Benoît Pioulard announces European tour for March

7 Mar



Following the release of his fourth full-length album, Hymnal (Kranky) last year, Benoît Pioulard is currently touring across Europe. It’s the first time in almost two years that the versatile and inarguably talented musician has played in Europe. The dates are as follows –

07 March : Aalborg, NL @ 1000 Fryd
09 March : Dordrecht, NL @ Fluister
10 March : Paris, FR @ l’Espace B
11 March : Reims, FR @ Le Carreau
13 March : Gerardmer, FR @ Bar Le Grattoir
14 March : Freiburg, DE @ Reng Teng Teng
15 March : Lucerne, CH @ Sudpol
16 March : Geneva, CH @ Cave 12
18 March : Gijon, ES @ Toma 3
19 March : Siena, IT @ Cacio e Pere
20 March : Bologna, IT @ Freak Out
21 March : Milan, IT @ Agora
22 March : Sermide, IT @ Chinasky
23 March : Mantova, IT @ Virgilio


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 by an invasive, parasitic black fungus while still alive and verdant.


Benoit Pioulard - Hymnal - Cover (Kranky)

The videos for album tracks ‘Reliquary’ and ‘Homily’ can still be watched via The Quietus…

Also incoming is Orcas‘ second album, Yearling, which is due out on April 4th on Morr Music. Orcas, which features Pioulard alongside Rafael Anton Irisarri, say the new albums attempts to “reconcile the uncertainty and frailty of our combined humanity with the ardor of the individual, and to understand the measure of a year against that of a lifetime.” You can watch the album trailer here.


“‘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.” – QUIETUS

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


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