Since the release of ‘Rest’, the album has received a flood of praise, with Pitchfork deeming it Best New Music and describing it as “at once scorchingly intimate and fantastically oversized. Gainsbourg…[leans] into her cinematic sensibilities, cushioning her pain with orchestral swells and dramatic synth. With [producer] SebastiAn, she’s dreamt up a sonic palette that wouldn’t feel out of place in a horror film.” ‘Lying With You’ is no exception, as it unfolds as an interchange between suffocating devastation and breathy celebration, with writhing synths forebodingly plunging the song into darker and darker territory, until a chorus counteracts with glimpses of light and rushes of air. The song’s lyrics see Charlotte Gainsbourg reimaging the death of her father, portraying herself as a 19-year-old, finding and lying beside his body. Gainsbourg complicates the brutality of loss with ethereal, even sometimes lush, remembrance. She sings of the unceasing sound of the nailing of the coffin, but she also sings of “whispering in raptures.”
With the video filmed in her father’s home, which was kept exactly the same since his death, Gainsbourg turns the lens both on herself, and on a depiction of herself as a child, as they wander, themselves like phantoms pursued by a quaking camera, through every nook. The house is rendered as something between a fondly remembered childhood home and a horror set—full of heirlooms, old photographs, instruments, as well as static-y TV screens, a giant preserved spider, a faceless figure, and violent red light. Charlotte Gainsbourg told the Guardian that she had avoided talking about her father publicly for years, and said of the song, “It was so violent not to be able to go through something intimately and without people looking into my life. But, of course, my father was public, so I had to share…I had wanted to say that for a long time.” She said, in a French language interview with Le Parisien, “He’s always been present in general in my music. Same in my previous albums with Beck or Air—there was always a winking homage.”
Produced by SebastiAn (Frank Ocean, Kavinsky) and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Adele, Lorde, David Bowie), Rest is Gainsbourg’s first studio album in seven years. It features collaborations with Sir Paul McCartney, Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo,Connan Mockasin and Owen Pallett (Arcade Fire, Caribou). The eleven songs on Rest are nothing if not sure-footed, proffering a compelling fusion of gleaming, string-emblazoned modern electro-pop and cinematically textured avant-chanson—their magical music box melodies kissed by bruised, introspective, occasionally disquieting lyrics.