When you have Jane Birkin as your mother and Charlotte Gainsbourg as your half-sister, it is only a matter of time before you start making music. For Lou Doillon, that moments has come. Famous family was a good environment for young female author who decided to follow her mother’s steps but also her father’s steps since she is also an actress. Nothing is shocking here since this young lady is born for showbusiness.
She plays guitar and writes her own songs. After several Eps with Chris Brenner and Joni Mitchell, she has released her critically acclaimed debut album Places in 2012. While that album was full of pop tunes, French chansons, simple lyrics and subtle vocals, this one is more folk, somewhere between Laura Marling and Joanna Newsom. Subtext is still French chanson but it is not as accentuated as on the first record.
It seems like she grew up and understood that music world will not take her seriously until she proves what she can without copying her heritage. Lou does not sing about it. She sings about ordinary things. Fully aware that they will always compare her to her mother, she even started looking like her. Loud decided to be auto ironic and make a solid album.
Lay Low is a collection of love songs. When she writes about love, she writes about the meaning of everything. Love is the ultimate drive for her. It can get a little bit pathetic here and there but it is very difficult to write about love without falling into a cliché. Who knows, maybe writing precisely about what you feel would mean that you don’t know how to love.
Opening track Left Behind rocks melancholy all the way to Above My Head, a song dedicated to the search of the self. Where to Start is full of questions for the lover who just doesn’t seem to give any answers.
Weekender Baby is a bit more cheerful, while Good Man serves as a pearl at the end of the album. Lou sarcastically sings about how weird is that young woman can be in a relationship with a good man. The album has its weak spots as well. Nothing Left is pretty confusing in the same as the very end of the album. As a whole, everything is cool.
Lou has definitely stepped out of her mother’s shadow and showcased that she can do it on her own. Even though she had everything that was needed for a good career, it didn’t mean that she will succeed. If she continues with subtle folk and chansons, we can master pieces in the future.