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Les Marins d'Iroise

The French equivalent of Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends, Les Marins d'Iroise are a 31-piece vocal troupe from Brest responsible for bringing traditional sea shanties and nautical folk songs back into their homeland's charts. Formed at the Brest Maritime Festival in 1992, the choir (of which only five were actual sailors) spent the next two decades performing at various events across the country, until it attracted the attention of Universal in 2010, which was looking for the next group of unlikely pop stars following the success of Les Prêtres and the Benedictine Nuns of Notre-Dame. Produced by Jon Kelly (Paul McCartney, Kate Bush), their self-titled debut album featured impassioned renditions of historical folk numbers such as "Le 31 du Mois d'Aout," "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean," and "Sur la Route de San Francisco," as well as interpretations of more modern fare from Tri Yann ("La Complainte de Louis-Marie Jossic"), Jacques Brel ("Amsterdam"), and Michel Tonnerre ("Le Quatre-Mats Barque"). ~ Jon O'Brien

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