“I listened to a song that Maxwell sent me and said to myself, ‘this guy is incredible, I must work with him’,” says Christophe Vaillant who performs as Le SuperHomard.
His latest record, a collaboration with Australian singer Maxwell Farrington, was born from an instantaneous connection the pair felt when they met during a joint concert at La Boule Noire, on the MaMA Festival in 2019. During Farrington’s sound check, he sang an a capella version of a song by Burt Bacharach. This led to an engaging conversation between the two musicians, who discussed their common passion for Sean O’Hagan, Lee Hazlewood and Scott Walker. “Well we can all agree that there’s no seduction more powerful than common taste in music,” says Farrington. “Soon after that gig Christophe asked me to write lyrics for him, which I did obligingly. From there I asked him to arrange one of my songs.”
It was clear the two had a lot in common in terms of taste but musically they soon sparked too, sending things back and forth until the sketching of an album emerged. “I sent off a few demos to Christophe down in the south of France and he just picked out whatever songs he felt were good,” says Farrington. “Christophe has a saying: There are no bad songs, only bad arrangements; and we only had good songs, so it was smooth sailing.”
The result is a seamless collaboration from two people who share a great musical intuition. Marrying Farrington’s rich baritone croon with Vaillant’s deft yet stirring compositions and you’re left with a record that feels like a lost classic. Whilst those influences they initially bonded over are clear on the record, it goes beyond being a simple ode to them. As Le SuperHomard - whose 2019 debut album received great critical praise (“A sparkling debut" 4* - Mojo ) - Vaillant exercised his clear pop chops via dreamy synth grooves and sparkling melodies. Here that craft is equally on display, albeit with a tonal shift towards more orchestral pop, with lush, sweeping strings lifting songs as equally as tender strums of guitar keep them propped up. Combined with Farrington’s endlessly infectious vocals, the pair have landed on something that owes as much to the music’s rich history as it does to contemporary sounds.
Maxwell Farrington & Le SuperHomard cultivate a certain taste for subtly arranged compositions and pop songs that feel both timeless and current. And beyond this elegance, beyond their solar songs, even beyond Maxwell’s majestic voice, we can deeply feel that music is above all a story of meeting and sharing.
Since the time of our early talks with the duo, we’ve known one thing for sure: their first album “Once” had a misleading title. There was never any question of quickly closing the deal, of getting close to the top and packing up. “Our time alone, our finest hours are spent” sings Maxwell Farrington on the opening, and we don’t believe a word of it.
Recorded last fall while on tour, “I Had It All” offers 6 new treasures, 6 new proofs of our musicians’ dazzling talent, an achievement even more remarkable considering the disc’s short format.
Maxwell Farrington & Le SuperHomard “I Had It All”: 1. I Had It All - 2. Two Hopeful Lovers - 3. Burning - 4. Donna - 5. Change Direction - 6. Il Cacciatore
Artwork: Guillaume Pinard’s original painting ‘Le dindon de Meillac’