Rennes, since the 80s, has been fertile ground for the establishment of a keen post-punk and new wave scene, just think of groups such as the iconic Marquis de Sade, influenced by Television and the New York’s crop of prime movers, Marc Seberg and Octobre, both born after the dissolution of the former, Les Nus, Frakture, and more intrinsically French pop phenomena such as Etienne Daho and Niagara, not to mention the famous festival Trans Musicales seit 1979.
Actually based in the Breton capital, Denner was curiously born in New York, in the first decade of the 2000s, from the ex-pat Gilles Le Guen, at the time mainly characterized by a noisey shoegaze sound, that, due to the return to his homeland and the consequent addition of French musicians, has progressively evolved, over three albums, between 2010 and 2018, in a blend, clearly inspired by the British new wave of the 80s, increasingly modern and synthetic, that deftly embodies the cold and sinister aesthetic of coldwave with the vibrant urgency of post-punk, in the wake of memorable bands such as Lowlife, And Also The Trees, Asylum Party, Sad Lovers And Giants, The Sound, Modern English, without taking into account the usual icons.
The trio, made up of Marc Corlett (bass, synth, drum machine, guitar), François Houplain (synth) and Gilles Le Guen (vocal), has just released the new 4-track EP “Demi Monde”, via the independent label Meidosem Records, equally divided into English and mother-tongue language, the second of a series inaugurated last December with “Dreamless Tribulations”.
Blurring the lines between nostalgia and modern freshness, Denner ably crafts melodic, enthralling, equally somberly refined and emotionally engaging, misty soundscapes, darkened by vibrating dismal bass pulsations and hypnotic steady drum machines, whilst enlivened by a poignant web of shimmering 6-string arpeggios, over a voice full of pathos, dropping turbulent romantic introspection and seething outbursts of sorrow and sadness.
The esoteric lyrics of « A Stab of Loneliness », excerpted from Haruki Murakami‘s 1997 novel “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”, reflect on the sharp sentient pain felt by being disconnected from others and the psychological escapism that takes hold.
A ceaselessly glum, meandering bassline, punctuated by an implacable minimal rhythmic pattern, to warble desolately, washed by dramatic glaring streams of organic synths, on which an aching emotional guitar weaves sparkling and poignant reverb-strewn streaks, that wander, pierce and irradiate with ethereal suffering the oppressive murky fog around the tormented inner world of haunted, agonized male vocal’s emotional outpouring of cutting sorrow, falling intrinsically into the path of “A violent stab of loneliness.”
Keep up with Denner: