After a six-year hiatus, French indie-pop trio Exsonvaldes makes a triumphant return with their highly-anticipated fifth studio album, "Maps.
Maps is a concept album that is not only a cartography of their trips, from cities like London or Turin but also a discovery of their musical evolutions. The A-side initiates the exploration with "Change," a track that confronts the tragic fact that the future of the planet is in great danger. It encapsulates the paradoxical idea that everything is bound to change because, ironically, nothing ever does. As the album progresses, the B-side bids "Good-Bye Europe," a pre-breakup song about England and Europe, foretelling the Brexit era. The band's trademark blend of French and English lyrics carries a tone of tongue-in-cheek humour and irony.
The tracks on "Maps" span a spectrum of emotions and themes. "Dansé" explores the denial accompanying hangovers, while "Party People" unabashedly mocks the overindulgence of nights out. "Barbican," featuring French-English singer Emma Broughton, presents a haiku-style enumeration of the ravages of a battered England. The journey continues with "Torino," a romantic road trip featured in the soundtrack of "Emily in Paris." At the core of "Maps" is an anxiety, a concern for a world on the verge of collapse, oblivious to its excesses.