It’s been a great year for music with old favourites releasing long-awaited albums and new talent emerging on the scene. We decided to add to the glut of top album lists but with a Studio Ombre twist. We’ve imagined the best places in Paris to listen to our favourite albums and curated our own little prescriptive list for you.
Let’s start the countdown!
21. Lykki Li – I Never Learn
Take a stroll on the Pont des Arts at night after breaking up with someone. The tragedy of being around sickening couples will pair beautifully with the sorrowful music and the black sky.
20. Real Estate – Atlas
Take a trip to Bercy Village, have a drink among the charming buildings and listen to the summery sounds of the album while relaxing in the sun.
19. Chinawoman – Let’s Part in Style
You need a drink. Alone, but in a crowded bar with indifferent waiters who have their own problems. Take a trip to Café Procope on the left bank but don’t join the rest of the customers, choose a stool hidden next to the staircase and get drunk on stiff drinks and sadness.
18. Bertie Blackman – The Dash
Seek out a party at the famous Cité Internationale des Arts and to see what the young art crowd are up to. Blast Bertie’s power anthems and see where the night takes you.
17. Hozier – Hozier
If you’re going to be taken to church, make it the Sainte Chapelle on the Île de la Cité with its unbelievable collection of 13th century stained-glass. The acoustics are perfect for Hozier’s soulful warbling.
16. EMA – The Future’s Void
A cyberpunk album demands automatons and wired visions of the future. Visit the Art Robotique exhibition at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie to see transforming cars while listening to William Gibson inspired rock.
15. St Vincent – St Vincent
Where else would listen to the queen of hipster rock than in the abandoned Samaritaine department store next to the Seine. It’ll be renovated soon, so be quick before it becomes cool again.
14. The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream
A slow trip down the Seine on the floating wine shop La Cave Vagabond, under the beautiful bridges and past the imposing monuments, while drinking rosé in the sun.
13. Banks – Goddess
Mix the old setting of the converted former bank foyer at l’Hôtel Banke with its red accents and original architecture, and the new sound of Banks’ debut album. Rich and refreshing.
12. Owen Pallett – In Conflict
Pallett’s music is always inspiring and original with suggestions of movement and travel. For his new release, install yourself in the elevator at the Eiffel Tower and ride it all day, watching the tourist come and go and the landscape change as the day progresses.
11. My Brightest Diamond – This is My Hand
Let Shara Worden lead you through Le Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature where the clash of taxidermy, bespoke finishes and neon contemporary art perfectly matches her wild and brilliant album.
10. Kelis – Food
Don’t listen to this album on an empty stomach, head over to Breakfast in America for a degustation of American fare to match each song. Don’t forget to wash it all down with some hooch!
9. Ramona Lisa – Arcadia
Loiter underneath the frustratingly off-centre glass pyramid at The Louve while listening to this Chairlift alternative album. Ignore Mona down the hall and stay with Ramona in the lobby.
8. Oh Land – Earth Sick
Visit one of the beautifully styled Repetto stores in Paris to listen to this album while browsing through the ballet shoes, dreaming of what your life would have been like as a dancer. If you’re already a dancer, dream about what it would have be like to be an excavator operator.
7. Roisin Murphy – Mi Senti
Feel the sand under you feet and watch the boats float past (maybe even someone listening to The War on Drugs) at Paris Plage while Ms Murphy serenades you with reawoken Italian pop songs from another era. Summer bliss.
6. Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
Give Sia a face at this former illegal artist squat at 59 Rivoli. You can even go back to see what shape the facade takes as it changes month to month – the unknown matches perfectly with Sia.
5. How To Dress Well – What is this Heart?
Soaring songs and crippling disillusionment make this album perfect to listen to in a secret cave behind a waterfall at the Bois de Bologne. Wail along with Tom Krell while observing a world distorted by a curtain of running water.
4. Perfume Genius – Too Bright
Mike Hadreas is an artist of such soaring heights of brilliance it seems only fitting to imagine him sing while playing the piano within this Joseph Beuys installation at the Pompidou. The felt-lined walls would absorb all sound except his songs. Magic.
3. Lana del Rey – Ultraviolence
We’ve seen Lana live so we’re happy to listen to her studio recordings while wandering around Père Lachaise cemetary, searching for Jim Morrison’s grave without a map. Her haunting music will bring the space (back) to life.
2. Christine and the Queens – Chaleur Humaine
Did you know there’s a secret garden on the roof of the Hermès store on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré? Exclusive, edgy and impossibly chic – this is Christine’s spiritual home and the best place to listen to her exquisite album.
1. FKA Twigs – LP1
Sensual and sumptuous, this is the one album you can’t listen to alone. Take a loved one or someone you find on the street to a room at the Hotel Amour to listen to Twigs and see what happens.