[[caption-width-right:344:From L-to-R: Sarah Cracknell, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs]]

'''Saint Etienne''' is an IndiePop group from UsefulNotes/{{London}} who are sometimes described as making "[[AlternativeDance indie dance]]" music. The band was founded in 1991 by ex-music journalists Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, who named it after a French football team, and they originally had rotating guest singers until Sarah Cracknell joined them permanently, midway through production of their first album.

Their most famous single is their first, a cover of the Neil Young song "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" which was [[BlackSheepHit not sung by Sarah]], ironically given that she is generally considered the FaceOfTheBand otherwise.

Most of their music can accurately be described as a love song dedicated to London, the city in which the band is based, despite one of their major influences being Northern Soul music.

An incomplete discography:
* ''Foxbase Alpha'' (1991)
* ''So Tough'' (1993)
* ''Tiger Bay'' (1994)
* ''Good Humor'' (1998)
* ''The Misadventures of Saint Etienne'' (1999) (Soundtrack)
* ''Sound of Water'' (2000)
* ''Finisterre'' (2002)
* ''Tales from Turnpike House'' (2005)
* ''What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day?'' (2006) (Soundtrack)
* ''Foxbase Beta'' (2009) (Remix Album of their debut, ''Foxbase Alpha'')
* ''Words and Music by Saint Etienne'' (2012)

* AgeProgressionSong: "Over The Border".
* AlternativeDance: often classified as "Indie Dance", which can be considered a subgenre of AlternativeDance.
* BalladOfX: "Ballade de Saint Etienne".
* ConceptAlbum: ''Tales from Turnpike House'', which features various stories about the residents in a neighbourhood somewhere in London. Also ''Words and Music by Saint Etienne'' is about music fandom.
* [[TheCoverChangesTheMeaning The Cover Changes... Almost Everything, Actually]]: "I'm Too Sexy". The story goes that when they got into the studio to record the song, they couldn't remember how it goes, so they [[CrowningMomentOfFunny made it up on the spot]].
* CoverVersion: Quite a few, including songs by Music/DavidBowie, Teenage Fanclub, Music/ScottWalker, and, famously, Music/NeilYoung ("Only Love Can Break Your Heart").
* EverythingIsAnInstrument: "People Get Real" includes a jet engine (Heavenly Records boss Jeff Barrett is credited with "playing" it). Given that it appears prominently in the middle eight, it's effectively the song's lead solo.
* [[SixthRanger Fourth Ranger]]: Long-serving backing singer Debsey Wykes.
* GreatestHitsAlbum: Several, but the two-disc ''Smash The System: Singles And More'' is the best - not least because of its Neapolitan-ice-cream-colored cover.
* GrowingUpSucks: Oh god, "Teenage Winter".
* HymnToMusic: A favourite theme, most famously employed for "Join Our Club" and most of ''Words and Music by Saint Etienne''.
* IndecipherableLyrics: the repeated, distorted refrain in "Girl VII". Producer Ian Catt and remixer Richard X may be the only people outside the band who know for sure what it says - and Pete Wiggs claims he's forgotten. Lyric sites give it as "Carrie's got a boyfriend", but that may just be {{Fanon}}.
* ListingCities: In one song on ''Foxbase Alpha'' entitled ''Girl VII'', Sarah starts listing London neighbourhoods and a few other cities.
* LyricalDissonance: The relatively upbeat "Goodnight Jack" tells the story of a woman who, after her man says he only wants to be her friend, runs him over and escapes the scene of the crime.
* MurderBallad: "Like A Motorway".
* {{Retraux}}: They like to play with this in both the music and its packaging.
* SelfDemonstratingSong: About half way through "California Snow Story", Sarah says "I think I'll just let the music play", and that's exactly what happens, as the second half is entirely instrumental.
* SelfDeprecation: Their sleevenotes do this a lot.
* ShoutOut: Their songs are so packed with these, it took the crowdsourcing power of the internet to decipher the dense web of references.
* SiblingTriangle: "Sylvie", sung from the POV of Sarah's character towards her younger sister (the titular Sylvie). She warns Sylvie not to flirt too much:
--> "Sylvie, girl, I'm a very patient person,
--> But I'll have to shut you down,
--> If you don't give up your flirting.
--> Leave him alone, ''cause I know he loves me.
--> Leave him alone, ''cause he tells me he loves me."
* SongOfSongTitles: "Popular".
* StepUpToTheMicrophone: Pete Wiggs on "I'm Too Sexy".
* WithLyrics: The previously instrumental "Stoned To Say The Least" gained lyrics twenty years later.
* WordSaladLyrics: "Hobart Paving" among others.