Fans of Benoit Pioulard's softly sung lyrics will find a lot to love in PERILS, a long-distance collaboration between ambient stalwarts Thomas Meluch and Kyle Bobby Dunn. Many listeners will be immediately drawn to the ethereal songwriting of "Resin" and "Flaw." At times, the prevalence of hummed harmonies can make it difficult to spot Dunn's presence on this record, but his talents lie in the expansive drone compositions, as he weaves a rich tapestry of strings on tracks like album opener "Colours Hide My Face."
The album ultimately struggles to strike a balance between the listless vocals and the hazy, analogue soundscapes — the two artists' style don't quite mesh perfectly all the time — yet they find an excellent way to combine their strengths near the end of the album on "All That's Left," as Meluch's voice is heard faintly through a swarm of looping tones. This self-titled debut sounds more like a split LP, but PERILS is a great effort all the same. (Desire Path)