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Only a handful of artists can match the ability shown throughout Melomane's Solresol to bring tired images back to life, not exactly by pepping them up, but rather by exposing shadows within them that have never quite been noticed before. Smoking as a gesture of glamorous dissipation, for example, goes back to the 19th century, if not to whatever new-world-weary poseurs there were awaiting Columbus, but to turn that image into a metaphor for relationship in "The Spirit of Smoke" takes a deft hand -- as does the even bolder equation of musical scales with romantic entanglement on "Complicated Melody." And even though alt-pop writers have long clogged the road to irony, few have shown the moxie to deliver lines like "it's a revelation of massive scope," especially with the deadpan ennui shown in "Sol Re Sol." Augmented by yard-sale instrumentation -- a single fiddle, a lonesome trombone -- and sung either by Peirre de Gaillande alone or in dolorous duo with Daria Klotz, these tracks combine garage accessibility and boho poetry with an ingenuity that will win over intelligent listeners and show musicians just how far a band can travel when nested between self-imposed limitations.

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