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Benoit Pioulard

Multi-instrumentalist/writer Thomas Meluch -- who uses Benoît Pioulard as one of his musical alter egos -- combines found sounds, electronics, and atmospheric rock and pop in his various projects. A part of the Rattling Wall Collective in Dutch, a loose-knit group of likeminded musicians, Meluch also collaborated on a multimedia piece for the University of Michigan's 2003 Film and Video Studies Association Lightworks Festival. He played with half a dozen bands in the area, including Esmae, an experimental rock quartet inspired by Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Explosions in the Sky. When Esmae disbanded in 2005, Meluch concentrated on his work as Benoît Pioulard. He began a series of handmade limited-edition CD-R releases, and late that year, the Enge EP was released by Moodgadget. Tracks from the EP also appeared on collections from Astrolab and Ghostly. Kranky released Benoît Pioulard's debut full-length, Précis, a shimmering hybrid of laptop pop and shoegaze, in fall 2006. That winter, he contributed a song to Ghostly Records' digitally released EP New Faces, and early in 2007 the Fir single arrived. While working on his second Benoît Pioulard album, Meluch worked with his friend Praveen Sharma on the song "Death as a Man," providing lyrics and vocals; contributed a track to the Moodgadget compilation Expanse at Low Levels; and continued his series of Polaroid photographs. A digital re-release of the Enge EP arrived in 2008, as well as Songs Spun Simla, a six-song collaboration between Sharma and Meluch; Temper arrived that fall with a more tightly structured sound than previous Pioulard releases.The 7" releases Lee and Flocks followed in 2008 and 2009. For his third Kranky full-length, Lasted, Meluch refined his songcraft even further. 2013's fittingly named Hymnal reflected the inspiration Meluch drew from the religious iconography in the cathedrals he visited while recording in England and mainland Europe. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi
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