A sugary sweet cover of a snarling punk anthem is by no means a new concept. But Nouvelle Vague‘s version of the Dead Kennedys‘ “Too Drunk to Fuck” is anything but your run-of-the-mill makeover.
Founded by French producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux, Nouvelle Vague’s (“new wave” in Portuguese) schtick is simple: find French and Brazilian vocalists to sing lo-fi bossa nova covers of new wave and punk songs they’ve never heard before. The resulting brilliance is best captured in the band’s eponymous 2004 debut, wherein Public Image, Ltd., the Undertones, and the Specials, among others, are subject to serious re-imagining. It’s a concept Collin, Libaux, and their collaborators have been toiling under since 1998, well before the Dirty Projectors‘ Rise Above.
Upon completing their third album, NV3 (U.S. release date forthcoming), Nouvelle Vague are embarking on their first tour in years, with a handful of U.S. dates. The band play La Maison Francais, Embassy of France, on Thursday, June 18.