Genteel, springlike sounds emanate once more from Paris. Those who live there or have visited will know a joy in this that non-residents or travelers can only imagine, but one senses that there’s a texture to it all that bakes into the human experience when winter finally lifts and trees blossom, warm breezes blow. After being stuck at home for two years, once the weather picks up and the world hopes to shift back in gear without millions of deaths, one’s imagination begins to run.
Parisian duo Zusammen Clark have codified this sound of openness and warmth using known goalposts of sound – the subtle drag of these sturdy, easygoing songs, a direct path from Jean-Charles Delarue’s previous outing in Bruit Direct outfit City Band; the descent of chord structures, a deep voice going high and staying louche. Maybe a bit of Felt’s cherry red pastoral, shades of that time in speculative fiction where Pavement signed to Postcard (remember? it was the same year that Dandelion and Les Temps Heureux got out of bed and toured coffeehouses together), the Go-Betweens just before the wheels fell off, or NYC underdogs Plates of Cake. Horns swoop in at the right moments and don’t linger. Hooks lock in and down, lead guitar casually doubles itself. Hair gets done, stubble let fashionably go.
Along with bandmate and cousin Jerome Lemee, Delarue constructs a frame, pencils in the outline and begins decorating these songs with all the right touches and a confidence that knows where to place them, not just the value of the objects. This is a world of sound where everything has a story and a place, every room can provide a closet mix. It’s a world that opens into a larger world, a human world, maybe a world these two knew from childhood, maybe one they’ve built for themselves. Earlier is too well-assembled to not have a foundation in profoundly comfortable moments in life, and the knowledge of how to get there, even if one knows they can never stay. It’s a catalogue of delight, impossible to oversell. – Doug Mosurock