A decade ago, the former supermodel Carla Bruni released her debut album, surprising people who'd been more than a little skeptical of her as a musician. That album went on to sell two million records, and then Bruni surprised the world again five years ago when she married the French president, Nicholas Sarkozy.
That political aspect of her life is behind her, at least for the moment, and Carla Bruni is grateful. She is still making music, and recently put out her fourth record, Little French Songs. She talked with Kurt Andersen and performed two songs with her guitarist.
One song, "Keith and Anita," recalls a time when "everything was simpler, so relaxed, so cool – nothing ever is like this anymore." It refers to Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg, who lived in a French villa during the recording of the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street. She recognizes that it's a false nostalgia – she herself was a small child at the time – but she intends it more as a metaphor. "No matter where you are, in the street, or in the Metro, or doing your job that you don't like so much – you can dream. It's a song about a dreamer, really, which of course I am. Instead of being stuck somewhere you don't like, you can just go to Keith and Anita."
This segment originally aired when Kurt Andersen guest hosted WNYC's Soundcheck.
Bonus Track: "J'arrive a Toi" live in Studio 360