Noticed in 1988 by the English label Valotte records, the band Collection d'Arnell-Andréa, reduced at this time to the founder nucleus (Chloé St Liphard & Jean-Christophe d’Arnell), records the 4 tracks of its first 12” entitled Autumn's Breath for Anton's Death. This record, unobtainable today, presents a musical atmosphere particularly deep and bewitching, that, at once appealed to both sides of the Channel.
Coming out in 1989, Un Automne à Loroy, real funeral oration, coloured by the Autumn, in which stands out Chloé’s wonderful voice and the long sob of the cello, has a warm welcome from the press, in France and abroad. The music of Collection d'Arnell-Andréa is original because it realizes the perfect assimilation of instruments a priori antinomic: on a background of a minimum and metronomic rhythm composer, blend, the bass guitar, the cello, the simply or symphonic layers of the keyboards, and at least the voice, real instrument too. As for the lyrics, they have certain similarities to symbolism Poetry, arousing pictures of quiescent residences, pond under snow and old memories, lost in the foggy mornings of the bygone days…
Hoped by more and more fans, the new record of Collection d'Arnell-Andréa, entitled Au val des Roses“ comes out in Autumn 1990. The 8 tracks of this record may seem different from each others but in fact, they all join in the “deep and tenebrous unity” of what we have to name from now on: the proper style of CDAA.
“This music is both impassioned and ravishing. Entrance me to the end of love”
Melody Maker (GB)
“The style of this French combo could almost be categorised as a form of chamber music in which they add droning bass, drum machine and the ethereal vocals of Chloé St Liphard to violins and cellos”
For The Record (USA)
At the beginning of 1992, Collection d'Arnell-Andréa unveils Les Marronniers, a genuine album with 11 tracks. This third album remind these introspective journeys that charm and change anyone who enters into them. A “search” where the sincerity is omnipresent, immortalizing in this way, a strange universe of nature, memories, fears and dreams. Then, the emotions follow one another, from beginning to end, and bunches of cellos, pianos and voices come from more classical constructed songs.
The fourth album, Villers-Aux-Vents , recorded in 1994, is a solemn promenade into the dark universe of the first world war (1914-1918). Soldiers, buried victims, crosses, muddy shadows in the trenches… This music is pure Collection d'Arnell-Andréa, but perhaps more tense than ever, with saturated guitars evoking the tragedy of the fights. The opening track of this album is the famous dark hit : “Les Cendre-Lisières”…
New album for Collection d'Arnell-Andréa in 1996: Cirses des champs. A pastoral stroll, a rural madrigal with bunches of songs that one can leaf through like an herbarium. Stories of plants, memories of past childhoods… The music is as ever bewitching… sometimes surprising with a dance tempo. Listen to the song’s strong and sure melody and get into an impressionist and chlorophyll-flavoured universe… but beware! In a field of poppies and cornflowers, always grow and hide wild armful of nettles…
Five albums tinged with poetry, spleen and eternity… which have succeed in moving Californians, Chinese journalists of Taïwan, or many radios from Brazil, Portugal, Belgium and somewhere else… a French music that proves that “Collectionism” is an universal language…
1998: "Best Of" Coll AGE, a double CD compilation with 2 periods 1996-1992 and 1992-1988.
2002: Tristesse des Mânes 14 songs, composed in the spirit of the French classical musicians of the end of 19th century. These “neo-classical” compositions (pieces for cello, piano, viola and voices), the poetry of the lyrics, present more emotion than ever, and Chloé’s heavenly voice evokes a very dark and deep romantism, as if time didn’t exists anymore…
“This band remains one of the best and most original parts of the gothic scene! Simply brillant”
Side Line (B)
2003: Villers-aux-Vents new edition in digipack CD (re-mastered + bonus track + multimedia track, including 2 videos)
“The album has touches of X-mal Deutschland, Dead Can Dance or Cocteau Twins, yet remains something totally different in many ways, especially with the themes of the songs. Although the tone of the album is heavy and dark, the mood tends to be uplifting and powerful…”
2004: Un Automne à Loroy new edition of the first album of the band, in digipack CD (re-mastered + bonus track + multimedia track including videos from first concerts)
Bower of Despair. The beautiful and very dark artwork of
the luxuous black digipack announces the main concept: feelings,
memories, and thoughts of a man who knows that his end is near…The
songs are very dark and powerful, mixing acoustic instruments like
cello, viola, voices, with electronic keyboards, and all the power
of guitars….with no doubt, their “darkest” album!
