Angèle David-Guillou – Kourouma

Angèle David-Guillou - Kourouma

Angèle David-Guillou – Kourouma

Having come out from underneath the shadow of Piano Magic with 2010’s kaleidoscopic dream-pop suite Serenades & Serinettes – her second LP as Klima – Angèle David-Guillou returns here on another solo trip.  Working under her own name this time around, having chosen to keep Klima as a vocal-led and collaborator-birthed project, this new detour is David-Guillou’s most intimate and self-contained record to date.  Not that this means nakedly personal song-based material; quite the contrary in fact.  Instead, David-Guillou unpeels a 12-part collection of mainly voice-free compositions that lean on her classically-trained upbringing and French heritage more than ever before.

Those who have entered David-Guillou’s world previously may struggle initially to cross-reference the non-rock settings captured within Kourouma but ultimately it matters little when the results are so affectingly cohesive.  Although the dozen gathered tracks are built largely around David-Guillou’s piano and Wurlitzer skills, instead of her distinctively beatific tones, the album has such a flowing poise that the shift shouldn’t be too much of a stumbling block for open-minded fans, especially those that enjoyed the more baroque sections of Serenades & Serinettes.

With a handful of guests supplying strings, percussion and musical saw to discreetly frame David-Guillou’s core playing, Kourouma covers a lot of ground whilst remaining largely rooted in the same main territory.  Hence, the sumptuous “Anti Atlas” and “Hesperides” gracefully pick up the baton from Yann Tiersen’s Amelie and Good Bye Lenin! scores; “L’Enfer C’est Les Autres” makes affectionate nods to the work of Erik Satie; “And The Grass Was Singing” unfurls as an uplifting chamber music piece; and “Kuril” brings Moondog-like percussion into the mix.  Where vocals do appear, on the likes of the “Our Garden” and the title-track, they follow the musical passages rather than dictate to them.

Inevitably, Kourouma may still require a leap of faith for some of Angèle David-Guillou’s inherited followers but they will be granted rewards after repeated whole-sitting listens.  For baggage-free newcomers it should make for a beguiling, if lateral, introduction.

Village Green