Saycet: Through the Window
From the off, the second album by Saycet doesn’t shout Frenchness. The first thing that springs to mind is Iceland’s Múm, shorn of their wonky Salvation Army band tendencies. A title like ‘Daddy Walks Under the Snow’ reinforces the impression that Saycet are nodding vigorously towards Nordic territories.
Curiosity piqued, a look at the Saycet website finds mainman Pierre Lefeuvre proclaiming his inspirations as Boards Of Canada and, yes, Múm. This being reportage, the aural impression really was followed by the internet search.
Saycet first got some attention in early 2007 with debut album ‘One Day At Home’. Joining Paris-based Lefeuvre are vocalist and co-songwriter Phoene Somsavath and video artist Zita Cochet (a core member of the project). Gentle piano arpeggios bring opening cut ‘15’ into the fold, bedding glitchey electro percussion, what sounds like a theremin and some glockenspiel. A lovely instrumental, it’s lacy and tonally reverent. Somsavath bows in on ‘Easy’. Her style is defeated, distant, intimate – glacial. The arrangement builds ever forwards to a crescendo that ceases, giving way to reflection and quiet glockenspiel tinkles. ‘Through the Window’ wends through 12 songs cut from this cloth. The emotive ‘Opal’ fills the void left by Sigur Rós after they decided to normalise for 2008’s ‘MeðSuð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust’. ‘Fireflies’ is particularly affecting.
‘Through the Window’ is accomplished, assured and swathed in a seductive dream-like fug. It’s pretty too. But Lefeuvre and Somsavath need to find their own voice.
© Kieron Tyler