Alt. Adoration for an Indie Idol: Charlotte Gainsbourg, IRM

Stirring strings, guttural guitars and cigarette-stained croons gleam throughout Gainsbourg’s latest LP like iced gems dotted amongst bourbons and custard creams at ninth birthday parties the country over. Blurring the boundaries of silver screen and commemorative platinum discs before Britney became (significantly) house trained, Charlotte gives her old man Serge a frightful run for his overwhelming suavity. Whether blissfully berating Gael García Bernal in Michel Gondry’s cinematographically impeccable The Science of Sleep, or penning pitch-perfect off-kilter lo-fi pop with Jarvis Gainsbourg borders on the ideal indie icon, the sexy girl to Air’s Sexy Boy.

Turning to face the music, there’s not a whole load of dancing to be done as IRM’s title track clatters away with enough ratchet clanks to drown out the chauvinisms of Kwik-Fit Croydon, whilst Le Chat Du Café Des Artistes comes across as the would-be iconic Bond motif, were he born and bred across the channel, trading in Martini for Merlot and Greggs for garlic bread. The soothing lullaby of In The End sounds all but bereft of time and logic, flowing fancifully through caressed eardrums before trashcan impresario-turned-producer Beck’s vocals ebb and flow against Gainsbourg’s dreamy dead-pan demeanour. Coherency is never on the cards when it comes to IRM although Charlotte’s in her ultimate element when the ramshackle rock’n’roll of the Velvet Underground reflects in her pale blue eyes. Metaphorically musing... The gruesome grunge of Greenwich Mean Time revolving around crooked teeth, dingy nickels and dirty horseflies channels the gritty realism of Rossellini whilst the T-Rex-esque styling’s of Dandelion captivate and entice more phosphorescently than any number of swirling seeds as sinking suns set. Essentially, IRM serves as the latest edition to bookmark Beck’s extensive back catalogue fronted by Gainsbourg’s geek chic, but when the result is a match made in postmodernist paradise, who’s first up to criticise?