Since playing cover versions of nineties grunge hits together for fun during their engineering studies – Martin was at l’École Polytechnique, Antoine trained as a sound engineer at Louis Lumière and Simon has a master’s degree in artificial intelligence – the mathematician rockers have built an identity made of astute tones that exploit their scientific background.
They are the architects of a pop music both fluid and complex that explores all the facets of rock, French touch and, of course, the clean lines of the 90s indie scene.
Their songs travel. They are heard all over Europe by a faithful, wide audience, especially in Spain. It is there that they recorded their previous album, Aranda, from which a track was featured in the Netflix series Emily in Paris, thus further expanding their fame.
From festivals to TV sets, they find their own way.
Then, to everyone’s surprise, in 2017, the trio announced a break.
Not a real break though, since Simon Beaudoux and Martin Chourrout used that time to form the band Ravages and Antoine Bernard opened a mastering studio. On top of it all, the three of them created their own label, Finalistes, which accompanies emerging artists as unique as themselves : Maud Lübeck, Gisèle Pape, Serpent or Ferielle.
After twenty-five years of friendship, curiosity and learning, they now master all the tools of artistic creation. Their new album, Maps, was written, recorded and produced by the three of them.
Only the mixing was entrusted to an outside ear, Etienne Caylou, known for his work with Louise Attaque and Mustang. Six months to write the songs, six months to record them, with a little hiatus during confinement, and out comes this new pop gem, ready to find its audience. The harmony is palpable. No battle of egos in this trio: on the contrary, in this album, it seems that each member has found his place. They choose to work together on the music and the lyrics all at once, seeking the joy and fluidity of a collective creation before anything else.
Maps is not only a cartography of their trips, from cities like London or Turin, but also a discovery of their musical evolutions.
A chronological voyage that starts in the nineties and moves towards the new century but also goes back in time to reference every decade of pop since the seventies.
In their early days, about twenty-five years ago, when their identity as a band was only starting to form, the musicians of Exsonvaldes already expressed a strong revulsion against pollution. In Maps, their fifth album, the disgust of an older, wiser trio has turned to furious eco-anxiety.
Keen on preserving the record format, they imagined an A-side that starts with a tragic fact: the future of the planet is in great danger! The track Change states that everything is going to change because nothing ever changes! Then a B-side ends with a farewell to Europe. Good-Bye Europe is a pre-break-up song about England and Europe, prophetic since it was written long before Brexit! French and English songs (Exsonvaldes’ trademark) are filled with tongue-in-cheek humour and irony. For example, Dansé, written with their bass player Quentin Rochas, describes the denial that comes with hangovers while Party People blatantly mocks the overindulgence of nights out. In Barbican, with the help of French-English singer Emma Broughton aka Blumi, they enumerate, haiku-style, the ravages of a battered England. And the trip doesn’t end there. Next stop: Italy, with Torino, a romantic road-trip also chosen for the soundtrack of Emily in Paris. What ties this album together is the anxiety at a world on the verge of collapse, a world unaware of its excesses. Change, Rien Appris, Silence & Hyperacusis are all songs that ring alarm bells about the environmental crisis. In a mixture of irony, indie pop and anxiety, Maps gives shape to a chaotic vision of today’s world.