Music Recommendation Sunday: Caravan Palace


Similar to: Daft Punk, Chinese Man, Lionel Hampton

There’s something that I love about old jazz music. Music played on a record player, phonograph, or cassette tape always has a classic feel to them. Jazz and swing are two genres that I particularly love to hear, especially remixed and retouched. The video game “Bioshock Infinite” is a great example of this, taking old jazz twists on modern songs, such as “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. I recently discovered a group that takes a modern twist on old jazz music. They are the French band “Caravan Palace.


Caravan Palace is a band consisting of seven members. They are based out of Paris and currently have two full albums, “Caravan Palace (2008) and “Panic (2012). Their style of music is called electro swing and gypsy jazz. That is the perfect way to describe this band. Songs such as “Dramophone“, “Brotherswing“, and “Suzy capture a perfect combination of classic swing with modern electro-pop. The background is consisted of trumpets, trombones, and other instruments playing just like they would in a jazz club in 1920’s Harlem. The female vocals also sound like they belong from another decade. Then the band shakes things up by adding electronic beats as the song advances, creating a beautiful blend of classic jazz instruments and modern electric ones. It manages to both bring you to the past and future at the same time. There are also some purely instrumental pieces, like “Dragons, the first track on their self-titled album. Along with this, the band throws in some slower pieces. “Ended With the Night and “12 juin 3049 are both long and drawn out, with expanding vocals similar to Billie Holiday (listen to “Strange Fruit and “The Very Thought of You). Overall, the band has an incredible variety. From songs that make you want to dance all night, like “Rock It For Me, to songs that take you on a time-warp, like “Queens, this band is the perfect example of how to blend old and new.

If you’re not sure where to start, try listening to their single “Jolie Coquine”. That was the first song I ever heard by them, and immediately I was hooked. From there, listen to their other two albums, “Caravan Palace” and “Panic“. If you like those, Swing Republic and Parov Stellar are both very similar to Caravan Palace. All of their music can be found on Spotify.