Vehlinggo’s favorite London-based, French synthpop artist Rémi Parson has returned with a single called “La Surprise,” which is backed with “Du Pétrole.”
On this new release, which follows last year’s exquisite and darkly complex Montauban EP, Parson makes sure to retain two elements of his formula that make his songs truly work: his parlé-chanté vocals and a foundational minimalism centered on minimal beats and simple synth, jangly guitar song structures.
However, as with last year’s EP, Parson has seen fit to progressively add more layers to his arrangements with each release. Compared to his masterpiece LP, Précipitations, the “La Surprise” duo of songs is borderline Wall of Sound.
“La Surprise” opens with an isolated synth contemplation that’s soon joined by a cascade of synths, airy guitars, and a simple but pronounced backbeat. As the song progresses, more guitars and distorted drums fuzz their way into the mix, joined by a synth choir that when combined with everything else all serve to make the song sound larger than its spirit really is. And then, just as the arrangement grows, it recedes to washed out noise and a lonely, spacey guitar that mourns in tremolo.
“Du Pétrole” is a contrast to “La Surprise.” Whereas the cavalcade of instruments and voices slowly builds to a populated peak only to be brought back down to an isolated valley, this cut starts out and maintains a danceable backbeat that steadily supports sharp-edged arpeggiations, fuzzy pads, noodly and jangly guitars, and Parson’s reassuring musings. His New Order influence shows less on “Du Pétrole,” which often sounds like Jacknife Lee’s work on Bloc Party’s underrated 2006 album, A Weekend in the City.
Overall, I’m really quite pleased Parson has released new music. Now, if only we’d get another full-length album soon.
La Surprise, released by ISOLAA Records, is available in all of the usual digital stores.