Tout Va Bien


LP version. Beautiful piano melodies, ballads drawing their inspiration from jazz, classical music, and cinematic imagery. Hummed choruses, a mood at the crossroad of nostalgia and reverie, instruments with uncanny timbre and charm, chiseled percussions, added to a subtle electronic production, this is the recipe for Tout Va Bien, the second solo album by French composer Ezechiel Pailhès. All this is reflected in the opening track, "River Day", which begins with "prepared piano" sounds. This deliberately mysterious and poetic introduction, supported by light electronic effects, is soon combined with a light beat, organ chords and vocalizations by the artist. Pailhès defines himself as a "jolly fellow" (confirmed by the music of his electro-pop duo Nôze), but he comes across as quite gentle and stellar, just like this collection of eleven tracks that he composed in his Montreuil home studio. Following the footpath of Divine, his first solo release from 2013 (CC 013CD/CCS 079LP), Tout Va Bien is more intimate, marking Pailhès's taste for finely crafted moods and drifts. Songs like "Tout Va Bien", "Éternel Été", and "Promesse", shift between carelessness, bliss, bitterness, and anxiety. Titles such as "Octobre", "Boyd London", or "Le Fou Du Phare", illustrate Ezechiel's gift for composing instrumental ballads, with equally versatile emotions though drawing from cinema, supported by whispered or sung vocalizations. Ezechiel explains: "No word can quite describe this type of singing, it's a kind of ritornello, these are songs without lyrics, which is all down to the fact that I always think of my melodies as songs." Even though he composed the pieces on Tout Va Bien on the piano, Ezechiel plays and toys with numerous other instruments, such as the clavietta (a type of melodica), a Moog Little Phatty synth, an analog Korg Lambda organ, rare virtual instruments, and a whole array of exotic percussions gleaned along his tours. He insists, however, on the sculptural dimension of his compositional work. For him, it is about "revealing or masking the sound of the original melody" through various processes, including percussive ones, whether using a prepared piano or several digital cuts and superimpositions enabling him to generate what he calls "sound illusions", through unusual associations between the timbres of various instruments. Parallels can be drawn to Moondog's piano melodies, Matthew Herbert's sonorous and rhythmic tinkering and techno "fringe", or even the graceful fantasy of Nino Rota.