Saturday, August 20, 2011

Francois Virot Wants To Know Yes Or No

Francois Virot is a ridiculously busy guy. He's one of those artists that needs to stay busy and constantly find new ways to make music and be creative. When he's not out on the road or making records with his other band, Clara Clara, he finds time to fiddle on his own and that's where his solo record Yes or No comes into play.

Virot's Yes Or No is a folky wee record that's sprightly, jangly, and fiercely melodic. It's a personal record that was recorded with the idea that simple is better. Using nothing but acoustic guitars, hand claps, and various bits of things for percussion, Virot creates a record that's nervous, jumpy, and miraculously good. What could have been a dreadful moany bore is turned into a harmonic convergence of strummy pop thanks to Virot's incessant need to be busy and creative.

Maybe a bit like Beirut, Animal Collective, or even a less produced Simon and Garfunkel, Francois Virot easily creates memorable musical sketches with the bare minimum of materials. It's constantly amazing what Virot can wrangle out of his guitar and yet he does so over and over again. Even at his most melancholic, Virot eeks out a song that's still has a pop sensibility about it and still good.  "Island," serves as a perfect example of Francois Virot's ability to make a big pop song out of next to nothing. Using some strummy riffs on endless repeat and a hand made beat, the song skips along with a chorus that will reel you in; it's a hootin' hollerin' tune of fun and pretty much sums up everything that Yes Or No is about.

Yes Or No
is quite listenable and offers so much more than just an average folk record could ever hope to.   It is a jittery folk fueled pop journey that constantly dishes out great songs with little effort, production, or instrumentation. Francois Virot's constant desire to be creative and productive serves him well here as his debut album is a treasure trove of acoustic pop brilliance. With any luck he'll have his follow up record recorded and ready to go by the spring. Here's hoping anyway.

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