I found much to admire in Francois Marry's 2012 album 'E Volo Love'. He has returned to his homeland to record his new project 'Piano Ombre', a collection of ten compositions which, with support from producer Ash Workman, prove that he is continuing to mature into an artist of considerable musical stature.
His style is unashamedly romantic; his voice a tremulous instrument, fragile but affecting. The greater part of the set is sung in French but this need not deter us; the melodies are strong and the arrangements richly varied.
Opening track 'Bois' is a standout number, building from a hypnotic, pulsing opening sequence into a powerfully dense anthem with an emphatic bass line and brooding brass. 'La Verite' is a more upbeat affair whose bouncing beats, chattering keys and bright and breezy backing vocals put me in mind of Tom Tom Club. 'La Fille Aux Cheveux De Soie' is a lovely piano-led ballad, a tad melancholy and old fashioned in the nicest possible way. Likewise the title track 'Piano Ombre' with its haunting harmonies, a beautiful invention and perhaps Monsieur Marry's finest moment.
A delectable offering which becomes curiously addictive with repeated encounters.