Bodh'aktan's Tant qu'il restera du rhum...
Release Date: November 19th, 2013
Genre: Celtic Folk
This is #10 of my Top 12, a band I have never heard of before a couple weeks ago. Bodh'aktan is a celtic folk band from Quebec that sings primarily in French, as it is their native language, besides the one Englishman in their ranks. I found them on a music review site when looking around for new releases on the week of the 19th and found a post praising this album and band to the heavens and so I decided I'd check it out and I am very pleased that I did.
A lot of the songs have a really fast beat to them, typical of many other celtic folk bands like Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys, but, again, it is mostly in French, so unless you are fluent in the French language, do not expect to understand a large quantity of it. However, considering my love of Folk Metal, I am very used to music that is not in English and have grown used to appreciating music for just the sound of it over anything else, and this album is very musically pleasing. This is their second release today, not including the English version of their first album, which was also released this year. I myself have yet to listen to that album all the way through but I do like it and from what I've found, it was nominated for a music award in Quebec, so they seem to be growing in influence at least somewhere. Oh, and they did a fun cover of "Killing in the Name" on their first album that I would recommend.
The album title (translated via translation2.paralink.com, so forgive me if the translation is not 100% correct) means As Long as there Will Be Rum, which is an apt title considering a lot of these songs have a bar type of feeling, as you can see a group of drunk men swinging mugs and glasses of various alcohol around while arms locked around another man's shoulders singing these tunes as loud as their vocal chords would allow them. Long description, but listen to a couple songs and you will see. They use a lot of fiddle, accordions, whistles, keyboards, bagpipes and a whole host of other musical instruments that give it the true celtic feeling. Lyrics-wise, I do not know much but from what I've seen, a good amount of them are punk-y party songs and one in particular that I enjoy is "Lambé An Dro", which is their rendition of a song by the French rock band Matmatah.
"Dansez (Dance Hey!)"
Sadly, I can only find three Bodh'aktan songs from Tant qu'il restera du rhum... on Youtube, two of them live, so I will have to share those. Fortunately, they are all GOOD songs, so you should be happy! The first one above in "Dansez (Dance Hey!)" , which features guest vocalist Alan Doyle from the band Great Big Sea, and the way the two vocalists play off each other in this extremely short song is very enjoyable. It is so happy and I could imagine it works perfectly as a closer for a set when they play live, and I personally would be very happy if they end it with this song "Dance HEY! Dance HEY! This is the final song!" Other standout tracks for me from the album are: "Lambé An Dro", mentioned above, which features Tristan Nihouarn of Matmatah; "La Sainte Nitouche", which has a very good flute section and the fiddler gets to go nuts near the end; "La racaille", which is a very good punk track for celtic punk fans or just punk fans in general; and lastly "Le set de balais", which is an instrumental song and lets the entire band, besides the vocalist of course, show their props by making an incredibly fun party song that you never want to end.
"La Sainte Nitouche"
I am also a fan of the other song on Youtube that I found, "La bouteille est agréable", which is the opening track on the album that does quite well to get everyone prepared for the entire album and getting people in the correct mood. The chorus is my favorite part of that album, which is very singable even if you don't know French, meaning you'll want to sing along and make nonsense syllables to the beat, unless you know French that is. The whole album is a great celtic experience and I am very glad I found it, if I had more time with it, it may have been higher on this list. If you want to listen to other clips, I will link the band's website below under "La bouteille est agréable" or you could also find, listen to, and buy the album on iTunes, which is what I did. Drink fun and have responsibly!
"La bouteille est agréable"