Pacôme Genty – Hestia

Release date : 30/08/2024 – First single “Griselda” : 31/05/20024

1 – Griselda (04:53)
2 – Without (04:42)
3 – Talk/Walk (05:20)
4 – Minha Querida (02:46)
5 – Outside (04:43)
6 – Lonely As A Cloud (04:08)
7 – Saint Elmo (04:11)
8 – Modesty (04:03)

+ The River (Bonus track only available with our Bandcamp sales) (04:29)

Credits :
Produced by Pacôme Genty and Nicolas Laureau. Mixed by Nicolas Laureau. Mastered by Fabrice Laureau. With : Alexandre Viudès : drums on #3 & #5. Adrien Soleiman : vocals and piano on #4. Renaud Rozner : electric guitar on #6. Nicolas Laureau : electric guitar on #1, #2, #3 & #5. Arnaud Sèche : flute on #4, #5 & #7. Marc-Antoine Perrio : electric guitar on #8. Arman Méliès : help on #6 & layout. Pacôme Genty : vocals, keys, guitars, clarinet, beatbox. Front painting by Damien Caccia. CD Pacôme picture by Terence Hassen.

Biography :
A tireless firefly of the Indie scene and a gifted jack-of-all-trades, Pacôme Genty already has a great career behind him. Nearly twenty years ago, he distinguished himself in the duo Rrose Tacet, a condensation of psychedelic-folk arabesques and dream pop with limpid guitars, influenced by the DIY-folk of Akron Family and the more electronic experiments of Animal Collective. Pacôme affirmed his taste for songs with psychedelic convolutions and convoluted structures.

Within Erevan Tusk, one of the most acclaimed pop groups of the 2010s, Pacôme fully revealed his panoply as a two-speed songwriter, where his penchant for experimental DIY is nestled in pop songs filled with fiery rock, in the wake of Band of Horses and Arcade Fire. The group’s adventure ended in 2019, leaving two splendid albums and an EP.

After the group split, Pacôme experimented solo and returned to the stage with singer Arman Méliès, a musical tutor who became an advisor and outside ear during the recording of Hestia.

He was my guitar teacher when I was in high school. We became close afterward. He helped me with the composition on the record, notably by simplifying chord sequences.” He also shared a tour with Don Niño, a big brother he met one evening in 2008 when Rrose Tacet opened for NLF3 in Berlin. Both hold this attraction for the secret flaw, a melancholy tinged with indolence. It was from his lair in Gâtinais, where he settled in 2021 during periods of confinement, that Pacôme simmered this album alone, with inflections that are by turns ecstatic, gentle and sunny.

“I asked a visual artist friend to use one of his abstract paintings for the cover. It looks like a vertical sound wave. From there, I dove into Greek Mythology and came across Hestia, the goddess of sacred fire and the hearth. It turns out it overlapped with themes and moods that crossed my life during this period: independence, home, joy, modesty… It is a ‘fictionalized’ transcription of a few years of my life through this feminine divinity. She became the narrator and the main thread of the record.
Extension of a Debut Album which had already made a strong impression in 2021, Hestia reflects its predisposition for a truant pop which prefers to engage with humility on side paths rather than taking the shortest path to get from one point to the other.

Like his improvised music duo Des Édens, inspired by Gustave Flaubert and Mark Hollis, or his experimental project Mascara Snake, (named after Captain Beefheart’s clarinetist), Pacôme Genty spawns here with the atmospheres of Bedroom Pop and the most creative Lo-Fi ambient of the 1980s, where acoustics unashamedly reached out to synthesizers.

The more you strip away, the more likely it is to age well. I recorded a lot from home, and the mixing was done by Nicolas Laureau (Don Niño).” This introspective idiom which he has made his compositional axis is also found in his pictorial practice. “I am very interested in the links between music and the visual arts. I have been painting for four years and it inspires me a lot to write songs.

Of the fifteen titles composed between 2021 and 2023, Pacôme ultimately only retained eight. Eight ballads of intoxicating lightness, sometimes covered with a light veil of electronics, cosmic jazz touches on the transverse flute, a clarinet chant that nonchalantly caresses the ear or a saxophone shrouded in reverb. We can discern in discreet touches the reminiscences of the instrumental experiments of the Made to Measure compilations (Harold Budd, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, etc.).

There are a lot of synthesizers, electric guitar but also flutes, clarinet and twelve-string acoustic guitar. I have always liked this type of contrast, we find them in most of the artists who have inspired me. »

In the house of Pacôme Genty also resonate the solar arpeggios of Caetano Veloso (Without, Minha Querida), Arthur Russell (Outside) or Cass McCombs (Griselda), assumed inspirations which invite themselves to the table without ever becoming cumbersome.

His very particular vibrato softly coats the soul nestled behind his words. The strength of these restrained songs comes from their great sophistication. Emotion is there, but never demonstrative, as if kept at a distance to make it better felt. Pacôme Genty manages to accomplish what is undoubtedly the most complex thing for a musician: to give abstract feelings the texture and consistency of reality. Folk fugues and cyclothymic mood, wood fire and the fires of love, time and mishap: a form of embellishment always finds its way into his songs. There is also no question of giving in to the prevailing fatalism or bending under the burden of a warlike world; empathy and lightness are imperative in order not to let oneself be defeated.

An ode to a joyful asceticism which involves self-sufficiency, Hestia’s odyssey ends with a final weightless instrumental track (Modesty), like the unexpected meeting between Fennesz and Duruttti Column in a final luminous breakthrough which welcomes twilight. Reach the Palace of Wisdom without bringing it back, make the journey that takes you elsewhere while remaining there, separate yourself from yourself to better appreciate the world in your immediate presence. Solitude here seems cultivated rather than suffered, and the album reveals a skin-deep sensitivity that never lapses into pathos. Between walks in the woods, vigil by the fire and the fading heat of summer, this pavilion of dreams invites you to curl up in a cocoon so comforting that you never want to leave it. An entire disc, peaceful, which suggests that Pacôme, after having “searched for years for a place that corresponds to [him]”, has perhaps finally found it. Has Hestia given him her blessing?

Julien Bécourt