CC 022CD CC 022CD

On his fourth solo album, much as in Oh! (CC 020CD/CCS 111LP, 2020), the French composer, pianist, and vocalist follows his ongoing exploration of the crossroads between poetry and songs, piano and synth, old-time verses and contemporary sounds. Inspired by the rhythms, effects, and speech patterns of urban music, he also delivers, with a warm and moving voice, the texts of three poetesses from the past. Since 2013, Ezéchiel Pailhès has been crafting a unique French synth pop. On his first three albums, he switched between songs inspired by poetry, instrumental ballads and electronica with hummed choruses. This latest record is a collection of eleven new songs, two of which he wrote: "Opaline" and "Ni toi, ni moi" (neither you nor me). The others are adaptations of poems written in the 16th, 18th, and 19th centuries by French poetesses Louise Labé (1524-1566), Marceline Desbordes-Valmore (1786- 1859), and Renée Vivien (1877-1909). He actually started this project in 2017 with poems and sonnets by William Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda, Victor Hugo, and above all Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, who can be heard again on songs such as "Dors-tu?" (Are you sleeping?), "Élégie", or "L'attente" (The wait). A figure of romanticism, the author left her mark on the early 19th century through the quality of her texts and her formal inventions, particularly praised by Balzac, and apparently a decisive influence on Verlaine and Baudelaire. Besides Marceline's very musical poetry, you find the more famous, and rebellious, Renée Vivien, whose texts inspired three songs, "Regard en arrière" (Looking backwards), "Mélopée" (Melopoeia), and "La fille de la nuit" (The night girl). Sometimes nicknamed "Sapho 1900", this figure of lesbian culture and, more broadly, of female genius, combined in her work the themes of desire, dreams, melancholy and the relationship with nature. Lastly, with "Tant que mes yeux" (As long as my eyes), Ezéchiel was inspired by a 1555 poem by Renaissance poet Louise Labé, whose main topic explored female love, physical and spiritual desire, and the torments and pains they generate. Ezéchiel Pailhès combines texts from French literature with electronic music, its effects and rhythms, as well as a form of scansion that echoes rap, R&B or the current fusion between hip-hop and pop, which is part of the musical background and that of younger generations. The album is thus marked by contemporary electronic orchestrations, in which he drops his favorite instrument, the piano, and his digital collage technique to use more extensive synth melodies, enhanced by drum machines, bringing a gentle and bright vibe to the romantic texts. Lastly, you can hear slight digital tones of auto-tune, which Ezéchiel uses sparingly and inventively. Beyond its sophistication, the term "melopoeia" means a "sung declamation", a "recitative song", sometimes interpreted in a monotonous way. On this album, it could also refer to a sense of phrasing, which does not come from rap, but rather from jazz, Ezéchiel's first love. LP version includes printed inner sleeve.