Catching Up: Je Suis Animal

Norwegian for excellent band
photo from _light_°’s flickr photostream

With the end of the year quickly approaching I was trying to assemble a rough cut of my favorite albums for 2008 and when I looked through the stack of cd’s I realized that there were more than a couple that I somehow neglected to write about.  It’s probably laziness or just a simple lack of time.  I work slowly, and am in constant awe of how other people seem to be so prolific with their writing.  So in an effort to bring you up to speed, at least my speed I’ve got a couple posts about albums I’ve been enjoying this year but neglected here on the Finest Kiss.

The first such album is Self-Taught Magic from a Book by Je Suis Animal which came out way back in February over in Norway on the Perfect Pop Label.  It then got released in Australia on Lost and Lonesome in June and will be released in the UK in December on Angular.  No word on a US release date, but all of those labels do mail order.  Je Suis Animal are mostly from Norway but sound like they’ve been hanging out with Broadcast circa The Noise Made By People or maybe they are Electrelane reincarnated.  They have a slight 60’s spy sound provided by the use of old synthesizers, mixed with a 60’s girl group feel not dissimilar with what Lichtenstein are doing.  What makes this album so engaging, is the guitar sound that rattles, drones and engulfs you like Stereolab at their most Krautrock.    I’m not kidding about the Broadcast comparison.  It is uncanny, on songs like Fortune Map, Mystery of Marie Roget and Indifferent Boy the band ratchet up their haunting, evocative charm.  I’ve been listening to this record most of the year and my favorite songs have evolved throughout the year, starting out with the more straightforward krautrock like Indifferent Boy and Secret Place, but like all really good records, every song ends up being a favorite and you can’t pick just one.

And to let us know that the album is no fluke the band have just put out a single on Cloudberry that is every bit as good as anything on Self-Taught Magic.

mp3: Je Suis Animal – Fortune Map (from  Self-Taught Magic from a Book)

mp3: Je Suis Animal – The Mystery of Marie Roget (from Self-Taught Magic from a Book)

mp3: Je Suis Animal – Painted In My Face (from the Cloudberry 7″)

Buy some Je Suis Animal from Australia, Norway, UK or US.

Eardrums has an interview with the band from earlier this year and an exclusive song on his A Good Crop compilations.


  1. Jon · November 15, 2008

    Thanks for the heads up (think your links may be mixed up). Nice band – although it’s like a paint-by-numbers copy of great English 80s indie-pop. That Cloudberry single is fab tho – totally My Bloody Valentine!

  2. Toby · November 15, 2008

    yes they derive from all the right places. the links have been untangled.

  3. Infrason · November 16, 2008

    I’m just discovering this blog and i must admit that it’s a real fab’ job !

    That’s so great to discover bands which sounds like Electrelane or Liechtenstein.

    Un très grand merci !!!

  4. Toby · November 17, 2008

    Oh wow, I can see that the Infrasons blog is going to be a great incentive to get my French reading skills back. When I lived in Caen, I learned as much French from Les Inrockuptibles as anywhere else.

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