Benoit Pioulard

WRITTEN BY
SPIN Staff

Who: Michigan harbors many secrets, one of the most intriguing being singer-songwriter Benoît Pioulard. Although the name triggers images of berets and cigarettes, Benoît, aka Thomas Meluch, is a 22-year-old Michigan native who has been self-releasing albums since the age of 16. In a one-room apartment, Meluch pieces together his work, and his first full-length Precis, released on Chicago's Kranky Records, is an intricate journey through heartbreak and solace.

What's the Deal: Often compared to Elliot Smith and My Bloody Valentine, the complexity of Meluch's work has left many reviewers struggling for comparisons. Although Boards of Canada is a definite influence, Meluch sites more obscure references as sources of inspiration. From the archival films of Bill Morrison, to the Disintegration Loops of William Basinski, Meluch's intellectual curiosity reflects the aural landscape of his music.

Fun Fact: Although Benoît Pioulard isn't really a Frenchman, his mother, a self-proclaimed Francophile, exposed him to the language as a young child. His pseudonym came to him in a dream and sounded just right, so he decided to stick with it. Considering the somnambulistic quality of his music, Meluch chose wisely. LAURA MARCUS

Now Hear This:
Benoît Pioulard - "Triggering Back" DOWNLOAD MP3

Talk: With young artists like Beirut and Lady Sov showing up veteran musicians, is it safe to say that age really is just a number? COMMENT

On the Web:
pioulard.com

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