Back in 2007, Xavier Boyer, frontman of French indie maestros Tahiti 80, released his first solo LP “Tutu To Tango” under the nom de plume Axe Riverboy. He didn’t think it would take another 10 years for the follow-up but here it is and it was well worth the wait.
The title Some/Any/New, his tip of the cap to Todd Rundgren’s Something Anything album, reflects both the atmosphere and the process, Boyer crafted the new set playing everything, save a few overdubs recorded with collaborator Stéphane Laporte, using a laptop, an 8-track tape machine and a few cherished instruments (a groovebox, a guitalele and a casiotone).The album is awash with classic melodies, sweet Odessey & Oracle -esque vocals and the songs have a warm, organic glow, enhanced by some rough edges and little imperfections, happy accidents of the DIY nature of the recordings.
Xavier pieced together the album over quite a long period. The songs were written in different places, in different towns and houses. Given all of that, it is perhaps surprising that the finished record is so coherent, light-infused and optimistic. What is supremely evident is Xavier’s ability as a songwriter, here he again delivers a set of gorgeous, contemporary and immediate pop songs. From the exquisite harmonies and frayed electronics of “Cherry Cloud Panic” through to the down-tempo, deliciously melancholic track, « Longing/The International Merry Go Round » we are in the company of an artist, confident in his creative ability. This is a highly-enjoyable piece of work - as the man himself says “It’s “like opening a window to the world on a sunny day.”