Uncle Pierre Laplace and niece Léonie Gabriel, truly have it all.
THE SANDMAN’S ORCHESTRA is a duo made up of Pierre Laplace, a singer/songwriter from Lille, France, and his young niece, Léonie Gabriel. The story of the duo started in May 2010 when, after a family lunch, 15-year-old Léonie picked up a guitar and started singing a few covers. Everybody was astounded by the beauty of her voice, and her uncle Pierre Laplace immediately proposed that they work on some songs together. The duo released their 1st album «Silver Linings » in June 2011. They followed it with « Nocturne » in March 2013. The new album « Crying For The Moon » was released on November 14th 2014.
I don’t care what kind of music you usually prefer – if you appreciate good music, this duo will impress you. The talent and thoughtfulness of the writing, the passion and technique of the performances and the chemistry between uncle and niece are all nothing short of amazing. At a time when even the most innovative musicians add layer upon layer onto their recordings, there’s a good reason the production of the album is so simple, maybe even sparse: the music is so good; it stands on its own.
There really is not much more that can be said about this duo that has not been said, already. The vocals and minimal presentation are incredible. The acoustic guitar is haunting and complements the voices perfectly. Most of the songs sound simple, mostly guitar and vocals; however, a quick glance at the credits, each song is built with many more instruments all used subtly to not obscure their lovely voices.
The album starts off with a really beautiful track “If This Is Our Swan Song”, and as you go along you discover that all the melodies and harmonies are pure and haunting. Each song is a finely crafted story delivered with stunning emotion and clarity. This is most evident on stunners like: “The Rememberer”, “Crying For The Moon”, “1949”, “The Silent Kind” and “Man In The Shade”. And if you’re thinking that THE SANDMAN’S ORCHESTRA only know how to deliver melancholy, downtempo tunes, check out the acoustic grind of “Black River Moon” – in the best tradition of Fleetwood Mac!
I first heard these two on their “Nocturne” album. I have heard a lot of good indie-folk music, but was not prepared for the quality of these two; passion, confidence, chemistry and musicality. They truly have it all. A simple look at Pierre Laplace’s album credits say it all; Vocals, Guitar, Banjo, Piano, Wurlitzer, Keyboards, Melodica, Kalimba, Theremin, Percussion and Beats. Besides the outstanding vocals of Léonie Gabriel, the album also has guest features by Nicolas Fahy (Cello) and JB Hoste (Drums).
Since streaming “Crying For The Moon”, by THE SANDMAN’S ORCHESTRA, I’ve been hooked. And while I knew this album would be something beautiful, I never expected that it would be as thoroughly beautiful and captivating as this. The way their voices weave in and out with each other, the haunting melancholy mood and the perfectly simple instrumentation, totally showcases how much they have grown artistically since their last album. No auto tune, no filler, THE SANDMAN’S ORCHESTRA gives you music the way you’re supposed to hear it!
Pierre was the singer in cult French band Vera Clouzot, who from 1994 to 2004 released 4 albums, played numerous concerts including support slots with Jeff Buckley and Smog, and appeared on the American Music Club tribute album « Come On Beautiful » alongside Lambchop, Calexico and Matt Ward. Before finding out that his niece had a voice beyond her years, Pierre had been setting up a home-studio and learning a number of new instruments. The timing was right to start a new musical journey.
Since they started working together the duo have developed a warm, atmospheric folk sound. The combination of male and female vocals and the blend of acoustic instruments (guitar, banjo, wurlitzer, piano, cello, drums) define the duo’s sound. The Sandman’s Orchestra’s influences range from Kate Bush, Nick Drake, Mark Kozelek, Beth Gibbons, to Cat Power, Bill Callahan and Mark Eitzel.
OFFICIAL LINKS :
Artist Website : http://thesandmansorchestra.com
Bandcamp : http://thesandmansorchestra.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud : http://soundcloud.com/thesandmansorchestra
Facebook : http://on.fb.me/kR9KvB
Twitter : http://twitter.com/thesandmansorch