I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it – Pierre Lecarpentier makes weird music. And I say that as the best of compliments. After all, music that is wilfully and wonderfully weird will always be better than music that feels like you have heard it all before, which is routine and derivative.

On Portrait of a Shade, Lecarpentier tap into some sort of 60’s drug-fuelled vibe, a dark design built of squalling guitar solos and whispered vocals, chiming glockenspiels and strummed acoustics.

It’s gorgeous, in a warped and otherworldly way, a soundtrack forged equally out of decadence and delicacy, hedonistic thoughts and muted melodics, droning classical undercurrents and rock crescendos.

And as much as it feels like the sound of the past, in the cyclical nature of music, it just as easily feels like the sound of the future too. Not so much a nostalgic trip but more a torch lighting the way to just one possible musical future.

Portrait of a Shade is lots of things. One thing it isn’t is unimaginative. Or overly-familiar. Or faddish. Or avoidable….etc. etc. etc.

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