The Lafayette band shows the range of its influences on its new album, and premieres them Saturday night at Tipitina's.
[Updated] Last fall, I interviewed Feufollet’s Chris Stafford for The New Orleans Advocate. The band had just finished recording its first album outside Louisiana—in Austin—and Stafford was excited by the band’s evolution. When Feufollet started, he and the rest of the band were kids; now they’re adults and their tastes have developed as well. They still valued their Cajun heritage, but that didn’t stop them from covering The Beach Boys’ “Heroes and Villains” or Eno’s art-rock “Baby’s on Fire”:
“There was a time in my life when Cajun music was everything to me,” Stafford said, but not anymore. “We should be as creative as we can possibly be. Not doing what’s intellectually stimulating to us is doing a disservice to our audience and ourselves.”
The album Feufollet was recording, Two Universes, (you can stream it at The Oxford American's website) is due out Tuesday, and it’s the logical evolution of the band’s vision. It hasn’t foresworn its Cajun roots, but its musical world isn’t boundaried by them. Vocalist Kelli Jones-Savoy adds folk and honky tonk elements, and the band’s sonic palate has expanded in sympathy rock ’n’ roll’s inherent audacity.
In his review of the album, Steve Hochman wrote:
throughout the album, the music lives up to the title. Stafford sings “Pris Dans la Vie Farouche,” a ‘50s-ish waltz written by bassist Philippe Billeaudeaux in the style of the region’s classic swamp-pop (a two-worlds approach of an earlier generation), followed by another romantic waltz, Stafford’s “Early Dawn,” with more of an alt-Americana feel.
The thing is, they’re not crossing back and forth between the two universes, but bringing them together as one. More than just two universes, really. It’s a regular string theory going on here, all working nicely together on the album’s glorious closing song, the cosmically quizzical “Questions sans résponses” — “Questions Without Answers.”
Saturday, they’ll play a CD-release party at Tipitina’s. Here’s a preview. We’ll have more with Chris Stafford next month.
Updated March 21, 12:23 a.m.
The video for "Red LIght" replaced the video for "Tired of Your Tears" at the request of the band.