The track is called IRM, presumably because Gainsbourg is a French speaker and ‘magnetic resonance imaging’ in French is imagerie par résonance magnétique – which, by the way, is also the sound of a mysterious Parisian stranger whispering sweet nothings in your ear.
If you’re not familiar with what an MRI machine sounds like, listen out for the ‘buzz plus alien tractor beam’ sound in the song.
There is also what looks like an interesting error in the song. At one point she sings “Analyse EKG, Can you see a memory?”
As EKG usually refers to an electrocardigram – a measure of heart function – it’s unlikely she’ll see many memories there.
An EEG, on the other hand, measures electrical activity from the brain, and was probably what was intended.
Here’s the wonderfully poetic neuroscience lyrics in full:
Take a picture what’s inside
Ghost watching my mind
Neural pattern like a spider
Capillary to the centre
Hold still and press a button
Looking through a glass onion
Following the X-Ray eye
From the cortex to medulla
Analyse E K G
Can you see a memory
Register all my fears
On a flowchart disappear
Leave my head demagnetised
Tell me where the trauma lies
In the scan of pathogen
Or the shadow of my sin
The track is great by the way. MRI never sounded so hip.
Link to Charlotte Gainsbourg track IRM.