Yann Tiersen – Dust Lane

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It’s difficult to describe just how much I enjoy the new Yann Tiersen album Dust Lane. I was introduced to his music by way of Sage Francis’ beautiful and haunting song Best of Times, which we showcased a couple weeks ago on Nerdy Nothings. The song is a spoken word/rap set to the music of Tiersen. It kicks all sorts of lyrical ass but the music stood out because it wasn’t your typical hip-hop backbone, it was more indie-classical if you allow such compartmentalization. It reminded me a little of the great found-sound band, The Books. I set out to find everything of Yann’s I could get my hands on.

Luck would have it, he just released a new album last month.

Dust Lane sounds familiar but is easily distinguishable from its likely influences, such as Philip Glass and even Nick Cave. The lush instrumental pieces are left to sublimely fill the space themselves or sit side-by-side spoken words and occasionally, formal vocals. I am briefly acquainted with Yann’s earlier work, but not versed enough to tell you if this album is a departure from his earlier work. I did find hints of the compositions he did for the film Amelie. The rousing cellos that close “At The End” could easily accompany any Sundance favorite’s climactic moment.

Tiersen a skilled multi-instrumentalist glues together electric guitars, piano, mandolins, accordions, timpani, cellos all seamlessly to create a multi-dimensional soundscape. I don’t drink wine, but this is the kind of music, if it were a wine, you’d sniff the cork and swirl it around in your mouth before gorging yourself on glass after glass. The many layers peel away one after another, listen after listen, like a sonic baklava.

One of the highlights is Palestine, a song that briefly brings to mind the opener from Philip Glass’ masterpiece Einstein on the Beach but quickly morphs into a rousing gypsy romp, accompanied by a monotone voice spelling the word Palestine over and over again. I’ve embedded it for you below.

Fans of minimalism, sound collage and experimental music look no further for your favorite new artist. Fortunately, he has a huge back catalog; so you’ll have plenty of work to do.

tags: dust lane, yann tiersen

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