Elegant chamber pop from the Czech Republic
Romantically inclined East Bohemian quintet Miou Miou writes and sings in French, and the lush, carefully manicured settings of the group’s debut seem Gallic as well, redolent of the band Air’s soundscapes. Citing influences as far-ranging as Serge Gainsbourg and The Modern Lovers, Claudine Longet and My Bloody Valentine, Miou Miou derives much of its disarming personality from Karolina Dytrtova, who sings with such ingénue delicacy that she makes Longet seem like Ethel Merman. But this band is far from twee, as a powerhouse rhythm section brings muscle and mass to the gossamer. The whimsically titled “Le Petit Punk” pits a jackhammer groove against a skylarking flute (or synth), and “La Chambre Voisine” rocks like a top-down highway cruiser, power chords blazing. Overall though, La La Grand Finale plays out with a sustained sense of wistful refinement and obsessive intricacy. You could do worse than while away a Sunday with this insouciant Czech Beaujolais.