Thursday, September 16, 2010

Les Discrets - "Septembre et ses Dernières Pensées" (2010) [Prophecy Productions]

For many years Fursy Teyssier has been honing his craft at creating visual art, namely his paintings and short films. Somewhere along the way he decided to explore the musical realm with his band Les Discrets, as a means to express the sonic counterpart to his visual ideas, i.e. painting portraits with music so to speak. After a rough demo was released, along with a split with Alcest, a full-length was finally ready to be unleashed unto the world-- Septembre et ses Dernières Pensées.

Let us start by acknowledging that this much anticipated album contained some works from many years prior, as well as more current compositions. In other words, it was years in the making, and it most certainly shows. Before we embark on our aural journey, we shall first have a few words about the packaging. The presentation is quite pretty and wonderfully minimalist, and forgoes the usual liner-notes booklet. It is designed as a 'digibook', and unfolds to a lovely piece which includes some of Fursy's paintings as well as a photograph by the renowned Andy Julia (Soror Dolorosa). Credited for this recording are Fursy (composition, guitars, bass, vocals, lyrics), Audrey Hadorn (vocals and lyrics), and Winterhalter (drums).

The record opens up with an ambient piece titled "L'envol des corbeaux", which translates to "the flight of ravens", and sets the stage for the rest of the album. The next song "L'échappée" starts with a bang and places the listener soundly within Fursy's realm, as his dreary yet hopeful vocals guide you through sonic dreamscapes. The album continues to progress further and only becomes more enchanting with tracks such as "Song for Mountains" and "Effet de nuit". We are then presented with a momentary breath with the title track "Septembre et ses Dernières Pensées", in which we can hear the cawing of the ravens amidst Audrey's poetic recitation.

We are left with a few more select tracks that wrap up the album rather nicely, such as "Chanson d'automne", where we hear the drawn out passages and echoing high guitar notes contrasted with Fursy's low end clean vocals. A conclusion is reached in the form of "Une matinée d'hiver" (translates to 'a winter morning'), a marvelously wistful piece that elevates the listener to the climactic ending of the album, with its mournful yet effervescent delivery. The fading horns give way to quietude, and such is the closure of the record. Highly recommended for your listening pleasure if you are a fan of beautifully constructed sonic landscapes of the artsy and pensive variety. 


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