Sylvain Chauveau has teamed up with members of Astrid to form Butterfly In The Snowfall, and here's the self-titled fruit of their labours. Using a diverse range of instruments (there's violin, kalimba, juno, harmonium, rhodes, bowed and unbowed guitars, clarinet, bass clarinet and metallophone between them) they create an earthily poetic tapestry of drone-based psychedelic folk with a mystical, hypnotic stillness to it, led by Chauveau's clear, wistful vocals.
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8/10 Mike Staff review, 13 August 2014
Dreamy supergroup time. Butterfly in the Snowfall sees Sylvain Chauveau joining forces with Vanina, Cyril and Guillaume from astrid for a delicate, earthy collection of floaty drone-pop. There's an extraordinary variety of instrumentation here, with Chauveau singing and playing harmonium and rhodes while the astrid lot cover violin, kalimba, juno, guitars & bowed guitars, rhodes, clarinet, bass clarinet and metallophone.
Chauveau's voice sits on the top with a composed clarity that reminds me a little of Scott Walker but there's an almost ambient lightness here that you don't find so much on Walker's brow-beatingly serious offerings. I like how his delivery is kind of cold and deadpan, though, letting the music do the emotional talking. The wheezing layered drones of 'End of Silence' with their subtly melodic violin and clarinet interjections create an intoxicating atmosphere.
The title track which follows drops us into far more intimate territory with a lone hi-gain electric guitar ringing out mournfully into silence, eventually building into a wheezing harmonium-and-violin drone and crunchy guitar meanderings. It is, as you might expect, a beautiful and thoughtful listen, all sensitively layered textures and tasteful use of negative space. Late night whiskey sippin' wistfulness.
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