Unlike their salty namesake, Dead Sea are based not in the Middle East but in the middle of Paris, where they record dreamy compositions in a shared apartment above a café. The quartet’s brand of woozy, blissful noise has seen them attract fans such a shoegaze legends Slowdive, who they were invited to support at Le Trabendo earlier this year.
On Thursday, Dead Sea will play the latest Oui Love night in London, a regular series of gigs set up to celebrate the best new music coming out of France. Opening for psychedelic Toulouse quintet Aquaserge and Metz-born chanteur Marietta at Dalston basement venue Birthdays, Dead Sea are guaranteed to get the night off to a exquisite start.
In preparation for Thursday’s gig, we thought we’d dip our toe into the Dead Sea’s background by asking Alex,Caro, Charles and Juliena few questions…
Hello Dead Sea. We presume you’re named after the actual Dead Sea, have you ever been there?
Hi! Not yet, but we really want to play there one day. Jean-Michel Jarre did a gig in Masada in April, it looked awesome.
You’re not kidding. We loved your recent single ‘Lotion’ (above). How did you capture that sense of dreaminess?
A lot of knob tweaking and a hint of melancholy.
You describe your sound as ‘Turbo Chillwave’ – if you could specialise in one other genre, real or imagined, what would you choose?
Did you all have similar tastes when you formed the band, or were there any outliers?
There is one thing none of us listened to: French music with French lyrics.
What was your first gig like?
Far too much gear and cables on stage (we wanted to take all of our stuff with us).
You’re on a great bill at the next Oui Love night in London, but what would be your dream line-up?
Dead Sea – Slowdive – Frank Ocean.
Where would be the perfect place to listen to your music?
Looking at the sea, anywhere in the world.
Can you send us a photo of the view from your window right now?
Does being based in Paris influence the music you make?
A lot, especially because it is one of the reasons why we are using drum machines instead of real drums.
Who’s your biggest French musical influence, past and/or present?
What are the top things you’d suggest music fans visiting Paris should go and see/do?
There are a few really good venues in Paris: Le Badaboum for the sound, Le Point Éphémère for the canal, L’Espace B for the music program… Plus there is the Pitchfork Music Festival in November.
What’s the biggest challenge facing musicians in France right now?
Being free to sing in English.
Where in the world would you most like to perform?
California, so we could go surfing before and after the show.
What’s your favourite track of 2017 so far?