Benoit Pioulard - Lasted
Benoit Pioulard is the alias of a certain Thomas Meluch, a young man who has been crafting lush, haunting collages of folk music and electronica for a few years now. Lasted is his third full-length for Kranky after 2008’s Temper and Precis in 2006, and continues in the same trend as those sorely underrated albums. Made during a long rainy season in his hometown of Portland, Oregon this does sometimes bare the mark of those conditions, but on the whole is a wonderfully beautiful collection of songs.
The soothing, flowing sounds that begin Lasted characterise Meluch’s unique use of field recordings in his music. Blending seamlessly with his delicately picked melodies and the smoothness of his voice, ‘Sault’ is an enchanting piece of music. Echoing beats skitter around the mix, yet no sound ever feels out of place, instead coming together in a pastoral collage of sounds.
‘Aillleurs’ recalls a more interesting Peter Broderick. Meluch has that same knack for melody that pulls at your heart strings, yet he backs it up with layers of textured sound and percussion that make it sound at times like it was recorded outside in big open spaces. This is the strongest aspect of the album too, managing to conjure up enveloping, organic landscapes with a few plucks of a guitar and some well orchestrated electronics akin to Fennesz. With people like Bon Iver receiving so much acclaim these days, it’s a crime that someone as clearly talented as this man should go largely unnoticed. Let’s hope Lasted changes this.