Cyann & Ben
As Chosen By: pichaelmarker
Pitchfork originaly said:
Cyann & Ben, a four-piece based out of Charleville-Mézières in the French Ardennes and co-fronted by their namesake duo, might be likened to an unplugged version of their Gooom Records labelmates M83: both groups share an affinity for arpeggios, sweeping orchestration, and deep, resonant atmospherics, but where M83 drench their synth-centric shoegaze in bright electronic tones, Cyann & Ben prefer a live approach, resting their hushed vocals against darker, more organic instrumentation. The compositions on Spring, Cyann & Ben's debut full-length, are tastefully restrained, yet often achieve epic heights through their cinematic, open-air production and full arrangements that sometimes recall the spacier efforts of Sigur Rós or the haunted, autumnal folk that lay beneath the layered feedback din on mid-period Flying Saucer Attack albums like Further and Chorus.
Opener "Buick to the Moon" pulses deliberately amidst garbled, crackling audio samples from David Lynch's Wild at Heart, fluctuating madly between speakers. Two clean-toned electric guitars, floating on pillowy reverb, give shade to a ghostly melody. Atop this mesmeric mist hovers a soft male tenor with a female partner wading in and out of accompaniment. After a foreboding first few minutes, the song reaches its first climax on a surprisingly comforting melody spun out by a xylophone, guitar, and vocal trio. It's breathtaking, but just over the horizon, a darkness advances once again: Soon, drums enter the fray and renew the eerie conviction of the other instruments, which, now rhythmically unshackled, are free to challenge the tonal limitations of the song's first half. It's an incredibly promising track with which to open a debut record, and incredibly, Spring only gets better.
"I Can't Pretend Anymore", perhaps the track that most inspired my earlier M83 comparison, launches into an intense 5/4 waltz after a beautiful female vocal solo noodles throughout an arpeggiated synthstring progression. A guitar carries on the arpeggio, offering still more internal energy to an already overwhelming backbeat that threatens to topple over itself at any moment. "Siren Song" drapes dangerously enchanting vocals over a whirlpool of cymbals, spelled-out guitar chords, and gorgeous synth tones, a guitar occasionally breaking free from the song's mysterious emotional vice grip. Accordions haunt "A Dance with the Devil" as a female vocal desperately struggles to keep her focus, distracted by her whispering lothario.
Spring is an immediately accessible sonic feat, which is particularly striking given its extreme self-restraint. But its sweetest fruits are reaped only after repeated consideration, upon which one realizes the depth of complexity behind such initial immediacy. It's a rare strain of "epic" music, where bravado does not exceed the composition, but remains at all times within it. Cyann & Ben are masters of this subtlety, and, along with similar efforts this year from England's George and the upcoming Books' release, put forth once again the notion that the most convincing art is of a noble simplicity and a quiet grandeur.
I heard it for the first time yesterday and I must say, I rather liked it, got to let it grow on me I thinks but yea I ENJOY IT!
Not Avalible on Spotify :(