Kool Kats feat. Anna Jean (Juniore)
Juniore, is the brainchild of Anna Jean and produced by Samy Osta. After two 7 inches in 2015, Juniore released their full-length debut Ouh là là in 2017 full of more French pop songs, combining sweet retro and modern twist.
Hypnotic and dreamy, Anna’s soft voice pulls us in to tell us stories of loveless mornings and sleepless nights, imaginary apocalypses, walks of shame and unhappy endings. Desperately hopeful, Juniore’s tunes are a mix of old-school melodies and modern lyrics, filled with delight and melancholy. Somewhere between Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns and urban adventures straight out of Nouvelle Vague films, Juniore stretches out time and space, both dark and light, tense and reassuring.
We caught up with Anna while she works on new music to talk about her musical upbringing. Check out our chat and her playlist below.
Fresh Pots: Let's go back to the beginning. what kind of music were your parents playing around the house while you were growing up?
Anna Jean: My parents were (and still are) a mix of artists-hippies-intellectuals. I think they felt they had to make my sisters and I "citizens of the world", and it was important to be open to folklore. In the car, my father loved to listen to unbearable Celtic music and my mother had a passion for singing, more or less gracefully, Linda Ronstadt’s Spanish album.
We had their old vinyl too, it wasn’t a very large collection - but I remember throwing birthday parties and dancing to Elvis 'Hound Dog' 7 inch and John Lennon’s 'Imagine'. Being vintage wasn’t very hip in middle school, but the kids danced :)
FP: Do you remember a particular song or band that stood out during this time?
AJ: Driving around in my older sister’s car, listening to the oldies radio station. Hoping to hear Santo and Johnny’s 'Sleepwalk' is probably one of my favorite memories.
FP: When and how did you start exploring your own music taste? Were you searching the internet? Magazines? Crate digging? CD shopping?
AJ: Having an older sister made it easier! She had friends who were in bands and everything about them seemed impossibly cool. They were punks or skaters, they had style, bad skin, and greasy hair and I trusted wholly their opinion on just about anything. Especially music. One of her friends gave her a Sonic Youth poster than I got to put in my room. And kept for a decade. Later, when YouTube was born, I realized the world was full of incredible music. I started watching Scopitones - French 60’s singers music videos - and became obsessed.
FP: How do you incorporate your music taste into the music you create?
AJ: It’s bizarre, actually. I don’t think you always write the kind of music you love - for me, that’s how it often feels anyway. But at one point, I really made the conscious decision to try and write a good song - the kind they wrote in the 60’s. With just the right amount of naïveté and wit, simple but somewhat sophisticated. I listened to so very many GREAT songs, and really wanted to incorporate some of that magic into my own recipe. Something along those lines. I’m not sure I’ve managed to do that exactly, but it’s probably a good thing. Because otherwise, I’d stop trying!
FP: How do you find new music now? How did you stumble upon Los Saicos, an obscure Peruvian rock and roll band from the early 60s, in France?
AJ: Well, it’s funny actually. I guess either totally randomly online or mostly through friends or people we meet with Juniore, who have familiar tastes. I heard of Los Saicos from the very first bass player who played in Juniore - her name is Antonia and she’s from Peru but had been living in Paris for a few years when we met. She told me about the garage scene in South America, and it sounded all fascinating. I started to look and found a lot of great stuff. I really do have Antonia to thank for Los Saicos. And my friends in general, people who come to our shows. This one guy told us we reminded him of The Delmonas. So happy to have found them too.
FP: Lastly, how do you take your coffee?
AJ: Sugar no cream please!
Check out her playlist below.