Release Date: Oct 14, 2008
Record label: Kranky
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Experimental
Temper lives up to its name, balancing the cloudy beauty of Benoît Pioulard's music with more form and clarity and melding his folk, pop, and electronic leanings even more seamlessly. Where Précis seemed to drift from song to song depending on which way the wind blew, these songs move of their own volition: "Ragged Tint" opens Temper with shivery, rippling guitars that are much more urgent than any of Pioulard's earlier music. This nervy undercurrent pulls the album in unexpected directions, as when the chords of "Brown Bess" slide up steeply, turning the song from serene to tense.
Review Summary: Not quite as good as Précis, but still an excellent effort.Folktronica is a bit of an irritating term; though it's accurate, simple, and to the point – it's essentially elements of folk and electronica brought together – the term just sounds so tacky and unappealing. And yet, the music is nothing short of amazing when done right. The title of Benoit Pioulard's (real name Thomas Meluch) sophomore effort is similarly misleading.
Although his lyrics are inaudible verbosities and his name is a pseudonym and he goes about the whole business in a fancifully gallicized way that’s probably not necessary, Benoît Pioulard makes a lot of sense. He gets that the calm in his line of work should be deceptive, that the value of complexity in folk music is above all ornamental. This is what he does eerily well: make the lilting and simple sound very busy, and vice versa.