The shimmering delight of Lasted by Seattle émigré Benoit Pioulard AKA Thomas Meluch is a massively inspired vehicle of brilliance.
Listening to each of these tracks it’s overwhelming how talented this guy is. His use of sampled field recordings over acoustic instruments and multitracked vocals is so strongly evocative that the fact you’re listening to music fades behind tangible visions; abandoned farms and overgrown railroad tracks framing the movements of an injured bird like a slow running strip of celluloid.
Much as the first Iron and Wine release was seen as a revelation by the folk cognoscenti it’s doubtless that this release will become a treasured muse for many, myself included.
The constituent parts of this album are all woven together with extremely tight rhythms which give way to moments of pink noise ambience. However it’s Meluch’s choral melodies that keep the listener engaged and entranced.
Overtones of an indirect Fleet Foxes, a soft My Bloody Valentine, a contemporary Pet Sounds and an earnest Sonic Youth cast the listener into a nostalgic yet energised reverie of discovery.
abandoned farms and overgrown railroad tracks framing the movements of an injured bird like a slow running strip of celluloid.
It’s rare to hear a recording as vital as this, as complete or as perfect.
How Meluch manages to make the muted sound so visceral or yearning so pointed is beyond comprehension. His vocals are practically aphasic and emotional involvement bordering on religiously indifferent to anything corporeal or human.
Moreover as a personae displayed through a recording there is absolutely nothing remotely attractive or iconic about Benoit Pioulard’s presentation. The wesbsite is anodyne to the point of being anonymous with only faint cloying traces of autistic fascination shown in impressionistic photographs, not so much mysterious but zenlike in its irrelevant emptiness.
The final impression of Lasted is of a record so magnificent and pure that it would be profane to add it to any top-lists of 2010, zero coming an eternity before one.
(Label: Kranky 2010)