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8. Erin McKeown – La Petite Mort

16/12/2009

La Petite Mort is not a grand song, nor famous or particularly groundbreaking, but it is sung and played with such joie de vivre that it’s impossible not to fall for its charms. It is the sound of lightness and life, of love and fun, airy but tender and sweetly succinct. A backroom bar country shuffle borne of drinking with old friends and reminiscing about absent ones, it manages to combine intimacy with playfulness, charm with sincerity, never feeling po-faced or mawkish. Ostensibly the tale of a newlywed husband who loses his wife in the throes of wedding night passion (but perhaps more than a little allegorical) the twinkle in McKeown’s eyes when she sings “We both found heaven right then, but you just chose not to come back!” is not just audible, but almost tangible. And while a song about death is bound to be tinged with a little pathos, La Petite Mort avoids any hint of whinge by opting instead for an almost celebratory tone – when the cartwheeling guitar solo skips away and the backing singers commiserate with a smiling “oh, Estelle!”, the overpowering emotion is of gladness and joy rather than anything more baleful. Giddy, mischievous and glimmering, La Petite Mort isn’t just the catchiest song on this countdown, it is also three minutes of beautifully understated, perfectly paced bliss.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lavva permalink
    27/08/2017 7:11 am

    Dude. You do know that “La petite mort” is a afrench euphemism for an orgasm.

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