Florence Joelle
‘Kiss Of Fire’
album review

Quick, call the fire brigade. Having caused a succession of sizable tremors on the London gig circuit, consistently confounding expectations and drawing an ever-wider audience, the superb Florence Joelle’s Kiss of Fire combo finally release their eponymous red-hot debut LP. Drawing upon classic whacked-out America roots music and injecting it with her own je ne sais quoi, Florence Joelle and her highly distinguished ensemble (featuring the notorious leftfield occultist filmmaker Arthur I Walked With A Surrealist Lager on spooked voodoo drums and Flaming Star stalwart Huck Whitney playing mercurial lead guitar) have fashioned a sound that is simultaneously timeless and yet entirely current. A neat trick if you can pull it off, and Florence Joelle’s Kiss of Fire have done it with acres of style to spare.

Whether on the inspired covers (early jazz/swing drummer Chick Webb’s Mary Jane suffused ‘When I Get Low I Get High’ and the benchmark 1950s rhythm & blues opus ‘Unchain My Heart’) or Joelle’s highly evocative original compositions (the opening propulsive statement of intent ”“ with Lager freely channelling Sandy Nelson and the zombie beat of Nick Knox – ”ËœHell Be Damned And Look Out (You May Only Live Once)’, Latin flavoured ‘Watermelon Gin’, the rockabilly empowered ”ËœNever Thought I’d See The Day’, the licentious rhumba influenced ”ËœGypsy Boy’ and the yearning ‘Stardust Merchant’), Florence Joelle’s Kiss of Fire ignite passion, drama and dancing feet. Florence Joelle’s Kiss of Fire act as an intoxicating conduit between such vital contemporary figures such as Marc Ribot’s Los Cubanos Postizos, John Zorn, Chuck E. Weiss and Tom Waits with French chanson, vintage rock ‘n’ roll, loungecore and enduring jazz standards. In short, Florence Joelle’s Kiss of Fire is one hell of a heady brew that should be imbibed in one sitting.

Perhaps even more importantly, Joelle’s wonderfully fractured and totally unaffected emotive voice speaks of experience and of a life lived to the hilt. The highs, the lows, the agony, the ecstasy ”“ its all here, unadorned, unfettered and cut loose by a committed bon viveur. Florence Joelle is a very welcome antidote to the bland and airbrushed female vocals that currently infect popular music of every shade. As a girl growing up in Paris, Florence obviously collected and listened to early blues, doo-wop and 50s rock ”Ëœn’ roll. She has distilled these influences, together with the Parisian street music of bal musette and North African rai, into her own potent form of musical expression, powered by Lager’s bad juju percussion and Whitney’s angular guitar lines. If you dig Gemma Ray or Richard Hawley, you should definitely find Florence Joelle’s Kiss of Fire dramatic widescreen sounds highly combustible stuff. Vive la difference!

Florence Joelle’s Kiss Of Fire out 11th July 2011 on Zoltan Records

Previous articleJarvis Cocker to release book of his lyrics in October
Next articleThe Melvins ‘Sugar Daddy Live’ – Review


  1. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

  2. Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  3. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

  4. Thanks for some other magnificent article. The place else may anyone get that type of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such information.

  5. The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  6. I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again!

  7. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here