CASEY HANSEN // Publicist


A new gift from France: Her name is Mai Lan Chapiron, and she’s a newish artist from Paris. Newish because if you’re French, you’ve probably heard of her. One of her early well-publicized stunts was re-recording the most violent French rap song of all time and singing it like a folk lullaby. It’s the kind of thing a young Eminem would have done, but the reverse. Most recently, Mai Lan sang and co-wrote the four best songs on M83’s new album, including big single “Go!” which she performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live. If you missed that one, no worries! She's been touring the world with M83 for a good chunk of 2016.

 Briefly: You should know that Mai Lan is absolutely, effortlessly beautiful. Equally, effortlessly eccentric too. It's a special balance. She gets messier, acts sillier, lets herself go faster. She’s not afraid to embarrass herself, because what she values is truth, and the truth is usually a little messy, a little silly, a little embarrassing.

 What better place to get loose than New York? Mai Lan and her longtime collaborator Max Labarthe spent a month last year working with Nick Sylvester, the American producer behind Shamir’s Ratchet (XL Recordings) and other outsider pop gems on his Godmode label. Rather than bridging their French-English gap, the three embraced it. A big chunk of Mai Lan’s solo album is in English, which is not her native tongue. Words that shouldn’t go together somehow do with her. In a song like “Technique,” you can actually hear how much fun Mai Lan’s having swimming in our words, firing off short percussive ones, contorting our diphthongs. In three minutes, Mai Lan changes what’s possible in a pop song.