Nothing takes the sting out of a summer heatwave like a blast of cool, detached electro-pop, and right now, no one is making better electro-pop than Peter Peter. With Noir Éden, the Montreal-based producer and musician synthesizes an improved version of the dark and icy mood music of his 2012 album, Une version améliorée de la tristesse. Though thematically sombre and introspective, the music of Noir Éden is muscular and bold, unafraid to let the rhythm move you as much as the melody and mood. For those of us that grew up with Some Great Reward, sad songs with a good beat that you can dance to are not anything new, but Peter Peter avoids the pretentious trappings and musical accidents of the Me Decade. His synth-based compositions are mini-symphonies; instead of building songs around a hook or riff, Peter Peter’s infectious melodies grow naturally from their musical surroundings.
Opener “Bien réel” is an ode to that musical discovery, about finding oneself in unfamiliar territory–where music and silence reign–and instinctively knowing you’re in the place (mentally and musically) you’re meant to be. The song sets the tone for the eleven tracks that follow: poetic rumination, sharp songwriting, and indomitable tunes. Peter Peter allegedly wrote “Loving Game” for Celine Dion, but after hearing his recorded version, there’s no chance in hell that even she could lay claim to the track; it is undeniably a Peter Peter tune.
Electro-pop isn’t a genre that often spawns great full-length albums, but Noir Éden is a varied and vivid garden of musical delights.