Ten Things You Need To Know About the Incendiary and Prodigious Poet, Painter, and Musician Lizzy Mercier Descloux

To some, she was France’s answer to Patti Smith, or perhaps a 20th century reincarnation of Arthur Rimbaud – or maybe both. To others, she is virtually unknown. But listen to her track “Fire” off her seminal album Press Color, which is seeing a rerelease this summer, and you’ll wonder why you’ve never heard of her. Instead of being France’s answer to Patti Smith, though, Lizzy Mercier Descloux was more of a soul sister; she was also more punk than no wave – punk in the sense of her rebelliousness. You can find Descloux donning a suit next to Smith, who is barefoot and wearing a tattered dress, in a poetry art book that the duo released together – with contributions from Richard Hell. Born Martine-Elisabeth Mercier Descloux in Paris, Lizzy was a bit of a creative anomaly – she introduced world music into her music before there was such a thing. If it wasn’t for her explorations with world music, there is a chance Paul Simon may not have made Graceland. Whatever the case is, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, who died in the early naughts, is still a force to be reckoned with. Click here to read more about this incendiary and prodigious artist.