"His sonorous voice is reminiscent of Bloc Party lead singer Kele Okereke."
Yannick Ilunga is a noir-wave pioneer. If you're not sure what that is, that's because he's coined the term himself and largely invented its sound.
The melting pot of musical influences he draws from as Petite Noir sounds equally informed by post-punk and new wave as it does syncopated Afro-beat. His sonorous voice is reminiscent of Bloc Party lead singer Kele Okereke, switching between plaintive pleas on tracks like Seventeen (Stay) and spindly falsettos on the amorphous Chess. It's not easy sounding this effortless and inventive at the same time, making La Vie Est Belle one of the most interesting releases this year.