The French composer reflects on his most defining year as a recording artist.
While the hardships of the pandemic welcomed many challenges for aspiring musicians, it rather served as a blessing in disguise for talented French composer, Pierre Lecarpentier. What started out as a mere pipedream back in 2020, Lecarpentier’s musical career has since taken impressive strides, with his nuanced composition and distinct soundscape building on the carefree nature of his earlier work. Initially considered a pastime, the musician’s gutsy experimentation and consistent growth has seen his career now begin to flourish, with the release of several emphatic singles seeing this upwards trajectory carry on over into 2022.
Developing a signature sound established upon modest structuring and rich production, the French composer now finds himself delivering consistent output inspired by the freedom and escapism of modern psychedelia. Employing a wide scope of instrumentation, Lecarpentier’s music prompts a notable level of intrigue, whose several shades of mystique add an absorbing dynamic to his work. Aware of his artistic limitations, the musician refrains from displaying his own vocals throughout his work, a factor which only accentuates the aura surrounding his music. Combining these approaches to forge a style described as “folk on steroids and pop from outer space”, Lecarpentier has laid the foundations for what is sure to be a long and fruitful musical career.
I recently had the pleasure of catching up with the French musician, reflecting on his journey to date, as well as addressing the important strides taken throughout the entirety of 2022. Here’s what he had to say:
– First off, welcome to Cultural Reset – it’s a pleasure to have you featured! We hope you’re well.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this! I really like your blog, so this is a real pleasure!
– You’ve released a wealth of new music throughout the year, with singles such as ‘Somewhere Nowhere’ and ‘Life, Hopes & Despair of the Little Rainmaker’ showcasing the very best of your dynamic approach to music. Would it be fair to assume 2022 has been one of your biggest years in terms of experimentation and artistic development?
Oh yeah clearly, I started this «solo» project in 2020 but I didn’t really know where I was going musically speaking back then. The first singles I released were way rawer and more basic because that was just something I was doing to pass the time during one of the lockdowns here in France but as it turns out, I received a bunch of really positive comments on what I was doing, and I ended up taking it more seriously. From that point, I quickly found my own sound, which is still based on really simple structures but it’s richer in terms of arrangements compared to my older songs. The change came with my song Mr. Fantasy. I was really into this band called Air and I was also listening to a lot of psych rock / shoegaze bands at the time and I wanted to write something that mixes all my current musical influences so I used a bunch of synthesizers with weird sounds and noises, some piano, I also used Indian percussions and I blended that with a classic rock sound, so yeah, I’m now flirting with progressive and psychedelic rock and I’m happy with what I do now!
– Having had the pleasure of reviewing your ‘Life, Hopes & Despair of the Little Rainmaker’ EP, I found myself immediately drawn to the mystifying ambience surrounding both songs, both of which feature some otherworldly production. Aside from renowned musical artists, what other aspects of life inspire this ethereal style of music ?
I really like all things psychedelic and ethereal. Whether it’s cinema, literature, or art in general. I think I’m what you may call a dreamer, I tend to get lost in my thoughts most of the time and I really like the idea of getting lost in an atmosphere. That’s why I love psychedelic rock and ethereal music so much, this really is a genre that allows you to take a trip to the moon and back just by closing your eyes and letting the notes and melodies find their way into your brain until they reach your mind to take you on a wonderful journey.
– You appear to have struck up an impressive bond with several artists, in particular Onderdeinduk and Vincent Paraboschi. How did these working relationships come about, and what do you enjoy most about collaborating with fellow artists?
The thing is, I can’t really sing, I’m not comfortable in that role, I prefer to let someone really good at it doing the job, and I happen to have very talented friends.
I’ve known Vincent for years, actually I was the drummer in his band Widdershins a few years ago and we became really good friends ever since. What I love about Vincent is that he has this incredible voice, he can sing really powerful stuff as well as sweet lullabies and he just nails it every time. He’s also really easy to work with, really professional and committed to what he does, and once again, the guy really can sing! You can check his band Widdershins, they are awesome!
Onderdeindruk is the alias of my Dutch friend Suze Geuke and I love working with her because she has this sweet and peaceful voice, which is perfect for more ethereal tunes and not to mention she’s an amazing human being! We are currently working on a few songs together, we’ll release all this in 2023.
– While your sound can certainly be described as ‘psychedelic’, you also integrate elements of folk and shoegaze into your work. Does this fusion of genres come naturally to you, or is it something you have had to refine over the years?
I really like the idea of making a blend of all the things I like to listen so I would say this is natural because that’s not something I think of or plan before writing a song. I just play whatever feels right to me.
– The past year also saw the release of the 8-minute epic ‘Dancer in the Dark’, a transitional piece which builds to an emphatic crescendo. What is the writing process for tracks like this, and how do you decide when the track feels complete?
I wanted this song to have a really ethereal vibe with repetitive guitars and melody, like a mantra but I didn’t think that was going to be an 8 minutes song! Turns out I had a lot of things to say in the lyrics and I really articulated the music around those crescendo-built lyrics.
As for knowing when it’s complete, that’s a great question! I just stop when it feels right, you know, when I can listen the whole thing without feeling the need to add anything else. In the end, that’s a question of perception and feeling of what music should sound like, I think. Everybody has its own so it’s different for every artist, and most of the time I have a precise idea of what I want the song to sound like and what instruments I’ll use before I start recording it.
– Finally, given the scope of singles you have released throughout the year, can we expect a larger body of work coming in 2023? Maybe an album?
Totally! I’m currently working on 8 different songs at the time and I’m planning to release two EP’s in 2023. As for the album, I don’t know yet. I’m not sure I want to do an album yet, I think the EP and single format work better when you don’t have a real fanbase yet but who knows? Maybe I’ll turn my two EP’s in an album instead. I have to think about that but yeah, I have a lot of songs to release in 2023, so stay tuned!