Photo credit - Florent Drillon

Today, the Parisian trio Caravan Palace released their album Gangbusters Melody Club HERE on Le Plan Recordings. The platinum-selling group who initially formed to score a vintage silent erotic film for French TV, now delivered a layered album, on the surface, it is a sample-centric, frisky disco tune about the joys of dancing, but dig deeper into its hypnotic mix of soul, swing, freaky funk, & French Touch, and you'll find a complex, yet inspiring, narrative about jealousy, self-acceptance, and confidence. The title Gangbusters Melody Club refers both to a radio broadcast that began in the 1930s and the outdated expression it inspired to imply that something is exciting – going gangbusters. “It’s funny and vintage, which sums us up,” says Charles. “Plus, we love the word Club in that context - it evokes a secret society.”

Throughout their career, Caravan Palace consistently defies musical conventions and genres, forging their unclassifiable, hybrid pop signature sound. Embraced by multiple communities (dancers, gymnasts, gamers, video animators...) who adopt their tracks and turn them into viral hits, the group has achieved enormous success, accumulating several billion streams across all platforms as well as an RIAA Platinum Certified Single with “Lone Digger". Their idiosyncratic soundscapes achieve the rare feat of being both unique and commercial.

Gangbusters Melody Club, their fifth album is a joyous jigsaw puzzle of an album and their most dancefloor-friendly to date. The band aimed to stay streamlined, yet the trio packed more influences than ever before into their elegant earworm songs. The jazz and swing for which they became famous over a decade ago is back with a bang, alongside their love of French House and electronica.

As ever, the album began in their separate studios, Arnaud de Bosredon and Charles Delaporte sharing snippets of music, before coming together to create instrumentals which, together with singer Colotis Zoe, inspire their mysterious, frequently wrong-footing lyrics. “Five albums in, you think making our songs should get easier, but it’s harder work,” says Arnaud. “I blame getting older. When you are a teenager, you can be moved by a specific harmony or melody because it’s the first time you hear it. Over time, sounds become less fresh. We want to make pop music that’s always different, but not let it become too complicated”. “So we set out to deconstruct everything,” adds Charles. “The result was we liberated ourselves.”

The fantastically titled Gangbusters Melody Club may have been to make, but it sounds like an absolute blast. From the frisky, Dee-Lite disco of “Mirrors” to the bluesy “Raccoons”, from the screaming brass-soaked “81 Special” to the woozy “Avalanches”, it finds Caravan Palace twisting their trademarks into new shapes.

Don’t be deceived by the infectious nature of the new songs, however. Dig deeper and you’ll find that they’re not what they seem on the surface. Recent single “Reverse” is four minutes of magnificent, shapeshifting mischief that mixes metronomic, rap vocals from Zoe with dramatic brass breaks and beats. “It’s a sunny song, bedeviled by dark verses,” says Arnaud. “The chorus is about having fun and dancing. The verses are about being alone in a dark place. Schizophrenic is how I’d describe it.” He’s not wrong. Alongside recurrent sax, there is a soaring trumpet solo, swing, jazz, disco, and sexy synths while Zoe switches between jumping for joy, watching her back, and having a panic attack. City Cook starts and ends in a crazed kitchen pinched from a vintage French TV show before body popping through jazz sax and piano, yet it’s not really about restaurants. “It’s sort of about someone working in a kitchen for a tyrant,” says Charles. “But really it’s a metaphor for doing what you want in your life. Don’t be stuck in a bad job, relationship, or situation. Save yourself from tyranny!”

Meanwhile, on the surface, the majestic “Mirrors” is sample-centric, frisky disco about the joys of dancing. However, dig deeper into its hypnotic mix of soul, swing, freaky funk, and French Touch, and you'll find a complex, yet inspiring, narrative about jealousy, self-acceptance, and confidence.

