For musician Clément Froissart, now is a time defined by the new. Having recently moved to the seaside town of Soorts-Hossegor, he’s traded the glittering lights of Paris for the tinsel-like surface of the sea – a decision that reflects the testing of unfamiliar waters, in more ways than one.
He’s adapted, however gradually, to the calm pace of coastal living. He’s rediscovered an interest in surfing, a passion put on hold during his years in the city. And, perhaps most notably, he’s been hard at work preparing material for a solo album after ten years as frontman of the four-piece French band Concorde. Befitting his mellow surroundings, this new music is slower, more contemplative. “I am more free now,” he says. “I can do whatever it is I want to do.”
Some things from Clément’s past remain consistent despite his change of scenery; for one, a long-standing love of fashion. Stemming in part from jobs at Isabel Marant and Paris’s Daylight Studio, style is something the singer believes has intrinsic connections to music, attitude and lifestyle. Nowadays he’s just as much at home in surf gear as he is in a suit, his daily uniform of skinny jeans and denim jackets allowing him to enjoy beachfront life without betraying an abiding affection for New Wave and rockabilly aesthetics.
“There is a connection between what I listen to and what I wear. I love Joy Division. I love Elvis and 50s rockabilly. So I mix both worlds. Skinny jeans, trench coats and flower shirts. Hawaiian Elvis-style.”
Surfers speak often about a feeling of oneness with nature and a peace that comes of submitting to the strength of something larger. For Clément, gradually acclimating to life far from the city, this is a deeply-felt freedom that translates to life both in and out of the water. His art, his music, his mindset are all changing in welcome ways, shifting with the landscape. Surfers – Clément included – might say that following the rhythm of the ocean requires a certain trust in what’s fundamentally an unpredictable force. It’s chancy and changeable. It’s a throw of the dice, but that’s what makes it sublime.
Surfers – Clément included – might say that following the rhythm of the ocean requires a certain trust in what’s fundamentally an unpredictable force.
“I am more free now. I can do whatever it is I want to do.”