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Benoit Pioulard - Hymns (Kranky)

29 March 2013

Ten years into his music-making journey, Thomas Meluch (AKA Benoit
) shows no sign of stopping. His fourth album for the esteemedKranky finds him continuing down the road of hazy, lysergic pop composition. His albums have always had this pop element, while his work as of late has examined instrumental ambiance, but on these major releases, he brings it all together. Hymns is inspired by his journeying through Europe (which we discussed on this website in 2010) and the religious imagery he experienced. Though not especially an overt religious album, it is quiet and austere, not unlike the inside of a chapel. “Litiya” is a gentle psych-country folk that reminds of Pink Floyd‘s early 70s soundtrack work. “Excave” and “Mercy” blend gorgeous Beach Boys harmony within a reverb laden, drum-machine driven rhythms. Then there’s “Gospel” and “Knell,” two epic instrumentals similar in nature to his limited edition releases, while “Censer” harkens to last year’s Orcas collaboration. If you know Meluch’s work, you know what a pleasant diversion his music can be, and Hymns is no exception. Another fine, quiet masterpiece from a talented young man.