Silencio: The Politics of Lonely
Three:four Records

Though Silencio on The Politics of Lonely is credited as consisting of Julien Demoulin and Bernold Delgoda, it's Demoulin who's the primary driving force. It was he, after all, who founded the group project in the early 2000s and who composed or co-composed all eight of the album tracks, whereas Delgoda had a hand in co-composing five of them. Instrumentally speaking, the latter's presence is key to the album, however, as his drumming appears on almost all of the tracks. He also contributes synth, electronics, and bass as complements to Demoulin's own guitar, ebow, and electronics, while Nicolas Lecocq (keyboards, synths) and Lénina Epstein (bass) appear as guests.

Listeners familiar with Silencio's 2012 release When I'm Gone might detect certain parallels between it and the new release, as both were recorded over a multi-year period—from 2006 to 2012 in the latest album's case—and share a similar structure with respect to track sequencing. But The Politics of Lonely is described by Demoulin himself as Silencio's “rock album,” which might lead some to imagine it as the group's attempt to re-cast itself as some variant of Nine Inch Nails or The Killers. What “rock” means in this case, however, is simply that rhythm and melody play a greater part in the album's overall sound, a move that, not surprisingly, presents The Politics of Lonely as the group's most immediately accessible recording to date. A better characterization of the album's sound might pitch it as Silencio bringing its post-rock side to the fore whilst still retaining its identity as a ambient-electronic outfit heavy on textural sound design.

It's not a mopefest either, as the harmonious uplift of the brief “Intro” establishes right away with a becalmed and radiant spirit that “The City” perpetuates in its blend of twanging guitar figures, hazy keyboard textures, and loose drum swing. Tempos are typically slow, which bolsters the music's lulling and dreamlike qualities, and the musicians achieve an authentic group sound that in a representative piece like “Bridges” has Silencio sounding not unlike a vocal-less Pink Floyd in its Wish You Were Here period. That comparison begins to seem even more apt when the album's centerpiece “Someone Else's Dream” arrives with fourteen sleepy minutes of slow-motion drumming and guitar- and synth-fueled entrancement in tow. The The Politics of Lonely's loveliest moment, however, occurs at album's end when the luscious reverie “Stars” serenades the listener for three transporting minutes. Adding to the album's appeal is the fact that it weighs in at a to-the-point thirty-seven minutes, which makes for an ideal twelve-inch split and helps ensure that the group doesn't overstay its welcome.

December 2013