Perils (Benoit Pioulard and Kyle Bobby Dunn) was conceived during a transitional phase for both musicians. Thomas Meluch was physically transitioning with a long-distance relocation from the UK to Seattle. Kyle Bobby Dunn had just completed his monolithic Infinite Sadness LP and was subsequently drained of all physical and emotional energy after such an ambitious, career-defining record. With many anxieties and upheavals in their lives, uncertainty stifled the air. It reigned supreme. Sudden, sizeable gaps had to be filled. Music became the only solid thing they could grab a hold of. Their music is not only a thesis on change, but a coping mechanism for those changes. It also guards against a lifetime of disappointment and shattered dreams, not to mention the extremely painful stab-wounds of a bleeding soul currently suffering from a broken heart. Music can heal you.
The music grinds heavily against a heart leaking with longing. A stillborn melody appears on ‘(Dead in the) Creekbed Blues’. The vocal’s sorrowful and lags out of the music. And then we come to the first, heaving drone, seismic in its tidal flow. The anxieties seep into ‘Leveled’ by way of static, its snaking line burying itself into the bedrock of the harmony. A hive of noise billows out of the treated drone. An acoustic guitar plays its brighter chords, hoping to dispel and vanquish the cloudy, troubled thoughts. Calmer, reverb-washed vocals come out of the sunshine-stirring song. The strings are uprooted from the soil, and the physical body from what it has always known. The music comes out of its shell slowly, walking into the weak, shy glow of September light.
The opening of ‘Maps of Sinking’ leaves behind a trail of subtle melancholia, but it soon leaves the ground behind. The sweet lullaby envelops the listener in a dreamy state, but then it unravels and disappears into a fog-filled fugue where anxieties immune to its amnesia seep to the surface. Undulating thinly, the drones tentatively look out at their new surroundings, gently traversing their new terrain as they rise and dip in tune with the road. But the music has a strange lethargy, an off-balance uncertainty and an unwillingness to really reach out and open the door. Unrecognizable voices sing a disconsolate chant as they try to remember who they once were. The wind-swept voice is thin; it’s close to vanishing forever. It’s left a part of itself behind as it travels away from its past. It can now only move forward and accept the uncertainties of a new day.