Doris Laïze – For Ever
From Doris Laïze – S/T
Self-released, 1980, France

There are days when it might be quite hard to figure out why some people spend so much time, money and energy driving around the countryside, desperately trying to locate places where there could possibly be a pile of vinyls waiting for them. There are days when after hundreds of kilometers you come home with almost nothing. Fortunately, it’s not always like that : Doris Laïze‘s 7-inch is one of the most positive answers to this kind of questioning.

Found during a hectic day of driving through the French countryside with our very good friend Dave from L’International Records, that record has probably been waiting for years for someone to finally show it some interest. It was only after we’ve been through a few crates filled with desperately bad records, in a charity shop not far from the highway, that Dave grabbed an intriguing black & white cover in the storage room where the volunteers kindly allowed us to go. We later realized that stopping in that charity shop in a nondescript industrial estate was probably the only way we could have discovered the music on this record. It was located a few kilometers away from where Doris Laïze was living.

Doris Laïze was seventeen and a half years-old when she decided to record two songs she wrote and composed, in a local studio. At the time, she was still in High School where she would eventually sell the few copies of the record she had pressed to her teachers and schoolmates, while keeping a few other ones she was hoping to give as calling cards. Her music actually somehow got to the ears of a producer who offered her to record a second 7″. That was a miss. She recorded a few more songs that never got released before putting an end to her short-lived career in the music industry.

What’s obviously so moving about this record is how it is the product of a young girl who did her best to pursue her teenage dreams. It’s not hard to picture Doris Laïze fantasizing  herself as a French Karen Carpenter – compare For Ever with the charts of 1980 and you’ll realize how both the music and the lyrics are deliciously conservative in the same way than the most emotional ballads from the Carpenters were. The mix of fragility in her voice and her strong devotion is just disarming. Add to this that the production is abnormally great for this kind of auto-produced record and the arrangements perfectly balanced… A genuine heart-breaker.

PS: You can purchase one of the few copies available at L’International Records here.

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