Benoît Pioulard


BY Eric HillPublished Mar 27, 2015

After four albums of swirling, electronically enhanced folk songs, Thomas Meluch, under his moniker Benoît Pioulard, takes a dive into the mostly wordless ambiance of Sonnet. The layers of field recordings and tape effects that would often couch his vocal performances here provide a shifting framework for the sustained melodic drones of his guitar. The 14 tracks, or lines, of the album work together, progressing in linked clusters starting with the distant beacon of "With no advantage," which alerts a gathering/passing elemental storm of guitars. "Is in its clearest form" conversely unearths a decaying guitar clarion that signals a suite of shimmering tones.
When Meluch's voice finally (and only briefly) appears amidst the hissing vapours and siren whirl on "A shade of celadon," it reinforces a sense of literary archaeology, as though we listeners are brushing the dirt from musical artefacts to uncover the ancient songs within. Luckily for us, not only the songs, but the shards and cobwebbed chambers that encase them, are compelling and lovely.

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