Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains
About Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains
François & the Atlas Mountains are a stylistically inventive indie pop outfit fronted by French singer/songwriter François Marry. The band formed in the mid-2000s when Marry was living Bristol, England, and continued to evolve both in sound and personnel over the coming decade when he returned to France. Incorporating a panoply of global elements into their lush pop sound, the group signed with Domino Records and released a string of well-received albums like 2012's E Volo Love and 2017's Solid Mirage. After a solo outing, Marry revived the Atlas Mountains project in 2021 with their shimmering synth-driven sixth album, Banane Bleue.
A native of Saintes, France, in 2003 Marry relocated to Bristol, where he began performing as a solo artist and as a touring member of Scottish indie pop band Camera Obscura. After a 2004 solo release titled Les Anciennes Falaises, Marry recorded his second album, The People to Forget, with a group of friends who became known as the Atlas Mountains. The 2006 release came out on local indie Stitch-Stitch Records. In 2008, he returned to France and became involved in a number of other projects that influenced the worldbeat-meets-dream pop approach of his 2009 album Plaine Inondable, released by Bristol-based label/collective Fence Records.
Continuing to employ a variety of different musicians and styles, François & the Atlas Mountains signed to prominent indie Domino Records to release 2012's E Volo Love. After splitting his time between the U.K. and France, Marry settled into his native country to record the band's fourth LP, Piano Ombre, which was released in March 2014. The wildly varied and more politically charged Solid Mirage followed in 2017, after which, Marry returned to solo work. Setting the texts of legendary French poet Baudelaire to music, he released the ambitious Les Fleurs du Mal in 2018 on the Silène label.
Throughout the band's various incarnations, François & the Atlas Mountains have remained relatively fluid in their lineups, but on their sixth outing, Marry took sole possession of the project, aided only by Finnish synth pop producer Jaakko Eino Kalevi and mixing engineer Renaud Letang. Released by Domino in early 2021, Banane Bleue featured a languid tone, introspective songwriting, and an understated synth-driven feel. ~ Timothy Monger