Last month, when Charlotte Gainsbourg announced her upcoming album, Rest (out November 17), she said, "It's the first time I've surrendered myself and the end result belongs to me." The thrill, fear, and life-affirmation of such "firsts" is explored on the album's opening track, "Ring a Ring O' Roses," released as a single today, alongside a self-directed music video that is available exclusively on Apple Music. "Ring a Ring O' Roses," produced by SebastiAn, follows previous singles, "Rest," co-written with Daft Punk's Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, and "Deadly Valentine," both released to global critical acclaim.
From first steps, to first words, to first kisses, to first drinks, to love at first sight, to first signs of aging, to first capitulations to a life cycle of firsts that inevitably ends in a series of lasts, Charlotte Gainsbourg here harnesses French and English to create a fascinating lyrical contradiction: the impulsive beauty of surrendering to a lack of control is paired with the idea that even these moments of wonder and curiosity are part of an inescapable pattern."Ring a ring a roses/A pocket full of posies/We all fall down," deadpans Gainsbourg, reciting the troubling nursery rhyme in the song's chorus, around which she creates a hazy mosaic of nostalgic snapshots.
Says Gainsbourg, "For me it's the same thing as when you are acting, trying to find accidents to make things alive. It's because there's no control over first times. For me its ... 'le hazard'— you're surprised by first times. Each time I experience a first time—the obvious thing being the first movie I made, the first song I sang—it was very precious. I wanted to express that."
Charlotte Gainsbourg's "Ring a Ring O' Roses" music video is one of a series she helmed in conjunction with the album—beginning with the hypnotic, insinuating "Rest," then the sweeping "Deadly Valentine,"featuring Dev Hynes.
Produced by SebastiAn (Frank Ocean, Kavinsky) and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Adele, Lorde, David Bowie), Rest
is Gainsbourg's first studio album in seven years. It features collaborations with Sir Paul McCartney, Daft Punk's
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Connan Mockasin and Owen Pallett (Arcade Fire, Caribou). The eleven songs on Rest are nothing if not sure-footed, proffering a compelling fusion of gleaming, string-emblazoned modern electro-pop and cinematically textured avant-chanson—their magical music box melodies kissed by bruised, introspective, occasionally disquieting lyrics.
Watch "Rest" Video Here; Watch "Deadly Valentine" Video Here.
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