- A gentle yet catchy collection of Balearic jams.
- Be it Sly Stone and Shuggie Otis in the '70s or Young Marble Giants and early Peaking Lights, there have always been artists who have made a virtue of simple drums over complex beats, able to ride rudimentary pulses to winsome effect. Every few years a new artist comes along and refreshes those simple meters. So when the mysterious Domenique Dumont appeared in the summer of 2015 with the woozy Comme Ça EP, they put themselves in that lineage, drawing from French pop, ambient, Balearic and more. A murmuring chanteuse helped, providing just enough warm breath and pop hooks to carry the songs.
Outside of their contribution to Antinote's Five Years Of Loving Notes, Dumont have been silent. With their latest release, the duo, AKA Artūrs Liepiņš and Anete Stuce, show they've been refining rather than overhauling their sound, burrowing deeper into the Balearic template while also creating a perfect end-of-summer soundtrack. Their songs strike a balance between being catchy and hazy. While you won't quite be able to sing along with "Sans Cesse, Mon Cheri," that helium-voiced hook will nevertheless stick in your head.
If you're a fan of classic Balearic, then you'll know Domenique Dumont aren't really reinventing the wheel. But they nail the smallest details and tease out new wrinkles for the album. Nylon-string guitar figures are almost cliché on Balearic tracks, but "Quand" plays with stop-start rhythms in a beguiling way, letting in ambient washes that slowly overtake the song. It feels more like a spa than a spa soundtrack. Amid the samba-esque beat and sensuous whispers of "Le Debut De La Fin" lie psychedelic curlicues of guitar that impart a buoyant feel.
The smaller the detail, the more amiable it sounds. "Message Of The Diving Bird" is not much more than a pleasant two-minute interlude, but the intermingling of synth flute and recordings of birds makes for a woozy slice of exotica. And when Dumont has the programmed pitter-patter of "Le Soleil Dans Le Monde" segue into the sound of footsteps along a path, it's such an evocative cocktail of sound and rhythm that you can almost feel the white sand between your toes.
01. Le Debut De La Fin
02. Quasi Quasi
03. Faux Savage
04. Ono Mambo Haiku
06. Sans Cesse, Mon Cheri
07. Message Of The Diving Bird
08. Le Soleil Dans Le Monde