Photo by Aleksandra Kingo

Yelle's North American Tour Brings the French Pop Band to Miami on Halloween

It's absurdly difficult to break through as a musician. For every success story, there are hundreds of tales of defeat and broken dreams. Add a language barrier, and the obstacle only seems to increase.

However, since 2005, the Francophone duo Yelle — made up of the eponymous lead singer, AKA Julie Budet, and producer GrandMarnier, AKA Jean-François Perrier — has accomplished a rare feat: breaking into the U.S. market despite singing in a language besides English or the increasingly common Spanish.

The band's first single, "Je Veux Te Voir" ("I Want to See You"), was a product of the MySpace era, when artists would seemingly blow up overnight after uploading music. (See Calvin Harris, Arctic Monkeys, and the entire Ed Banger catalogue.) The track is an acerbic playground taunt about small dick sizes and shitty rap skills. It's aimed at French rapper Cuizinier — and American listeners couldn't get enough. It was quickly followed by the band's debut album, 2007's Pop Up, which proved Yelle was capable of making timeless pop gems.

Three albums later, Yelle has continued to find success in non-French-speaking countries while also outlasting many MySpace peers who quickly burned out after achieving limited fame. Part of the reason is that Yelle never hitched its wagon to a particular trend or sound, instead concentrating on making good pop music with catchy hooks that don't require a knowledge of French.

Now the duo is back with the new single "OMG!!!" which features synth-pop flourishes and a dance-floor-ready groove. It's also accompanied by the news that Yelle is scheduled to tour North America this fall, including a stop at the Ground in Miami October 31. The date marks the band's fourth South Florida appearance. Yelle made its Miami debut in 2008 with an energetic show at the Polish-American Club. The duo's last local appearance was at Bardot in 2015.

There hasn't been a new album since 2014's Complètement Fou (Completely Crazy), which was released on Dr. Luke's Kemosabe Records, with Dr. Luke producing four tracks on the album. (Dr. Luke would later be sued by Kesha, who claimed the producer sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused her.) However, Yelle has released five nonalbum singles, including "Interpassion," which includes some lyrics sung in English.

North American tour dates:

  • October 26 - Mexico City at Foro Indie
  • October 27 - Monterrey, Mexico, at Cafe Iguana
  • October 28 - Guadalajara, Mexico, at CR Stage
  • October 30 - Orlando at the Social Backroom
  • October 31 - Miami at the Ground
  • November 2 - Atlanta at Aisle 5
  • November 3 - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at Local 506
  • November 5 - Baltimore at Soundstage
  • November 6 - Philadelphia at the Fillmore
  • November 8 - Brooklyn, New York, at Elsewhere
  • November 10 - Brooklyn, New York, at Elsewhere
  • November 11 - Brooklyn, New York, at Elsewhere

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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