CD Reviews

LUC TRAHAND: In Coherence

In Coherence is the debut album by Luc Trahand. He is a local multi-instrumental singer/songwriter, a young musician who made this a true solo project by writing the ten originals, playing all instruments (programming the drums and strings) and doing the recording and producing—as well as artwork—all at home. Trahand’s music is pop that draws on prog sources, and the instruments added to his vocals and multiple guitars are bass, harmonica, sax, tambourine, and darbuka drum. The music isn’t flawless, but the sound is miles from sounding like a DIY project.

The songs are a mixed bag, and Trahand demonstrates considerable guitar prowess as well as occasional sax riffing that is ear-catching. While his vocals are sometimes partially buried in the busy mix, his lyrics often draw interest. The set begins with “Four Walls,” which kicks off with some nice tight vocal harmonies that don’t appear much on the remainder of this tunes, then build up into a louder and heavier flow with sharp guitar figures and bass crunching, while his lyrics are about going crazy, cooped up inside (recorded during the pandemic quarantine that elicits this reaction from many). “Nonfiction Tears” follows, a softer approach introduced by finger-picked guitar, then pumped for more impact on the choruses. “I stare at the sun/ Become undone/ I see you now, you showed me truth/ Showed me you.” The song has a brief harp break that seems out of place atop the slide guitar-driven crescendos, then acoustic, then electric guitar soloing that are both impressive.

Trahand has released “Sirens” as a single, a keyboard-based ballad that jumps in and out of speeded-up choruses propelled by multiple backing voices (nicely arranged). His falsetto singing about the sirens calling meshes well with the grand-piano effects. “I wish I believed in paradise/ I wish I could say goodbye” are part of the message in “When Your Soul Cries,” an angst-ridden mid-tempo piece that includes an overdriven guitar bridge coda that carries the tune to nearly six minutes. “Telescope Mind” has layered acoustic guitars giving it bottom, with more falsetto singing and electric guitar decoration, as Trahand seems to have found a comfortable musical template in mid-tempo, heavily produced ballads.

“Dying Star” is another existential catharsis, as Trahand sings, “Oh, I want to be taken away/ From the light and the dark and all that we are/ And then I’ll see the face of what’s left when the world has been torn apart.” The piano gives it an anthemic feel, and nice fills by sax, then electric guitar help give the tune increased scale. The set closes out with “Le Cri Humain” and Trahand, who has spent considerable time in France, sings this tale of the human cry in French, with harmonies and nylon string acoustic guitar prominent in the instrumentation. The song plays out with a slight shift in tempo and interplay between the guitar and keyboard strings in an interesting arrangement.

In Coherence is a solid debut effort and an impressive display of musicianship and technical ability by Luc Trahand.

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