As symbol of both royalty and revolution, the Palace of Versailles casts a long shadow over its inhabitants. Just half an hour from the French capital, the leafy city is classicism personified, which makes it all the more perverse that in the past 20 years, it has fostered some of the country’s greatest musical exports – Phoenix, Air, Alex Gopher and Etienne de Crécy, not to mention Daft Punk.
Enter Philippe Thuillier and Emile Larroche, who together make up Saint Michel. Certainly their music bears the imprints of the city’s favourite sons, their songs striking that magical happy-sad sweet spot. On debut EP ‘I Love Japan’, the duo deftly blend synth swells, clipped beats and sun-warmed melodies to create what the duo call “sentimental electro-pop”. There’s the breezy optimism of ‘Crooner’s Eyes’, a palpable ache pulling at the robotic, R&B-influenced vocals of ‘Wastin’ Tastin’’, while a sinuous bassline weaves through the Balearic-tinged title track. Saint Michel expertly balance on the knife-edge of familiar and fresh.