Built from field recordings, guitar, a small gathering of pedals, and limited vocals, Benoît Pioulard’s Sonnet captures the expansiveness of nature, reflecting on what it is to live within the greater tapestry. The musicality of the album goes beyond its drone-like elements. The tracks merge effortlessly into one another, exploring the spaces between ambient, krautrock and post-rock.
In the track “Of Everything that Rhymes,” Pioulard evokes images of glaciers moving across continents, while the processed but discernible lyrics of “A Shade of Celadon” makes a personal appeal. “Upon the Break Arch” offers the most striking balance between a vast soundscape and human-made industrial elements—carefully balancing caustic and serene.
Sonnet is a deconstruction of Pioulard’s prior work, which includes shoegaze and experimental folk, and is an interesting evolution from Hymnal. The album is lush without nuanced ideas getting lost in the mix. Some of its shorter tracks can feel out of place on the continuum, but the more developed tracks are the reward. Do yourself a favor and listen to Sonnet as it deserves to be—in its entirety and with nice audio equipment. Sonnet is carefully sculpted, and its electronic depiction of the pastoral is refreshing.