The Bewitched Hands: “Happy With You”
Originally called The Bewitched Hands On The Top Of Our Heads, this French group thankfully shortened its name to The Bewitched Hands. But even with the smaller name, the group still thinks big, as evidenced by Birds & Drums, their debut album.
Forming in Reims (northeast of Paris), the Bewitched Hands started out as a side project among friends, all of whom played around town in a number of other bands. Soon, the Hands’ roster swelled to six members as they began to find their sound and share their disparate influences. Birds & Drums has a little bit of everything: rock, psychedelia, and folk, but wrapped within an over-sized pop framework.
They sing in English, the so-called language of pop music, according to their pop-star countrymen, Phoenix. Sound Opinions co-host, Jim DeRogatis, saw the Hands at SXSW in March and said their “reference points are numerous”: the anthemic elements of Arcade Fire, the exuberance of New Pornographers and the “wordless vocals” of Stereolab. Pretty serious comparisons, but the band lives up to them.
Their choruses are huge and filled with hooks, propelled by multi-part harmonies and a three-guitar attack. They’ve earned opening slots for LCD Soundsystem in France, and with songs like “Happy With You,” their music is poised to take over American ears.
Check out this “Take-Away Performance” from French website, La Blogotheque.