Today’s Song: Francesca Blanchard’s “Je sais plus quoi te dire” Is a Caricatural, Playful Take on Rejection

Francesca Blanchard © 2022
Francesca Blanchard © 2022
In the video for her latest single “Je sais plus quoi te dire,” French-American singer/songwriter Francesca Blanchard plays with cinematic codes while finding the bright side of feelings of unworthiness.
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Stream: “Je sais plus quoi te dire” – Francesca Blanchard

We’ve all probably had those periods where we feel exasperated and lost for words because things aren’t going as hoped. We’re pushed away, rejected, given the impression that we aren’t good enough. If we’ve worked towards something, whether it’s a project or personal achievement, we shouldn’t let it go to waste even if the result has got us feeling hopeless. As Francesca Blanchard demonstrates, we can find new narratives and viewpoints and follow our instincts regardless of other people’s opinions. If it makes you happy, that’s the main thing!

Je sais plus quoi te dire - Francesca Blanchard
Je sais plus quoi te dire – Francesca Blanchard

Je sais plus quoi te dire” is the latest single by the Burlington-based singer/songwriter. While the song came out last month, it now has an accompanying video (released 18 November) which intensifies its initial mood. Not knowing what to do or say becomes a type of game where the only winner is oneself.

Je sais plus quoi te dire
Je t’aime, je t’aime toujours
Tu sais que j’suis fragile
Mais quand viendra le jour
Où tu m’appelleras “Baby”
Tu me tiendras dans les bras
Et je te dirai “Baby, take me”
Tu me parleras tout bas 

“This song was originally written to be pitched to TV & film, a task completely unrelated to my artist name or existing work,” Blanchard explains. “So at its core, it was born out of an impulsive and no-strings-attached mentality, where my co-producer and I didn’t take ourselves too seriously or try to fit into a predetermined box.”

This mentality comes across in the sound of the song, which is a lot of more electro and sensual in its mood compared to the previous releases by Francesca Blanchard. Written entirely in French, she takes on a typically French demeanour with the vocals whispery and pining. Midway through, the disco ambiance suddenly breaks away into a moment of dreaminess where a slow stream of honest emotions, loss of hope, loneliness, and crying each night, is delivered in a classical manner over the twinkling of an omnichord. After emphasizing that she is tired of everything, the high energy returns like it was always there.

Et j’ai souvent perdu espoir
Pas de rêves, que des cauchemars
Seule et perdue dans le noir
Et je pleure tous les soirs
Je n’arrive pas à t’oublier
Comment tu as tout bousillé
Et Paris n’est plus pareil
Mon dieu, j’suis fatiguée 

“We had ideas and ran with them on the fly,” Blanchard continues in regard to its creation. “The music video is a spin off of this sentiment – random, ridiculous, not belonging to any one genre or era and just following instinct and collaboratively running with it. It’s a parody on indulgence and being fed up with heartbreak, but to me it’s joyous.”

Francesca Blanchard © Jenny Watts
Francesca Blanchard © Jenny Watts

Playing with typically 1960s’ tropes, the video, made in collaboration with Director/Cinematographer Galin Foley and Creative Director James Neiley, sees Blanchard as multiple personas. There’s the young woman preoccupied with her telephone, the luxuriously troubled who lays seductively in front of a coal fire, those who dance with careless joy before the camera, and the stylish in top-down cars (one sad and still, smoking a cigarette, and another driving along as passenger with the wind in her hair). They all keep their eyes on the lens, making it clear that the song is addressed at someone but it is unclear who. 

Lines such as ‘tu m’appelleras “Baby”/ Tu me tiendras dans les bras/ Et je te dirai “Baby, take me”’ (‘you’ll call me “Baby”/ You’ll hold me in your arms/ And I’ll tell you “Baby, take me”) suggest speaking to a past lover but this could easily be a kind of metaphor for broader things like becoming brokenhearted due life events or losing self-esteem and hoping to be reunited with a sense of identity. As the press release informs us, “Je sais plus quoi te dire” encapsulates Blanchard’s relationship not only with a lover but with the music industry itself, that feeling of not being good enough or not reaching expected standards. The video thus embraces stereotypes by using dress-up as an unserious way to release insecurities.

Francesca Blanchard © 2022
Francesca Blanchard © 2022

“Je sais plus quoi te dire” is a follow-up to “Loon Song” released in August last year, a summery, freeing song about being guided by the voice of nature. In 2020 she released the album Make it Better and way back in 2015 there was her debut album, a bilingual collection of folky songs entitled Deux Visions. All of these introduce a different style with the energy increased over the years. 

“Je sais plus quoi te dire” doesn’t fit into a particular mould if compared to the rest of Francesca Blanchard’s music and there’s a sense of a fictionalized narrative (‘Paris n’est plus pareil/ Mon dieu, j’suis fatiguée sung with melodrama) which adds to the cinematic feel alongside the video. All of this emphasizes the amusement and reminds us that creation (whether it be music or projects in our life) doesn’t always have to be serious but can be purely fun and self-indulgent too. 

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:: stream/purchase “Je sais plus quoi te dire” here ::
Stream: “Je sais plus quoi te dire” – Francesca Blanchard

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Je sais plus quoi te dire - Francesca Blanchard

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? © Galin Foley

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