Feufollet members, from left, Philippe Billeaudeaux,
Chris Stafford, Josh Caffery, Anna Edmiston,
Michael Stafford, Chris Segura

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Written by Nathan Stubbs
Photo by Jillian Johnston

Feufollet’s defining new album, En Couleurs, takes the band to new creative heights.

Like many bands in the traditional music genre, Feufollet, which formed 13 years ago as a group of precocious teenagers adroitly picking up the banner of Cajun music, made its name mining and re-working a rich catalogue of heritage recordings. But late last year, the band entered the studio armed with a batch of original songs which, for the first time, make up the bulk of a Feufollet album...

“We knew early on that this was going to be really different and pretty special,” says singer and guitarist Anna Laura Edmiston, who penned three tracks on the new album.

En Couleurs is similar in style to its 2008 predecessor, Cow Island Hop — the acclaimed genre-bending album that garnered national attention from the likes of NPR’s American Routes and All Things Considered — but features the band going even further in its incorporation of new instruments and arrangements. Like an expert chef who can re-invent a classic dish with his own signature touch, Feufollet brings a fresh approach to traditional Cajun music.

“Having our own original material really opened the gate as far as being creative and experimenting with new sounds,” Edmiston says. “There’s a lot more of a fusion of genres. It’s inevitable to hear our musical influences when we’re introducing original material.”

The Chris Stafford-penned “Toujours en Mouvement” brings the band fully into the realm of indie and roots rock, while elsewhere on the album, the band gets more experimental. Four color-titled interludes introduce and deconstruct segments of songs from the album, revealing melodies in a slightly different hue. On “Ouvre La Porte,” the band takes a 1930s Alan Lomax field recording of Elita Hoffpauir and turns it into a poppy waltz, with bright melodies played on piano and glockenspiel. Lomax’s other contribution to the album comes in the form of a sample of the famed anthropologist speaking about his recordings that then dissolves into a backbeat of drums and looped guitar.

With the advent of their original material (in addition to Stafford and Edmiston, guitarist Josh Caffery and friend and collaborator Blake Miller also wrote songs for the album), Feufollet may be only beginning to make its mark.

“I would definitely think that this album is defining,” Edmiston says. “But of course our sound will always continue to evolve.”

Feufollet hosts a CD release party for En Couleurs this Saturday, May 8, 8 p.m., at the Blue Moon Saloon and Guesthouse. Read Dege Legg’s “Posthaste” with Anna Laura Edmiston on Page 34.

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