Never generalize a country's musical output because of one band or one collective. It's easiest to do this when discussing French music: most of the buzz-worthy music coming from the country originates at Ed Banger's studios or from Daft Punk's entourage.
But with groups like Hey Hey My My and Poney Poney, it's pretty clear that the nation is not united by electro-pop and dance.
The other day I stumbled upon Cocosuma (MySpace), a Parisian duo that clearly has a singer/songwriter folk aesthetic, but beneath it all, a post-punk or gothic vibe (reL Joy Division, Bauhaus). The minimalist arrangements are sprinkled with spectacular little intrigues ... compelling chord changes and keys, experimental drumming ...
Cocosuma is signed to a great French label called Third Street Records. The label's roster is quite wide, including a sort of garage/prog group called Steeple Remove (MySpace) and another favorite of mine, Austine (MySpace). The singer/songwriter's got one heck of a unique style. There's some country, some folk, some pop ... but most importantly, her music is especially jovial and light-hearted. Layer upon layer of acoustic guitar, tambourine, vocal harmonies, banjo, and plenty of other instruments wrap around each other, eventually bursting forth in an energetic climax. The structure really works well with her mild stop/start formula, and man do I dig.
Alright. That's about it for now. Check back in soon!