Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Album of the Week: 'Promis Le Ciel' by Delgres

Blue sky and white clouds with "PROMIS LE CIEL" and "DELGRES" written in white block lettering.
Delgres released their latest album Promis Le Ciel on Feb. 16, 2024.

'Promis Le Ciel' by Delgres is KAXE's Album of the Week for Feb. 19-25, 2024.

With a distinctive mixture of blues rock and Caribbean sounds, Delgres are mesmerizing on Promis Le Ciel.

The group is a blues trio from France with deep ties to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Lead singer Pascal Danaë's ancestors were enslaved on the island, which is considered an "overseas department" of France.

The name Delgres is taken from anti-slavery fighter Louis Delgrés, who led a rebellion on the island after Napoleon reinstated slavery in French colonies in 1802.

The album begins with the title track, which translates to "we were promised heaven." Propelled forward by a driving bassline and Danaë's vocals that rise throughout each verse, the song sets the tone for the album.

Next up is the catchy "Walking Alone" with its funky bassline and off-beat accented guitar riff. While astute listeners might have noticed on the first song, one of Delgres' trademarks stands out on "Walking Alone." Inspired by brass bands common in the Caribbean, the group uses sousaphone player Rafgee in place of a bass guitar.

Another stand out is "A la fin," which comes in the middle of the album. The guitar intro briefly gives you a preview of the chorus before settling in the bluesy riff of the first verse. When the chorus does kick in, both Danae's vocals and Rafgee's sousaphone mirror that initial guitar riff. Rounded out by drummer Baptiste Bondy's funky beat, the result is an instant earworm.

Where earlier albums looked to the past, Promis Le Ciel is focused on the present and Danaë's life in France. Because of this, there are more songs in French and fewer in Creole.

The music of Delgres tells the complicated story of colonialism's wide reach through a unique combination of musical styles. That is why it's our Album of the Week on KAXE.

Stay Connected
Malachy started his radio career at a college radio station, where he played weird music in the middle of the night to possibly no one. On a good night maybe his parents were listening. Nonetheless, he was hooked on public radio and is still doing it today. He joined Northern Community Radio in 2022, where he gets to share his passion for local music as Producer of Centerstage Minnesota, an all Minnesota music show airing Fridays at 2pm.