In their native France, Peine Perdue’s band name translates to English roughly as “a wasted effort”, though if the video for “Cerceaux” is any indication, that’s a misnomer for a band name if there ever was one. “Cerceaux” establishes Peine Perdue as masters of synthwave: dark, mimimal synths combine with a drum machine and mysterious (though probably less so if you can speak French), sexy vocals to give this track an A+ grade for pure creepiness.
Not content to just throw a few black-and-white film clips together and call it a day, Peine Perdue arranged an eerie montage to match the relentless pace of “Cerceaux”. From a walking child to a continuous shot of planes in formation, the shot always seems to be on the move, trying to escape from something. Ending with some haunting footage of explosion, fire, and lying bodies on the ground, it could be construed that “Cerceaux” (French for “hoops”, according to Google) is a comment on the cyclical nature of war.
And even if that’s reading way too far into it…I stand by my assertion that this band knows how to do creepy synthwave, and do it well.
Find “Cerceaux” on Peine Perdue’s Disparitions LP, available in the US later this month through Medical Records.