Oh! Pardon tu dormais…, the forthcoming album from actress, singer, songwriter and fashion icon Jane Birkin, is set for U.S. release on February 5 via Verve Records—pre-order/pre-save it HERE. Lead single and video, “Les jeux interdits,” is out now and may be streamed and shared HERE.

Partly inspired by Birkin’s theatrical play of the same name, Oh! Pardon tu dormais… (which translates as “Oh! Sorry you were sleeping…”) marks her most intimate and personal album to date. Its 13 songs feature lyrics written by Birkin—including, for the first time, two tracks in English—and music by Etienne Daho and Jean-Louis Piérot, who also produced. Daho co-wrote lyrics on multiple tracks as well. “At the start, we took inspiration from the script of Oh! Pardon…,” Birkin says of the process. “But then, gradually, we moved away from this and more pressing, urgent themes emerged. My daughter Kate, loss, heartbreak… Little by little, we drifted towards other horizons.”

Addressing for the first time in music the tragic death of Birkin’s first daughter, Kate Barry, the album touches on universal themes of absence, love, anxiety, ghosts from the past—and, ultimately, healing and release. In “Les jeux interdits” [“Forbidden Games”], for example, Birkin recalls a tender memory of Barry and second daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg playing as young children in a French cemetery where they would “redecorate” the graves and bury toys and other items in formal, solemn rituals.

“Etienne helped me release a past pain, which saved me from melancholy and inertia,” Birkin recalls. “The three of us—Etienne, Jean-Louis and I—gave each other everything, we took everything from each other and I’m still stunned by how we worked together. We are this album’s parents…and this moves me.”

Birkin is an international cultural icon whose prolific career as an actress in British and French cinema and decade-long romantic and musical partnership with seminal French musician Serge Gainsbourg launched her to global fame and renown. Her musical career spans more than 50 years and 20 albums, beginning with the 1969 Gainsbourg collaboration Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg. Recorded shortly after the two met on the set of Pierre Grimblat’s 1969 film Slogan, the album features the infamous “Je t’aime…moi non plus,” which swept the globe and was notoriously banned by both the Vatican and the BBC. The pair’s creative partnership outlasted their romantic one—and Gainsbourg’s life—culminating in 2017’s Birkin/Gainsbourg: Le symphonique, Birkin’s orchestral tribute to her late partner that found her touring the world and performing at Carnegie Hall alongside the critically acclaimed Wordless Music Orchestra. Beyond her own career, Birkin’s influence extends to the fashion world, perhaps most notably as the inspiration for Hermés’ iconic Birkin bag; her philanthropic efforts, such as her work with Amnesty International, the fight against AIDS, and the humanitarian crises in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War and Fukushima following 2011’s earthquake and tsunami; and her three children: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lou Doillon and the late Kate Barry, all of whom are celebrated artists in their own rights.


1. Oh! Pardon tu dormais…

2. Ces murs épais

3. Cigarettes

4. Max

5. Ghosts

6. Les jeux interdits

7. F.R.U.I.T

8. A marée haute

9. Pas d’accord

10. Ta sentinelle

11. Telle est ma maladie envers toi
12. Je voulais être une telle perfection pour toi!

13. Catch Me If You Can