Juliet Budet of Yelle
Juliet Budet of Yelle
Photo by Aleksandra Kingo

Get Spooked With Yelle on Halloween Night

Juliet Budet is enjoying the warm weather in her hometown in Brittany, located on the northwest coast of France, which is usually cool even throughout the summer thanks to its maritime climate.

"We are having an Indian summer. It's really nice," Budet says over the phone.

But soon she'll leave her downtime behind and cross the Atlantic with bandmate Jean-François Perrier. Together they make up the French electro-pop outfit Yelle, which is embarking on a U.S. East Coast tour with a Miami date Wednesday, October 31, at the Ground.

"We toured last year around the U.S. without a new record," Budet says. "We've done a few [new] songs since last year, so it's not totally a new record, but we do have new [material to perform]... To go back into the clubs, it's really great to feel that energy and spend time with people."

Yelle is not exactly a stranger to performing in Miami. Wednesday's show will be the group's fourth in Miami since its debut in 2005. The band rose at the height of the blog-house era, seeing plenty of exposure through sites such as MySpace and the Hype Machine. But unlike other French acts of the time that saw crossover success stateside, Yelle did it while singing in French.

Now, with more than a decade under its belt, Yelle is perhaps one of the most surprising acts from that era to have survived. Because the sound of its debut single, "Je Veux Te Voir," is so reflective of the time, it's remarkable the band wasn't swept to the side when blog house fell out of favor.

"I'm probably more stressed now than I was ten years ago," Budet says. "I didn't know anything about how the [music industry] works."

However, despite the increased anxiety, Budet says she feels freer than ever before. Thanks to the band's veteran status, she and Perrier are allowed to do what they want, no questions asked. That freedom has allowed Yelle to forgo the traditional album format and experiment with releasing singles. The band's last album was the Dr. Luke-produced Complètement Fou in 2014. Since then, Yelle has released five nonalbum singles, including the recent "OMG!!!"

According to Budet, Yelle hasn't abandoned the album format but instead is enjoying telling a few stories at a time through song with the aid of punchy visuals released on YouTube.

"I think at some point, we are going to release a new album, but right now we are not in that mood... To write a whole album, it's a totally different energy, and we need some time to find that energy back. I'm sure it's going to happen at some point."

The current burst of singles has also allowed Budet to step outside of her comfort zone, such as singing in English, a language she speaks well enough to communicate but admits she has trouble finding the precise words she says are required to write lyrics.

"When we wrote 'Interpassion,' it was really spontaneous for us to use some Spanish and English because we were talking about that connection we have with different crowds around the world, especially in the U.S. and South America. But [in English], it's really hard for me to find the good words and rhymes to express myself, so I really prefer [singing] in French."

It's the band's commitment to remaining francophone that has earned it such a cult following, particularly in the States, where it can be difficult for any band, let alone one that doesn't sing in English, to break through. Yelle's success in America isn't lost on Budet, who says that even after a decade, she's genuinely surprised.

She admits that these days, thanks to the internet, it's easy to find music from all over the world, in whatever language, but she doesn't know why American audiences continue to tune in. "I can't really understand why, but I feel really lucky," she says.

Yelle's Miami show will also see the band encounter a popular American holiday. Though it won't be the band's first Halloween in America, it will be Yelle's first Halloween in the Magic City, where locals go all-out with costumes and themed celebrations.

"For me, it's a really strange city," Budet says of Miami. "It has a music and arts scene, but at the same time it's a city where people want to be seen... It's so extreme, but I really like it."

Yelle. 9 p.m. Wednesday, October 31, at the Ground, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-375-0001; thegroundmiami.com. Tickets cost $10 to $25 via ticketfly.com.

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