Benoit Pioulard, "Enge"
This EP is all about economy, with nearly each song fully developed into pop-like arrangements of guitar, vocals, percussion, and effects all between only 2½ - 3 minutes. While "Pineconning" opens, "Kids Are Getting Younger" is a stronger pop tune and a surprising choice not to be a lead song. "Pineconning" is a happy guitar strumming number as a toy xylophone-like sounds decorate the song in a cheap but cool way like glow in the dark stars do on a teenager's ceiling. The lyrics are sparse and don't do a whole heck of a lot for me or the song, and they're almost a bit too mumbled to even be recognized as lyrics and not simple babbling. Ellen Allien-like cut-up vocal techniques are used in the beginning of the notably faster "Kids Are Getting Older," but the more engaging meat of the song is its spritely guitar and squelchy amateur electric mess that parts ways for a real lead guitar part, subtly layered in. Side B's "Es/Sa" has some banjo-sounding fingerpicking but is about as exciting as that "Exerimental Music" throwaway from 69 Love Songs but at least the EP ends on a strong note. Leave the people with something they can remember is a good policy, and "Sparrowfield," despite its brief 2 minutes 37 seconds, is the most sing-along-able of the bunch, using the simple pool of instruments previously used and a springy catchy melody. The debut Benoit Pioulard album should be available from Kranky this fall.