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The Olms

The Olms dropped a low-profile album last year – a collection of beautiful songs, finely crafted with classic 60s style. We didn’t expect they would also dress the part, with all the eccentricity of the decade…

The hotel is flashy and brand new with a kind of exhaustingly ostentatious décor; brilliant whites, purple velvets, burnished blacks, slick servers. The clientele there seems borrowed; we don’t really know who’s actually sleeping and drinking there and who’s not. Except maybe Chubby Cheeks over there, dressed like a distant cousin of Willy Wonka; a thick, round mustache, a top hat and a long, heavy cape he won’t remove, even for a second. He’s with his sweetheart, an adorable cougar and former mistress of rock stars – someone our mothers only ever dreamed of being – and his sidekick, who never takes off the dark glasses that cover half his face.

 

And here we find the Olms, a surreal and colorful apparition in the Parisian autumn. We didn’t imagine they’d be like this – who could’ve? It’s not so much that they seem like they’ve coming from another era, when being in a rock band meant always putting on your stage face; staying faithful to your costume even in everyday life. It’s more about their songs, which are perfect pop vignettes straight out of 1960s California, with just the right dose of psychedelia. It’s all the more confusing that the duo’s carefully-planned get-up doesn’t come with any attitude attached; actually, they’re adorable. Pete Yorn is open and talkative, J.D. King is approachable and quiet. They’ll go along with the game, accepting to play a bit all over: in the metro, in front of the Opéra Garner, in the street, in the elevator… in a bedroom where Pete Yorn’s happy to ham it up for the poor little rich boy, all alone in his luxury suite. It’s the surrealist vision of J.D. King, who doesn’t speak; who’s next to the window, looking ghostly, the personification of his associate’s nostalgia.

Translated by Lauren McCracken