A tribute to one of my favorite artists, enjoying the music for almost half my life.
A long long time ago it was…
Behind Geyster is Gael Benyamin, french musician, singer, songwriter, producer, plays a gazillion instruments, and so on…
I first heard of Geyster as a teenager, while listening to Fun Radio in France, circa 2003-2004. At the time it was a duo, Gael and formidable Swedish singer Pernilla Grönlund. I fell in love with the song Bye Bye Superman, I even recorded it from the radio on tape so I could listen to it over and over. Ah the good old days…
I was so thrilled when I got to hear them live, and with a fun interview, on Max’s radio show. I couldn’t believe how cool they were, instantly connecting with the music.
I bought the first album I ❤ 1984, and I listened to it a lot (A LOT). It was at that time when I was starting to really listen to music, developing my tastes.
Thanks to Gael talking about his influences, I was able to discover Steely Dan, Hall and Oates and some others. It was nice to have a guide to know more about good music.
A treasure trove
Geyster’s discography is a gift that keeps on giving. Each new album brings something new musically.
If I tried to describe the genre, I would say elegant pop. But I don’t know sh*t about music so I won’t try to appear clever or knowledgeable here. I just find myself really enjoying the vocals, the instruments, rhythms, harmonies, in short I dig the songs!
Gael is an excellent singer, his and Pernillla’s voice compliment each other greatly.
I own the following:
I ❤ 1984
A great pop/electronic album with a cool concept, a radio show from 1984. So you get news reports, ads and even movie talk. I love this album very dearly, it was one of the first CDs I owned.
My favorite songs are 1982, Bye Bye Superman, Walking out, Coming back again, Some Kind, Flight 305 (yes I know almost all of them).
Everytime I see your face
A new direction for Geyster, now entirely independent with Gael’s own Somekind Records.
This is a breeze to listen to, expanding on the previous album and showing new depths to Gael’s songwriting.
I particularly love Runaway Car, City Life, and Along the Shore. A very solid effort.
I always felt this album marked a step-up in Gael’s musical ambitions.
It’s like he felt liberated, wasn’t afraid to try new things and experiment. It starts off greatly with the amazing Come My Direction, I really like I Wouldn’t Change a Thing, and towards the end we have Sister’s Beautiful, one of the most striking songs in Geyster’s discography.
An excellent production from an experienced and daring artist.
Radio Geyster 1977
The radio show concept comes back, this time in 1977. It’s a great companion to the first album. This one even delivers a heartfelt message about how pop music is often badly considered. I have a passion for the songs A change for the better and Sugar Baby (especially the remix at the end) but the rest is very solid and pleasant (as usual…)
A super cool cover album, Gael’s rendition of The Bottle is just unreal, you also find very nice versions of greatest songs like Thriller, I’m So Excited, Eye in the Sky, and even Geyster’s own 1982 and Bye Bye Superman!
Also from his label Somekind Records
Nightshift – Full Moon
A wonderful Westcoast album with Jerome Beuret. I greatly recommend listening to the song Ocean Bay. It just takes you for a drive along the coast. All the songs do really. I fondly remember listening to it one night, laying outside on the grass, after a rather sad and uneventful summer party, while almost everyone was sleeping in tents, I didn’t think of bringing anything. It was eerily beautiful.
Pink Computer – So 80’s
A nice first album for Pink Computer (Cyril Granet), full of groovy and sexy 80’s sounds, a mix of French and English songs. Gael helped with production on the record and sings in a few songs.
I can’t keep up
Gael is a very prolific artist, and has made a lot of LPs. Incidentally, when I left France almost 7 years ago I started not being able to keep up with my Geyster obsession.
So with the last few albums (Down on Broadway, The Knight Games Trilogy, With all due respect, Television) I haven’t had time to give them enough attention and obsess over them like I did with the first ones. I fully intend to remedy to that and eventually know them all inside and out.
But Gael doesn’t make it easy, like when he’s releasing three albums at once!
Although I would not be able to write down my accurate feelings on the newer efforts, they’re definitely a great listen. With lots of exciting collaborations, like Ed Motta and Maeva Borzakian.
I absolutely adore the song Jane, from Down on Broadway (which was just re-released).
The bench, and more praise
I am friends with Gael on Facebook, and even though we never spoke and I don’t dwell much on Facebook, I know he’s a really fun guy because of some things I caught here and there.
I laughed a lot with his favorite public bench in Nogent or the adventures of cute dog Jimmy. He’s also posting hilariously mean or ironic things about some of the stupid tendencies people have these days, how can you not like that?
He’s definitely someone I admire, first because I really love his music. Then because of the way he just does things, uncompromising and going his own way. I envy his talent and freedom, and I’m glad to have been able to enjoy his art for so long. He can do lots of different things but somehow I always find something that ties in with what I liked in the first place.
I realize this long article has been nothing but praise, but what can I say I genuinely love Geyster.
Geyster’s music is an integral part of me. I have listened to it for more than 15 years and I fully expect to keep doing it for a long long time.
Go listen to Geyster here