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Blue Luminaire – Terroir Review

What does Blue Luminaire sound like?

Intimate chamber music to quietly devastate you.

The review of Blue Luminaire – Terroir

Deeply rooted in elegance and emotion, Blue Luminaire’s debut album ‘Terroir’ (Land in French) is the definition of a hidden gem. Recorded like an introverted chamber music secret, each track is a gorgeous unfurling of ideas that avoid all the usual trappings of a ‘chamber pop’ album. Intimate and carefully considered with every note, the album is like passing on a secret from mouth to ear.

Blue Luminaire – photo by Benjamin Tarp

Part of this is down to the cathartic way each instrument leaves space for the other as it plays. Lead single ‘Let Go’ is a stunning mixture of unusual vocal inflexions, harpsichord, strings and breath intakes. It’s like an ASMR experience laced with solemn loss and understanding from the lead vocal. A small focused choir play a large role in the album. Whether it is the bubbling surge swells of ‘Closeness Sighs’ or something more regal and modern classical like ‘Our’, they shape-shift around the album as a mood palette.

The album is full of emotional clarity by conveying emotion without openly expressing it. The way the strings turn into a horror show mid-track in ‘Worlds’ as if the world is falling apart is harrowing. Then once it stops, a large intake of choral breath leads you off into something more sedate but still sinister begins. Breath is a constant here as if the land itself is an entity. There’s also duality too. ‘Learn To Trust’ takes the opening ideas of ‘Let Go’ and then expands on them into a bountiful call and response. You hear the original ‘Let Go’ motifs then pushed back upon with the mantra of trust. Similarly ‘Your Skin Against Mine’ is a taut version of ‘Closeness Sighs’. It’s a unique way to tell stories through reusing and growing previous song structures and it works so well.

The closing two tracks ‘Held’ and ‘Falling’ are both beautiful in their own way. The former is like a state of entropy, led by minimal piano and vocals. ‘Falling’ is a baroque chamber beauty of layered choirs, lilting strings and dancing harpsichord. It feels safe but sad – much like of the album. Bittersweet in a way but with intimate elegance in a way that makes every note strike your core.

‘Terroir’ is a stunning album. Blue Luminaire feels like they have poured all their fears, desires and tentative yearnings into an album that longs for solace. Musically, the exotic chamber setting gives you a melodic comfort blanket to hide in. Lyrically and sonically, each phrase will cause quiet devastation. Put simply, Blue Luminaire has just put out one of my favourite albums of 2022.

Recommended track: Let Go

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Blue Luminaire - Terroir



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