Friday, April 9th, 2021

Tayc – Le Temps

Look! A French singer-songwriter we like, and it’s not even Christine and the Queens.


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Mark Sinker: The kind of context Tayc favours as a setting is everywhere light and pretty, gentle autotune rippling across nets of voices, mostly his, trembling and leaping, and often only a breath away from synthetic. Into his delicate playlets of desire a sudden stubborn pill here of an absolute: “le goût de ton poison” (“the taste of your poison“). And it’s him singing, but who’s calling who poison, who’s declaring that times and winds have changed and left them free? So many scrims to miss a meaning through — if you’re not French, not from Cameroon, not Marseille-born — and so many ways to be unsure even whose head Tayc is in when he sings an “I”, a man’s or a woman’s, as confessional or amused observation or what exactly? With ‘Ewondo Ou Bami’ two years back, he pulled the legendary Manu Dibango on-videoset to back him up, with presence and with sax. And the great man was 86 — and would sadly die of COVID just months later — so the baton of Cameroon’s music was certainly passed on, except (in the kind of context favoured as a setting) the relevent line was simply and cheerfully a massive girl-impressing fib (“J’ai même fait croire que mon oncle était Dibango“) and that’s all part of the play as well.
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John S. Quinn-Puerta: An anthem for moving on, letting go, and leaving the past in the past, driven by the son clave beat. As almost the entire Cuban musical tradition attests, it is hard not to dance when the 3-2 hits. The guitar is in conversation with the vocal melody, with the tossed off “manedo” and “mami ooh” hitting the phrasing almost exactly. However, at some points, it feels like meaning or idiom was sacrificed for rhyme, and the meaning there is comes across somewhat mean-spirited. But the round bass counters the rimshot heartbeat, and the song keeps moving forward, refusing to look back.
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Tim de Reuse: The sentiment “Le temps m’a réparé” is quietly triumphant, isn’t it? The kind of thing you realize in the shower when your mind wanders and you notice things are going actually pretty well, for once, somehow, out of nowhere. To accompany this low-boiling contentment we’ve got an infectiously smooth instrumental with no sharp edges and a hook whose melody trails up and down in singsong arcs without feeling the need to assert itself. I appreciate a good adrenaline-rush, high-energy, fuck-you breakup song as much as the next guy, when circumstances require it, but this one makes me feel a lot better in the long run.
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Nina Lea: I can’t help but feel a sense of buoyancy when I listen to this song. “Le Temps” isn’t, by any means, revolutionary. Yet the lightness with which Tayc sings about wasted time and healing resonates with me deeply right now. Although “Le Temps” is ostensibly sung to an ex who’s since seen the errors of their ways, as we slowly emerge from the darkness of a year where so much was lost, I hear the lines in a different way: “Nothing as it was before, someone has already healed me.”
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Juana Giaimo: I like Tayc’s deep voice and how he’s surrounded by haunting backing vocals — I especially like the high-pitched ones that appear later in the song that sound like a lament. Still, I find it hard to engage with “Le Temps.” I feel that it’s all too compressed, that the beat could change to highlight the chorus, and it needs some kind of pause somewhere in the song. 
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Alfred Soto: With Auto-Tune at its most chirpingly buoyant, “Le Temps” can’t hide its vein of woman-hating (I thought we were done with “poison” as metaphor for the awful things contained in womanhood), though its airy skank tries. 
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Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: One of those rare “I won the breakup” songs that sounds genuinely free of doubt or the need to flex. The Afropop beat does a lot of the work here, but Tayc’s vocal performance seals the deal. There’s a certain sweetness to his voice that perfectly suits the mood — he doesn’t over-sing a single note, and the way he switches between rapping and singing never feels forced. But this breeziness is also where “Le Temps” leaves room for work; it’s a pop bauble that ends up being a bit too insignificant to live up to its potential.
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Nortey Dowuona: The swirling guitars and soft pluck synths that float over the brushed drums buoy Tayc’s lilting croon, which slides through the sharpening drums churning the loping bass, while Tayc begins to shudder and shake. Squeezed to full freshness, in such a gorgeous way that when the synths and guitar pop into the drink, it becomes even sweeter, the drums dripping down and completing the drink.
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Thomas Inskeep: I don’t believe I’ve heard French-language dancehall before, but when it’s sung as sweetly as Tayc does it, I’d like more, please. “Le Temps” is a vibe.
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Wayne Weizhen Zhang: During year when time has felt like a meaningless, cruel fuel for the doldrums, Tayc reminds us that it can be, in fact, a restorative and healing force. “Time has repaired me/Nothing’s like before/Someone’s has already healed me/The winds have changed,” the Marseillais-Cameroonian croons with his dulcet, powerful voice: a perfect message for a world beginning to learn how to safely reopen itself up.
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One Response to “Tayc – Le Temps”

  1. fwiw…. Tayc and Christine have a collaboration called “Haine Colorée” and it’s easily a 9/10. maybe the best duet i’ve heard in years

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