Petite Noir‘s jangly debut “Till We Ghosts” has cemented a spot in any Okayafrica playlist. The SA artist’s drone guitar ballad marked our earliest acquaintance with the art of ‘noirwave’— “a take on post-punk/new wave with a hint of an African aesthetic.” Its mastermind, Yannick Ilunga, has since churned out several of the most memorable tracks and videos to come across our desks since 2012.

Recently though, we were tipped off about a song that may sound a bit closer to “Till We Ghosts” than coincidence would allow. The song in question comes from UK alt-rockers Peace, whose official video for “Bloodshakes” currently stands at 633k+ views on youtube. We looked into the matter a bit further and caught up with Yannick for some fact checking.

The simplest place to start is a time table. Yannick wrote “Till We Ghosts” early in 2012, “possibly even December of 2011” he told us. The video was shot and released that June. “Bloodshake” arrived September 9th, 2012, via the four track EP Delicious which came out through Columbia Records. Its official video dropped the following month in October. The song ultimately found its way onto NME’s “50 Best Tracks of 2012” list, along with a reference to a “stoned and jangly Foalsian sparkle” (side note: Petite Noir and UK indie rock band Foals toured together earlier in 2012).

With both songs out for almost two years now, we wondered at what point did Yannick first encounter Peace’s “Bloodshake?” He explained “I first heard ‘Bloodshake’ when I went to have meeting at the Columbia office with the same A&R that signed Peace and he gave us the EP… It all just makes sense now.” Yannick hasn’t yet reached out to nor had any run-ins with Peace. Though he does admit “People always call me and are like your songs playing right now! But its actually this song…”

“Watch out for the musical gentrification acts out there!” says Yannick, “the thing is that this happens to a lot of African acts but because of the circumstances, they might not find out about it but I think it’s time that we all put our foot down and did something about it.” What were those circumstances we wondered. “Internet or just being connected to that side of things or being in touch in that scene,” explained Yannick. Did Peace rip off Petite Noir? You can listen to the two tracks below and decide for yourself.


5 Replies to "Did A UK Rock Group Steal Petite Noir’s ‘Till We Ghosts’?"
David I says:
May 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Petitie Noir song is about 1000000 x better any way

whitenizzl says:
May 2, 2014 at 6:05 am

that guitar lick is even in the same key! TSAK!

Foo U Jew says:
May 2, 2014 at 6:34 am

better than the original! we all know petite noir stole this anyways

blagrange says:
May 2, 2014 at 1:57 pm

erm. if not a rip of PN riff then Peace are at least hella guilty of TOTAL rip of Foals – not just guitar lines, effects & vocal style but even song structure… that’s what happens when you listen to Total Life Forever too waaay much.

Morrison Taylor says:
May 3, 2014 at 11:05 am

The riff is similar but the two songs are totally different. What does it matter anyway? Is it really necessary for musos to pander over such trivial matters? Maybe find something more relevant to write about.

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