European Americana… now there’s an oxymoron for you. But perhaps out of the strangest contradiction can arise some of the most exciting new music to hit the airwaves in a while. Pauline Andrès, who hails from France, has gathered a remarkable amount of wisdom and life experience for a young woman in her twenties—her music is colored by her travels around the world, and time spent living in London, Berlin and Paris. But deep in the heart of this chic Parisienne lies a southern belle, raised on the music of Lucinda Williams and Merle Haggard (one of her songs is titled simply, “Patsy Cline”).
Andrès is getting set to release her new full length album, The Heart Breaks, on April 15th, a quick follow-up to 2014’s All Them Ghosts. To pull her sophomore effort together, she called on musical pals from Nashville, New York, Boston and (don’t forget, this is European Americana) Berlin and Turin.
Today, Andrès is premiering “If Only You Had Called,” a single from her upcoming release. The track opens with a swampy blues guitar intro and a heavy dose of twang, before Andres’ voice slinks in with the rich, sultriness of Patti Smith and deliciously androgynous, atonal drawl of Nico just around the edges. She doesn’t shy away from a true, blue country tone, with some lyrics that might as well have sprung from Nashville, “I woke up with the phone in my hand/The pillow wet from the tears I cried/Another day without you once again.” But she also seems to revels in her unique status as a European gal who yearns for the Grand Ole Opry, “I dressed up and put my cowboy boots/You don’t see many like these ‘round here.”
Andrès is an exciting, invigorating new voice in the genre, and though she may be a restless artistic soul, with no one place to call home, the music industry is all the richer for the tears she cries.
Listen to “If Only You Had Called” below.