For the friends of: Emma Ruth Rundle, Anna von Hausswolff, Chelsea Wolfe
Genre: goth, electronic dark folk
Favorite track(s): 'Lys Noirs', 'Déluge' and 'Chant de Fer'
Random words: castles
Toulouse, France's 'Lisieux' plays a unique brand of electronic dark folk, haunting but beautiful. The band's style has something from the goth scenes of the 80s same time, and there's a certain timelessness in their music. This album could have been made in many different decades.
The distinctive vocals and beautiful and powerful melodies create almost a religious experience, simultaneously having a dream pop, baroque rock pop and neo-psych. Compared to the band's earlier album, 'Abide!' is much more massive and detailed. All in all, the album creates so many different pictures and emotions for the listener. This is one of its secrets. The listener will never be bored.
Let's dig into the tracks each by each!
The track starts with soft drone chords, which are built bigger with a marching beat of a snare and massive organ sounds. This track is one of the most positive and hopeful tracks. Even though the track is over six minutes long, it feels like an intro for the whole album because of its simple and repetitive structure. The vocals are airy and etheric on top of the sound wave. 'Révolution' is one of the most straightforward tracks of the album, having a solid post-rock vibe.
This is one of the best tracks of the album. The whole feeling is so longing and melancholic that it makes the listener close their eyes and enjoy the moment. The song has many psychedelic elements, creating a hypnotic soundscape. The vocals and how they are built on top of the instrumental arrangement sound excellent. Every different part of the track is filled with amazing melodies. This could even be one of the best tracks I have heard this year.
Things slow down and get a bit darker with 'Déluge'. Again the melodies of the song are very magical and enchanting. The vocals are same time beautiful but kind of claustrophobic. The rougher male vocals fit well in the background; actually, it would be nice to hear more of them on the album. The song structure is very simple, but the melodies are well enough to keep the listener coming back to the track time after time.
The track starts with a flowy and airy intro bonded to 'Déluge'. The almost six minutes track gives much room to the beautiful vocals. In 'Herb Harp', many details remind of 80s sounds. I have never been a huge fan of anything that reminds of the 80s. While 'Herb Harp' is not a bad track for me, it feels a bit flat somehow, maybe because there are two powerful tracks just before this one.
Suddenly you will find yourself in the moors. The title track has a strong folk feeling in it. There is some kind of horn instruments playing a big part of the track, which sound great. Again, the vocal melodies stand out nicely. They balance between clear pop melodies and timeless folk vibes. The faster ending of the track is really brilliant in its hypnotic ways. It almost feels like some medieval religious ritual.
Darkness descends again with the massive organs. If the title track took the listener to the moors, 'The Wake' drags to the dungeons. Almost the first 2,5 minutes build the feeling stronger and bigger until the delicate instrumental parts come and give some space to breathe. The soundscape with the organs builds a picture of a big cathedral. After some time, the vocals softly come back. From that point on, the whole feeling is just amazing. The ending of 'The Wake' is probably one of the album's noisiest and most abstract parts.
'Chant de Fer'
After a pretty big and experimental track, 'Chant de Fer' feels like a pop hit with its clear structure and nearly catchy melodies. The longing feeling is again there. At this point, I need to mention the French language, which works so well with the whole style and genre that the band has musically chosen. The male vocals are again refreshing and work well in the background.
The shortest track of the album and the only one without clear vocals and lyrics. There are some airy vocals in the background, but otherwise, the track is just like an electronic scenery that leads the way to the album's last track.
The track almost feels like closing a cycle. The first track, ' Révolution' was optimistic and had some hope. In between, most of the tracks were pretty dark and melancholic and 'Inner Hero' feels uplifting and joyful. The melodies are again beautiful, but some parts sound a bit too straightforward after such massive tracks. But at the same time, the song works quite nicely as the last track.