The Nerve Mixtape With Air

French electronica band Air makes us the most seductive playlist of all time.

by Maura Hehir

The Nerve Mixtape is a Nerve feature in which we ask actors and musicians to celebrate the hallowed art of the mixtape. The playlist is a casual swap between friends, but a mixtape is an expression of something deeper, given to someone you might like to get to know... better. You can't always tell someone how you feel, but chances are you know between ten and fourteen songs that say it better than you ever could. You can find a Spotify playlist of some of Air's selections here.

If you like either electronica or film history, we're about to excite you; if you like both, you may want to sit down. One hundred years after it first premiered, George Méliès' pioneering science-fiction short A Trip to the Moon (memorably featured in Martin Scorsese's Hugo) has been restored to its original full color for the first time ever. To score the soundtrack, the producers commissioned beloved French electronica duo Air. Inspired, Air ended up writing not just the sixteen minutes of music required for the film, but an entire album of new Méliès-informed material. The resulting work, Le Voyage Dans La Lune, represents an exciting collaboration between artists separated by decades but not sensibilities. It comes out February 7, 2012, but in the meantime it's available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon. While we wait, we asked Air to make us a mixtape; the delightful and highly French results are below.

1. “Je T’aime... Moi Non Plus,” Serge Gainsbourg

Jean-Benoit Dunckel: The most romantic, vibrant song is, for me, “Je T’aime... Moi Non Plus” by Serge Gainsbourg. It just feels like music of love — music that drives you into taking your partner [makes motion of putting his around someone’s waist] and dancing slowly.


2. “La Femme D’Argent,” Air

Nicolas Godin: We wrote a good one: the first song from Moon Safari, “La Femme D’Argent.” So many people made out to that song, so many people have had their first date on it, and I think some may have even made children to it. So many times after concerts people come to talk to us and say, “Can I tell you something about that song?” and then I have to stop them after a bit because it gets too personal [laughs]. But I think the music itself is very much about romance and seduction.


3. “My Autumn’s Done Come,” Lee Hazlewood

Dunckel: Lee Hazlewood, who worked a lot with Nancy Sinatra, wrote this track, a really slow, really moving song called “My Autumn’s Done Come.” It’s beautiful — I love it. We used to play it each time we finished our shows, so it reminds me of the end of Air shows when I’d put my jacket on and we’d go backstage. But it also reminds me of when we were young, hanging out in Paris and searching for parties, that kind of thing.


4. Something About Us,” Daft Punk

Godin: They were so into house music, and then they made this very romantic song. You know, I cannot talk about it that much, because I don’t think that they would like me to tell. But there was somebody at the time for whom this song was important. And so there is some truth to it.


5. “Jealous Guy,” John Lennon

Dunckel: A very important track in the history of love songs. But it is a good declaration of love, and the music is so moving. I love it. I also like the Roxy Music version.


6. “And I Love Her,” The Beatles

Dunckel: This is one of the early Beatles songs, and I love it. I’ve also heard a Brazilian version of it, and I love it.


Commentarium (22 Comments)

Jan 27 12 - 11:21am

Lee Hazlewood FTW. That guy never gets enough credit. For his music or his mustache.

Jan 27 12 - 11:22am

This is awesome! I love both Air and Melies, had no idea about this project. Their choices are great too!

Jan 27 12 - 11:24am

Haha Godin on Chicago: It’s so cheesy. "But it’s cool, you know." So true and so fantastic. Awesome list.

Jan 27 12 - 12:12pm

This is a wonderful new feature, Nerve!

Jan 27 12 - 12:15pm

these are some seriously sexy jams from a seriously cool band. way to go nerve. also, is it weird that i'm increasingly attracted to serge gainsbourg? i guess not..since all the french hunnies were...

Jan 27 12 - 12:17pm

Great new feature! Now you seriously have to ask D'Angelo!

Jan 27 12 - 2:55pm
Alex Heigl

I would LOVE to get one from D'Angelo.

Jan 27 12 - 12:58pm

This is officially the soundtrack to my life for the following two months.

Jan 27 12 - 1:03pm


Jan 27 12 - 2:36pm

Is there a way to stream the entire mixtap as a whole? If there is, please don't judge me for my ineptitude and share with. If not, that would rule!!
Also, killer new feature!

Jan 27 12 - 3:21pm
Alex Heigl

Fixed for you! There's a link to a Spotify playlist up top -- we're always open to suggestions for other ways to do this, though, so let us know!

Jan 27 12 - 3:52pm

Thanks! I'm clearly not a careful reader. It's a bummer though, cause spotify doesn't have all the songs. Wish I was more tech inclined and could help.

Feb 02 12 - 11:16am

Dear Nerve, please put the playlist on Grooveshark! some of us do not use spotify

Jan 28 12 - 4:14pm

So excited to listen to all of these songs! I LOVE Air.

Jan 28 12 - 9:01pm

proud to have our Italin Lucio in this sountrack

Jan 28 12 - 9:39pm

Bloody brilliant! I would never have thought to put all those songs on the same mix tape, but it works!

Jan 29 12 - 1:24pm

joão gilberto s2

Jan 29 12 - 8:22pm
M. David France

Kudos for pulling off, The Best Nerve article, in a long time. This is the kind of provocative diversion that use to draw me to Nerve ever since I saw Natacha Merritt: Digital Diary's on HBO Real Sex, and followed the bread crumbs thru the web until, I was happily caught in Nerve's Photo Essays, Short Stories, Movie and Music Reviews, etc. There have been some great articles, and amazingly provocative photography, by artists I never learned the names of, content to revel in the fantasies they shared with us digital voyeurs, but few decadent enough to make me want to comment. Air, just happens to be one of my all time favorite musical groups/duo's/ethereal music gods. You'll have to excuse me Maura, If I am entirely jealous of you for the opportunity to dish with the Guys about music that moves them. -Moon Safari- was the cd in a discman, listened to traveling from Orlando to Tampa and back again, visiting the Salvador Dali Museum. I can/can't Imagine how 'surreal' it would be to have an exchange, and learn first hand, the emotions in music that moves them, and to know, in its own round about way, we get to share a part of that thru their music. Playground Love, its remixes and the SDTK to the Virgin Suicides, is still a go-to, late night make out album. In all my envy, I am really more grateful for this column, I get to enjoy another quick little fantasy from, and like all decadent things, you've left me wanting, More!

Jan 30 12 - 6:51pm

Fantastic. Thanks for linking to the spotify playlist Nerve! You rock.

Feb 02 12 - 6:11pm

Also note, this is very similar to the Late Night Tales mixes they did - I recommend checking them out as well!

Feb 03 12 - 3:20pm

The version posted of E.V.A. is not Perrey's original, but a remix by Fatboy Slim. The original version:

Feb 11 12 - 1:00pm
Val 9

Lucio Battisti. Don't pass him by, dear readers. At the very least, check my favourite track by him -