The Dove and The Wolf are two French girlfriends who started to play music together at age 14. They came to FAULT’s attention through Nowness that recently shared Lou + Paloma’s The Words You Said music video directed by Zack Spiger and featuring models and actors Paul Boche and Jessamine Bliss Bell. A special thanks to Paloma’s mother for matching these two souls together and to fashion designer Gaby Basora + singer Rachael Yamagata who sort of boosted up their music career… Meet the dove, Paloma Gil, and the wolf, Louise Hayat-Camard.
FAULT : Louise, Paloma, who are you ?
Paloma : We are both twenty-four and were full-time students up until 6 months ago – as we were offered to go on a 7 week long US and Canada tour, we both decided to drop out of school. I was studying cinema.
Louise : And I was studying architecture.
FAULT : School is out of mind, forever ?
Paloma : We’ll see. For now we’re taking the year off to focus on music, because that’s what we really want to do.
FAULT : How did you two connect ? Tell us how it all started please.
Louise : We actually met online, ten years ago, at age 14. I was living in Martinique and I met Paloma’s mother IRL, at a dinner party. We had a very long talk and I guess I somehow reminded her of Paloma so she thought it’d be fantastic to meet. But because I lived across the Atlantic, that had to happen on MSN messenger!
Paloma : Yes, we were only talking about music. We met two months later, in April 2004, when Lou was visiting her father in Paris.
FAULT : Where does this passion for music come from ?
Paloma : I don’t really know… I started playing the viola when I was 4, and then I got into playing the guitar when I was 13. I enjoyed it more cause I could sing along.
Louise : I started with the piano, and played it for years – I was taking lessons but I smoothly stopped as I was not really into reading music sheets… So at 13, I swapped the piano for the guitar. The first guitar I played was my birth’s gift from my father.
FAULT : How would you describe your musical genre ?
Paloma : A friend of ours once described us as a ‘ambient pop-folk’ band, and I liked it. I think it is pretty accurate.
Louise : It is a tricky one. We don’t really have a specific genre – it is a mix of 1960’s harmonies and modern sounds.
FAULT : Where do your respective musical influences meet ?
Paloma : We listen to the same music. I mean, we first became friends because we were listening to the same bands…
Louise : And we spend almost all of our time together, so our references are very similar. We used to listen to a lot of British bands but most of the music we listen to now, is american. We listen to everything… From Boyz II Men to Grizzly Bear, Sharon Van Etten, James Blake.
Paloma : And Beyoncé !
FAULT : What is on your mind at the moment ?
Louise : I recently went to see Phox live – they gave such a generous performance, it was magical !
Paloma : Blake Mills’s new record just came out and I have been listening to it a lot… We also went to see Lauryn Hill a few days ago. It felt amazing to immerse ourselves in her music again.
FAULT : Why did you pick an English name for your French band ?
Paloma : Lou woke up one day and said she had a dream about us being called The Dove and The Wolf. It felt right.
Louise : Paloma is Spanish for « dove » and people call me « Lou » which is almost « Loup », « wolf » in French.
FAULT : And do you think it suits both of you in the end? Paloma being the dove and Louise, the wolf…
Paloma : I think there is a little bit of both in each of us.
FAULT : Woodstock, NY vs. Paris : was it more inspiring to record in NY ?
Louise : I’m not sure whether or not it was more inspiring to record in NY, it was just a very different experience. One thing is for sure, we enjoy recording in houses surrounded by the woods! We recorded our first EP (4 tracks) two years ago in the countryside two hours away from Paris. We packed the car with a bunch of instruments and recording equipment that we borrowed from friends and we locked ourselves in for ten days to make music. And six months ago, we went up to Woodstock, NY, to record a full album. It was such an incredible experience. We’re only releasing two of the songs we recorded because right now we do everything ourselves, from A to Z, and it would’ve been difficult to mix, master and press a full record all by ourselves. It will be our first full album and we want to do it the right way. We’re hoping to release it with the help of a label ; we will see after touring with Rachael Yamagata what is next for us.