“gothic masterpiece reminiscent of Siouxsie, Faith & the Muse, Sister of Mercy…In fact the band releases their better album ever done and furthermore a mythic CD for the dark cold wave scene. Music starts smoothly with Chloé’s voice, violin and guitar rising gradually in beats’ trance with distorted guitars. The track “Wild trees” is a real “chef d’oeuvre” of black softness, with symphonic melodies, ethereal voices and a deep feeling of nostalgia.”
2005: Au Val des Roses new edition in digipack CD (re-mastered + bonus track + multimedia track including 1 video and pictures)
Eaux-fortes & Méandres. To create the music and
the lyrics of their 8th album, Collection
d'Arnell-Andréa have taken inspiration from eleven
paintings coming mainly from the 19th century. This very
dark album integrates many influences like: Nine Inch Nails, Cocteau
“Musically this album met my tastes as it contains electronic arrangements, upbeat rhythms, passionate vocals. The band blend post punk inflkuences (sometimes I heard also echoes of Virgin Prunes), strings orchestrations, electronic layers (see the bassline of “The monk on the Shore” or “Into Flowers”) and theatrical vocals that will convince you in no time. Since the opening “Les sombres plis de l’âme” I was hypnotized by the string line that recalled me some parts of Velvet Underground’s “Venus in furs” . Perfect!”
2008 : Les Marronniers new edition in digipack CD (re-mastered + bonus track + multimedia track including 1 video live: “Les temples élevés” / chamber music orchestra line up)
2010 : Cirses des Champs new edition in digipack CD (re-mastered + multimedia track including videos and pictures)
2010 : Vernes-Monde, the 9th album of Collection d'Arnell-Andrea is a book ... a book / CD with 11 tracks inviting us to continue the imaginative journey began 20 years earlier, in the Grand Meaulnes’s world (Un Automne à Loroy). The texts, mostly written in French, draw their inspiration from the literary melting pot of another century, evoking both a dream populated by fauns Nature faceless and rivers asleep, and the wanderings of Man, forever lost, looking beyond the grave. Chloe singing (very "Heavenly Voices"), especially bright and touching, accompanies the words, throbbing synthesizers and strings (cello and viola), like the breath of a romantic Autumn incarnate ... then the acoustic guitars (and rare electric) get lost along the way, and envelop the procession of an endless sadness….
2016 : Villers-aux-Vents limited vinyl edition.
2019 : Another
Winter, 10th studio album of Collection
d’Arnell-Andrea (reference of Gothic and Heavenly Voices scenes)
reinvents a form of particularly melodic and powerful dark wave.
The symphonic (The Shade of a Flower) or convulsive (Pangs of Severance) strings (cello and viola) respond vigorously to the tenacious melancholy of a nostalgic piano; they let themselves be carried away in the electro turmoil of aerial or noisy guitars, arpeggio synths and minimalist rhythmic loops, terribly effective.
The lyrics (12 original poems written in English and in French) evoke the universality of passing times, the sorrows and the mourning but the remarkable, more captivating and present than ever voice of Chloé transforms these contemporary elegies into a romanticism turned towards the light.
If the musical colour of the album remains very "collectionist" and thus retains all the originality of a sound forged for almost 30 years, Another Winter, confirms a natural evolution towards more contrasted climates which will undoubtedly charm the fans of Portishead (By the Pond, Another Winter), the Notwist (Des Etangs en Exil) or Brendan Perry (The Shade of a Flower).
The rare concerts of Collection d'Arnell-Andréa bring an additional access to this original universe, with the projection of movies, and pictures on a large screen, on the back of the stage, during the performance….behind the 7 musicians.
2019 : “A Recrafted Winter”, new album, is actually an electro-dark replay of "Another Winter". Song structures and all voices have been preserved, but synths and rhythm loops take over the mix. Astonishing, touching and in total coherence with the “collectionist” spirit.
For more information about collaborations with other bands, see "Related Works" topic.