods to every decade of pop. However, this time, the trio delves into a new realm — eco-anxiety.
Exsonvaldes, with previous support from BBC 6Music and over 3.5 million Spotify streams, has seen success with tracks like Cyclops and Torino featured in Netflix’s Emily In Paris. To celebrate the album release, the band is set to tour France, Spain, and Germany in February 2024.
Exsonvaldes’ Maps is a emotional and timely exploration of the world’s current state, delivered with the trio’s characteristic blend of wit, indie pop, and a touch of anxiety.
Photos by Christophe Crénel