27 Apr 2021 - Pat O'
Neo-classical/Ambient | Wild Bless you! Records | Release date: 09 Apr 2021
Notre Dame De La Colline has released his first solo project entitled Poèmes fous pour herbes fraîches. He’s an incredibly interesting individual and has a vision thats clear and well thought out. His music is modest, heartfelt and personal. Let me try set the scene for you.
This review is unique in that it tells the story of an artist, Florian, who took a giant leap of faith, wearing his heart on his sleeve in releasing his first solo project. This album is as honest and heartwarming as it is emotive and personal. However, there is also a sub plot here which tells an intriguing story of a gathering of various artists and performers who came together for the love of music, and shared a unique bond with each other. That collective became known as Founding our own Glorious Chapels, and it has become a musicals family that is as tight as it is talented.
This name Founding our own Glorious Chapels just claims that we all are free to create our own beliefs, our own legends, our own stories and dreams, in a caring way to each other.
But back to the main storyline here. Florian is the founder of the French post rock band Anathéme who began creating music back in 2003. Notre Dame De La Colline is his first solo project, with an album entitled Poèmes fous pour herbes fraîches. It is an honest and sincere collection of songs that have been laid bare for all to listen to and absorb without judgement. Its a collection of eight songs that are neo classically inspired, with soft, warm ambient moments. Its filled with hope, happiness and positivity. I think it’s fair to say that this album isn’t perfect, but it’s also fair to say that it has something that captivates and sits well with the soul.
The album opens up with Les Riviéres du Cerf. Soft soothing trumpets with calm guitars create moments reminiscent of Mono’s opening track on the album Nowhere Here Now. It’s unassuming in its delivery, in that it slowly approaches and nestles itself quietly within your headspace. Chronique des faits Anciens follows seamlessly with more simple, yet warming brass and strings, but introduces a little escape with some reverbed guitar notes that echo and weave their way through subtle strings and brass. An almost melancholic but beautiful moment comes when a solo trumpet gently blows, and is shortly dueted with another, creating a gorgeous heartfelt aura. Its my favourite track on the album, simplistic in arrangement, but still able to instill and inspire.
It should be worth mentioning at this stage that Florian plays all the instruments on this album even though he never claims to be an expert on any of them. It’s all self taught and it relies on emotion and feeling for direction. That method does however, on occasion, limit the possibilities, but rest assured the honesty and personality behind his sound means so much more, and doesn’t hinder the experience.
Tracks like Sous les Ailes du Serpent are a little more uplifting and show more confidence and composure. There’s more intensity and freedom in the delivery, and that theme continues through the next couple of tracks too. The closing piece, Le Livre des Hymns sums up the album perfectly. Graceful melodies, more beautiful trumpets and the addition of what sounds like childs laughter, radiates from within and creates a sense of positivity and hope.
To further thicken the plot, some of you may remember The Chapel of Exquises Ardents Pears, who played at Dunk Festival in Belgium in 2017 on the now defunct second stage of three. I remember it well, incredibly well in fact. It was a coming together of Anathéme and an English band Stems, and it was a special show. Well, that was just another branch of the tree that is Founding our own Glorious Chapels. It’s literally a giant oak of artistry and creativity thats is still growing slowly, but with so much purpose and might.
So I think thats the sub plots taken care of, now onto the final chapter, the epilogue!. Notre Dame De La Colline and the album Poèmes fous pour herbes fraîches needs care and attention to be fully appreciated. Its endearing if given time. Its warm, honest, sincere and earnest. Florian will acknowledge himself, It’s not overly polished, but not everything has to be, to be appreciated and understood. Interesting times ahead at the Chapel.