FAULT : How did you meet Rachael Yamagata?
Paloma : We met Rachael two years ago after she played in Paris and we had a mutual crush on each other. We kept in touch and she invited us to sing with her in NYC a few times when we were visiting. When she heard that we were going to record an album in Nashville, she said there was no way we’d go there and that we were to record in her home studio in Woodstock, NY. No question asked! So we did, and it was amazing!
FAULT : I read a piece about you and your very first video Springtime through the New York Times blog. Nice for a young French duo…
Paloma : We collabotared with Gaby Basora, the fashion designer for Tucker, for our Springtime video. The deal was to make a promotional video for her new collection and in exchange we’d have a music video for our new track. It was shot at Far Rockaway, in Queens. It was a lot of fun. The director had planned that I would be driving a car in the video. Except that I didn’t have my licence! So in the video, when you see me arriving in a legit 1968 Mustang, I am actually being pushed by the team not to take any risks: the owner of the car was on set! (Laughs) Anyways, It was a fantastic experience.
Louise : The director, Yelena Yemchuk, is a wonderful artist. I feel very lucky we got to work with her. She also paints and does photography ; she has directed music videos for The Smashing Pumpkins before… So the combo of the indie New Yorker fashion designer + the young french duo + the artist/director caught the eye of the New York Times and they wrote a piece about it.
FAULT : And this post led you to acclaimed photographer Sebastian Kim.
Louise : It was an incredible experience to work with Sebastian. It was so easy to pose for him. We stayed in touch since ; the cover of our new record is actually an illustration by Corinna Gramma based on one of the photographs he took for the New York Times.
FAULT : Since your early beginnings, what are the best encounters you’ve made ?
Paloma : The Swedish singer Isabel Sörling who sang on two of our former tracks and the singer/guitar player of the band The Shivers. I saw him play at a house show in Brooklyn ; we talked and kept in touch. We asked him to play on our new album because he is just so fucking talented…
FAULT : You seem to be surrounded by a cool crowd of friends… Can you tell us more about your collaboration with Zack Spiger please ?
Louise : A friend, who works with Zack told me about him. I started watching all of his videos and I literally fell in love with his work. He has a very unique way to film music, I’m not sure how he does it but it is magic! And I find it so amazing that he uses film only. We both really support that.
Paloma : About a year ago, we met up and started talking about working together. When we got back from Woodstock, we played him the rough mixes, and he picked The Words You Said.
FAULT : How do you two write and compose ?
Louise : We write and compose together. Paloma sometimes comes up with a chord progression and I find a melody to go with it or vice-versa. It’s a bit like in our daily routine when we finish each other’s sentences… For the most part we write the music first and the words come along.
FAULT : And the words naturally come in English…
Louise : To be honest, we don’t really know how to write songs in French!
Paloma : And besides the fact that we both speak english a lot on a regular basis, our musical background is mostly American, so writing in English feels more natural to us.
FAULT : Can you tell us about your Sofar Sounds experience please ?
Louise : I first heard about this series of gigs through friends. Our mutual friend Sophie attended a gig and she thought it would be awesome to have us performing at the next session so she introduced us to the Parisian organizer and he contacted us. We played in a beautiful apartment at les Abbesses. I had never experienced that before. An acoustic set can be very tricky but playing for people who were being very attentive, with no glasses being broken or doors being slammed, that was amazing.
Paloma : We had played at the Bus Palladium the night before so it was definitely different! And even if the audience didn’t know us at all, they were really listening to our music. Makes playing and singing a lot easier!
Louise : And when we played our sing-along song and they sang with us. It was a lot of fun.
FAULT : What if music wears you out one day… ?
Paloma : It won’t ever happen !
Louise : For the moment we have no other aspirations than to share our music and I hope it will stay that way.
FAULT : What is your FAULT ?
Louise + Paloma : We are too cool for school !
Tour dates US & Canada, with Rachael Yamagata, October 2nd – November 18th.