Thursday, July 18, 2013
Versailles: Bittersweet new wave vengeance
Versailles, also known as Dianna St. Hilaire, is a street-smart young woman with the sultry sophistication of a tortured musician in her prime. While the source of torment or anger appears in these tracks as an introspective reflection on relationships and the bizarreness that accompanies them. We move from one-step to the next on the escalator of time and romantic destruction. I’ve had a few conversations with Versailles and she’s just as sincere, complex, and sharp as this collection of songs, which are hook-laden with melodic synth pop simplicity and the concise new wave edge of such legendary bands as ‘Til Tuesday and Missing Persons. The vocals definitely contain echoes of Grimes and early Aimee Mann, dreamscapes in a way, which the gothic dance pop almost demands in order to reel the listener into the underlying poetry of songs like “Disappointed”, “I’m Excited”, and “Happy Tear Drops”.
Kim Fowley, who first introduced me to Versailles, in an interview I did about a year ago, produces on these tracks with a keen subtlety that brings hooks to the forefront and a delicate arrangement of background layers to enhance an atmosphere of L.A. hotel rooftop parties with a D.J. in the know. In the midst of unpredictable breezes, cool retro synth and tambourine thrust the songs to a new genre of sophisticated dance rock that drenches itself in classic power pop. The opening track “Toxic Cougar” rocks the lid off this can of designer-drug serum, containing a combination of dreamy dance rock, aggressive ballads, and sporadic dives into new wave power pop bliss. So girls, paint your nails black, it’s sexy, leave your hair unwashed for a few days and come out and play with the outcast boys and reverse the misery of high school misfortune with the sweet sting of Versailles and her latest offering of “Targets”.
Visit Versailles here
Videos of Versailles from Targets and her appearance in an interview I did, she’s quite good in person
Kevin McGovern- Fear & Loathing in Long Beach Online (Click here to visit us) new issue in the works