On her new record Entre nous, Jill Barber reaches a new level of intimacy with the French language. An unabashed francophile, it all began at the Montreal Jazz Festival over a decade ago: she surprised her audience with a French translation of one of her songs, and the room exploded into applause and a chorus of bravos. Québec was charmed. In response, Jill was inspired to record her debut French album, interpretations of classics from Piaf to Gainsbourg on 2011's Chansons. Soon millions of listeners worldwide were discovering Jill's music through her french material, and she continues to earn spots on top french playlists with songs from Chansons across streaming platforms.
In a bold move for an Anglophone, Barber now releases Entre Nous (2020), her first collection of original French songs, written with Francophone collaborator Maia Davies and produced by Montreal born, NYC based, Gus Van Go. Inspired by french pop music of the 1960's, Entre nous invites the listener on an musical rendezvous through champagne-soaked love songs like the title- track, cheeky yéyé-inspired songs like "Chat domestique", the psychedelic "Commes les fleurs" reminiscent of the Velvet Underground, the hooky pop song "Le monde est beau", a haunting interpretation of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne", and a steamy duet with Québec chanteur Yann Perreau on "Les étés de Montréal".
Much like her predecessors, anglophones Jane Birkin and Gillian Hills, the more Barber sings in French, the more she is embraced for her unique and pleasing accent. Singing in a second language lends a quality to her voice that is more vulnerable, tender, playful and passionate: it's simply charming. As a songwriter, Jill Barber is beloved in Canada and abroad for her talent and impressive body of work in English; in French she is irresistible and her star is only just beginning to rise.