The virality of their music, however, is still there. Their song “Wonderland” was one of the first songs to blow up on TikTok with over 5 billion views in the summer of 2018, their animated videos inspired thousands of animators to launch collective memes on YouTube, and already their fans have gone wild for Gangbusters Melody Club. Lead single “MAD”, a Prohibition-era dive into jive, jazz, boisterous hip hop, and sleazy electronica shot through with a sense of humor, garnered two million TikTok views in its first 24 hours. Its disturbing, cartoon cockroach-led video has been one of the hits of the year on YouTube. “They are pretty nice cockroaches,” laughs Arnaud. “When the director first mentioned roaches, we weren’t sure. Like everybody, we don’t have good relations with them. But now we’ve seen the softer, sweeter side of a cockroach.”

“MAD” was originally about a girl having trouble with guys, like a #MeToo situation. Then the video guy arrived with the idea that it was the devil doing the good deeds and the nice guy doing the bad stuff. So we changed the lyrics to suit the video. Now it’s about a girl trying to live a simple life and society pushing her to be as ambitious as everybody else.”

The follow-up to 2019’s adored Chronologic is largely jazz, from Duke Ellington to The Four Freshmen, an American jazz vocal quartet from the ’50s, whom Caravan Palace recently discovered and who inspired the sublime, sensual, sweary “Spirits”. Another album highlight, “Fool”, is a heavenly soul-meets-future bass-meets-jazz track based around an obscure 1969 Ella Washington sample that propels the trio into entirely new territory. “The vocal is from a sad, high-pitched blues song called “Doing The Best I Can”. Although the track was never a hit, as soon as we heard Ella’s vocal we knew we wanted to use it somehow. We adore it.” says Charles.

A great starting point to discover their universe, Gangbusters Melody Club is also the culmination of a journey where the early fans and the more recent ones can come together. Always joyously evading classification, the music of Caravan Palace is universal and endearing. A reflection of a band whose originality remains its greatest strength.

Caravan Palace on tour:

  • 3/8 Rouen, France - Le 106
  • 3/15 Clermont-Ferrand, France - La Cooperative de Mai
  • 3/16 Nancy, France - L’Autre Canal
  • 3/17 Cergy, France - Le Douze
  • 3/21 Reims, France - La Cartonnerie
  • 3/23 Strasbourg, France - La Laiterie
  • 3/26 Paris, France - Salle Pleyel
  • 4/02 Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
  • 4/03 London, United Kingdom - O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
  • 4/10 Rennes, France - Cabaret Botanique
  • 4/11 Mérignac, France - Le Krakatoa
  • 6/11 Madrid, Spain - Caravan Palace + Travis Birds - Noches del Botánico
  • 6/23 Wolfisheim, France - Fort Kleber
  • 6/28 Millau, France - Natural Games 2024
  • 7/02 Jarnac, France - Cognac Blues Passions 2024
  • 7/04 Nort-sur-Erdre, France - La Nuit de l'Erdre 2024
  • 7/05 Vienne, France - Théâtre Antique de Vienne
  • 7/12 Saint-Malô-du-Bois, France - Festival De Poupet 2024
  • 7/13 Carhaix-Plouguer, France - Les Vieilles Charrues 2024
  • 8/03 Marciac, France - Jazz in Marciac 2024
  • 9/04 Marseille, France - Plages du Prado
  • 10/08 Hamburg, Germany - Docks
  • 10/09 Berlin, Germany - Huxleys Neue Welt
  • 10/10 München, Germany - Muffathalle
  • 10/12 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
  • 10/14 Köln, Germany - Live Music Hall
  • 10/16 Glasgow, United Kingdom - O2 Academy Glasgow
  • 10/17 Manchester, United Kingdom - Albert Hall
  • 10/18 Bristol, United Kingdom - O2 Academy Bristol
  • 10/20 Nottingham, United Kingdom - Rock City
  • 10/21 London, United Kingdom - Roundhouse
  • 10/22 Brighton, United Kingdom - Dome
  • 1/18 Paris, France - Zénith de Paris

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