Route de la Poussière
Yann Tiersen may be better known for his endearing movie soundtracks, but Dust Lane is something of a deviation from that path. It manages to meld the sheer creativity of the multi-instrumentalist with a more stark and morbid feel than any of his emotionally charged works.
The album opens with sounds reminiscent of the dial-up internet connections of yesteryear, before the sound transforms into a plethoric incarnation that almost resembles the conventional, if not for its sheer depth. From here, all manner of exploration is embarked upon and the extent of Tiersen’s grasp of the art of composition is displayed unabashedly.
The purpose of the release was to explore themes of mortality, perhaps prompted by the death of Tiersen’s mother and a close friend during the recording process. This generates a melancholic tone to the majority of Dust Lane, the only exception being “Palestine,” a track, which although merely a beat with the word Palestine being spelled over it repeatedly, that sounds like a call-to-arms and generates images of conflict.
Yann Tiersen hasn’t produced anything groundbreaking with the dense layering and orchestral arrangement of Dust Lane, but what he has done is create an album that is a real treat to listen to. From the accordion riffs that stir memories of his work from the film Amélie to instances of complete silence, Tiersen makes towering compositions accessible and entertaining.