At first, the name French Horn Rebellion sounds like a reference to a politically charged region of Africa, but nothing could be further from that idea. French Horn Rebellion is a Brooklyn-based indie electro-funk duo composed of siblings Robert and David Perlick-Molinari. The name is a reference to their early years of classical music training playing the French horn. Perhaps not the sexiest instrument, but somehow it works within the multi-layered, funky indie bass sound that the duo has been creating since 2008.
Robert Perlick-Molinari spoke about the duo’s upcoming album Classically Trained, which drops this Friday via Ensemble Records. Many of the songs are about relationships. Funny enough, Rob says, relationships aren’t much different from dealing with the French horn. “Playing the French Horn is a lot like being in a relationship. It’s hard to master it,” says Rob. “There are many parallels between being classically trained and being in a relationship,” he goes on. “You put so much effort into it, and it’s hard to know if it’s paid off.” This is the kind of humor and delivery that you can expect from French Horn Rebellion.
The music is multi-layered and you can definitely hear the French horn through the synth and pop sounds. In this album, the duo has taken some inspiration from their lives and kept it light. Take, for instance, their track “Classical Baby,” which Rob says “is about a very attractive cellist.” It’s a melodic tune that will remind some of earlier MGMT or Of Montreal’s happier songs with a touch of electronics with a nice symmetry to it. “It was hard to keep up while she was shredding up the cello, and I’m trying to focus on the French horn,” says Rob about the lyrical content. Indeed a tricky spot, but one that gave us the following track, give it a listen below:
The brothers are known for their producing skills and have a great ear for layering sounds that are at once complex and funky. In their own outfit, they allow themselves to be creative, which has been liberating for the duo. According to Rob, the classical music path did not allow the same freedom to them because, “It’s all been written. We were looking for a creative outlet.” And you can hear that need for creativity and see it as well. The videos by French Horn Rebellion are a testament to that self-referential, gallows humor, enveloped in dancy vibes.