En Couleurs - Feufollet
If music has colours, Feufollet is a box of crayons. Not only does the next generation Cajun band from Lafayette, Louisiana expand on the black and white keys of the accordion and syncopate the traditional two-step, they colour way outside of the lines to carry Cajun into the next century without eschewing the past. Their 3rd album is called En Couleurs. Colour is a running theme that covers both the visible and audible spectrum. “Accordion and fiddle player, Chris Stafford explains, “The whole album, you hear a track and then a little snippet of music, almost to cleanse the palate for the next thing. That inspired the title of the album, which means ‘in color,’ and the concept for the artwork. I always think of colors when I hear music, and each moment has its own shade.” Shade is the perfect word to describe the subtle touches added in the studio that make En Couleurs such a treat for repeat listens. You’ll inevitably catch something charming and new with each pass. The halfway point on the disc showcases one of Stafford’s songs call Le Jours Sont Longs that offers something of Feufollet’s own invention; the Cajun power chord. Recessed snugly in the depth of the mix you can pick out a much distorted guitar, over-driven through a small Pignose amp. The effect is more felt than consciously heard. Producer and friend, Ivan Kilsanin convinced the band to let their hair down in the studio and try arranging more on the fly. Ouvre La Porte, a sorrowful farewell to a woman dying of illness brings life’s rich pageant full-circle with child-like addition of a toy piano. No musical oddity was ignored if it was a good fit. On one track, Stafford recalls, “We had tried the autoharp over and over, but it just didn’t work. But then somebody whipped out the omnichord. It’s a digital autoharp from the 1980s, this wacky instrument made by Suzuki and shaped like a tennis racket.” It’s so very gratifying to see that even the most time-honored music traditions like the Cajun two-step can be lovingly updated through youthful creativity. Some of the songs on the disc leave standard structures behind entirely to float something entirely different past listeners’ ears; something you might call Cajun pop. Feufollet’s plucky approach of splashing on some colour rather than painting by numbers has earned them the honour of the Big Easy Awards ‘Best Cajun Band.