When they met in Paris she called herself a painter and he called himself a magician. She had just come from New York and was working on a series of portraits. He’d been touring the south of France doing a show of tricks with coins, cards and cigarettes. They dated and they broke up and then they started the band, the Two.
She is the striking Ara Starck (daughter of the famous designer, Philippe) and he is the dashing David Jarre (son of the French composer, Jean Michel, and the actress Charlotte Rampling).
Their self-titled debut album was released last year in Paris, to rave reviews. I met Stark and Jarre on the balcony of their penthouse suite in the Cooper Square Hotel in Manhattan on a windy June afternoon. Dressed in all black — he in skinny jeans, she in her signature tutu and biker boots — they were smoking Gauloises and looking down on East Sixth Street from their nearly empty room, 21 stories above.
That night, they were to give a concert for a select group of New York music executives and magazine editors. “We’re really excited to play tonight,” says the 33-year-old Starck of their first showcase in the States. “It’s going to be the essence of the Two.”
Jarre’s guitar is as smooth as any familiar rock ‘n’ roll riff, but it’s Starck’s raspy, untrained voice that gives their music its magnetism. “Ara was always singing while washing her paint brushes,” Jarre says. “It came out so easily for her.” Like many French pop bands they sing in English. “We just want to communicate with people as best as we can,” Starck says.
The intimate show in New York that June was met with a heartfelt ovation, despite a few malfunctions and one false start (nothing Starck couldn’t charm her way out of).
Shortly after, they were asked to play Stateside again, only this time on a slightly bigger stage — at 2011’s CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival. See them live on Oct. 17 at the Cooper Square Hotel and on Oct. 19 at the Hiro Ballroom in New York. But for now, watch the debut of the new video for their trippy dreamlike song “In My Head” here.