If there’s a record you need to help embellish your summer months to, Vezelay‘s beautiful 6 track Lyre EP is the perfect immersive attribute. Vezelay is the pseudonym of French dream-pop artist Matthieu Le Berre. He’s been floating about on YouTube for a while, he’s now 30 years old and has finally landed on his feet with a debut release on Mike Paradinas’s highly regarded imprint Planet Mu.
Despite its short playtime of around 15 minutes in total, the Lyre EP is full of deep lo-fi soundscapes and beautifully stripped down pop structures with dreamlike qualities in them, his own voice is also intricately interwoven throughout. I’ve had this on repeat since I received the promo, it’s simple whenever the sun shines I play it and the more I listen to it the more I fall in love with its austere depth and complexity.
‘Sedative’ opens with a simple kick drum, a hypnotic synth slides into the open expanse created by the kick drum allowing Le Berre’s delicate vocals to glide in effortlessly. The synth intensifies the more you listen to it, reverberating in and out of your ears, burying and exposing the beat making it every bit more magical before it gently fades away.
‘Demure’ follows with another soft bass drum and hypnotic synths. Vocals are hidden deeper within this track buried beneath layers of guitars, keys and bass. ‘Archetype’ introduces a shuffling hip-hop drum beat and woozy chord reminiscent of Boards of Canada. The drums pick up momentum as distortion is added to the synths and the vocals are chopped and edited into a loop.
‘Lyre’ is for the dreamers and self reflectors out there. Its dynamic half looping beat, hazy strings and whispered vocals adds a mystical element to the song, whilst string crescendos act as dramatic additives. ‘Homeboy’ is upbeat, again with the same ingredients we experienced in the latter, whispered vocals and rich synth melodies, but in this case a giant bass line ties the whole track together. ‘Chord’ closes the record with a short desolate melody of languid guitar strums and drums whilst vocals gently ripple off.
Of course let’s not ignore the elephant in the room, why is this being released on Planet Mu? Vezelay’s rich melodies are not what Planet Mu are renowned for, with recent upbeat releases from Machinedrum, Kuedo and Boxcutter what’s the logic for Planet Mu to branch out into the deep synthpop territories? I don’t know the answer to this question, but I am sure we will hear a lot more from Vezelay in the future. This record is stunning, I cannot stress enough how good the ‘Lyre EP’ is, so go to your local record shop, grab a vinyl copy, sit back and let the dreaming begin.