Watch the video for Benoit Pioulard’s Gothic pop cut ‘Reliquary’‏

March 10, 2013


Watch the video for Benoit Pioulard’s Gothic pop ‘Reliquary’
Following the release of his fourth album, Hymnal (Kranky) this week, Benoît Pioulard has released a video for album tracks ‘Reliquary’ and ‘Homily’ via The Quietus
“‘Reliquary’ is a pop sketch, built around ringing Spanish guitar and close-sounding submerged rhythms, over which Thomas Meluch intones his vaguely unnerving vocals, lending the track the shadowy, gothic resonance of the European cathedrals that gave inspiration to the album. A late highlight is the inclusion of ‘Homily’, a postscript echoing ‘Reliquary’ with arpeggiated keys wavering over Meluch’s favoured drone sounds, matched to almost-hidden footage of waves crashing, seeping through at the bottom of the screen.”

BENOIT PIOULARD ~ “RELIQUARY” & “HOMILY” from Chris Hefner on Vimeo.

Hymnal was written and recorded throughout a year spent in southeastern England and on the European mainland, during which the ubiquity of religious iconography and grandiose cathedrals became an unexpected muse for Thomas Meluch.

Raised as a Catholic but never especially pious, Meluch drew on this aspect of social history as the basis for Hymnalʼs 12 chapters. He notes a particular preoccupation with the ways that faith offers a sense of solace and belonging in an existence that inherently provides none, framed in a context of tradition, ritual and the notion of the eternal.

Themes aside, Hymnal contains some of Meluchʼs most expansive instrumental works (“Knell”, “Gospel”) and fully realized pop compositions (“Hawkeye”, “Reliquary”, “Margin”), making for a rich and dynamic long-playing arc. Also featured are string arrangements by Kranky label mate Felix and guitar work from ambient maestro Kyle Bobby Dunn.

The albumʼs cover depicts the dessicated interior of a centuries-old tree on the estate of surrealist Edward James in West Sussex; it was felled be an invasive, parasitic black fungus while still alive and verdant.

Hymnal is a beautiful record; a voice and guitar picked up gently on a breeze, half-lost to echo and the soft, mumbled manner of Pioulard’s vocal execution. Flecks of woozy late-night samba come in the form of slinking guitar strums and castanet clacks, while the simplicity of some of his melodies brings to mind Cocteau Twins’ clouds of romance.” – ROCK A ROLLA

His songs have always been draped in sumptuous echoes and rich textures, his vocals resting somewhere in the swirl of the mix, but here there is more emphasis on sustained elements..The effect of these new elements is to bring a new solemnity and calm to Pioulard’s already gentle brand of blissed out songwriting.” – WIRE
Tracing a rare arc between the past and present, which results in something timelessly beautiful…’Hymnal’…draws upon the ornate splendour and luxury of Catholic worship, rather than its dogma, and how it is used to create a sense of peace and solace in it’s claims to the eternal, something reflected across ‘Hymnals’ quietly affecting tracks.” – BECAUSE LONDON

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