When The Shoes’ first album Crack My Bones was released in 2011, it was acclaimed both by critics and the public, just as well as their first pop singles People Movin’ and Stay the Same, and then their inescapable Time To Dance. Now a cult single, it has made the whole world dance with it’s more than 7 million views video that stages Jake Gyllenhaal as a sociopath murderer. The video swept everything clean, particularly the 4 UK MVA, and Bret Easton Ellis claimed it as his video of the year. It resulted in a world tour which led them from Bestival to Koko in England, Summer Sonic and Fuji Rock in Japan, Eurockéennes and Vieilles Charrues and finally in front of an over-excited public in a sold out parisian Olympia in June 2012.
They then resumed their work as producers. Benjamin worked on Gaëtan Roussel’s album and on Bashung’s Play Blessures reinterpretation while Guillaume produced Joke’s Louis XIV and Rocky’s first EP especially. Together they produced their label’s mate Woodkid’s album, The Golden Age -now platinum record- as well as a whole bunch of remixes: Cerrone’s hymn Supernature in duet with Beth Ditto, Shakira’s Loca, London Grammar’s Hey Now for a Jean-Baptiste Mondino’s film and Pharrell William’s standard Happy, among others.
In 2015, The Shoes are back with their new album Chemicals, which they’re calling their third album, under the influence of superstition… 10 songs written in between pizza and sushis boxes, in Paris, London, New York and Reims, in France.
Just like hip hop producers, everything starts with a beat when they make their tracks, and then they add the rest. As they still don’t know how to sing, they called their homies Esser, Blaine Harrison (Mystery Jets), SAGE and Black Atlass among others, and put this new album under the sign of pop.
As far as influences are concerned, The Shoes pick in what they like: coldwave, nineties UK trance, new wave and even EDM. The idea is to disassemble the labels in order to reassemble them in a masterful electro pop puzzle. They are not interested in composing sad ballads to say how cruel the world is. The Shoes prefer having fun and seeing if it’s possible to make Frankie Goes To Hollywood be played with Aphex Twin, to blow hot and cold, rough and soft, never mind if it’s not homogenous, as long as it is coherent.
The Chemicals world is stricken by powerful visual elements and a sharp aesthetic. Unlike the punks of the first album, that everyone can remember, bearing the stamp of Gavin Watson, a blond young man, is now cheerless and assertive, immortalized by the South African photographer Roger Ballen.
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