• courtesy of Kranky Records
  • Benoit Pioulard

The recently released Hymnal (Kranky) is the fourth album Oregonian Thomas Meluch has released under the alias Benoit Pioulard, and while I’m sure that I’ve listened briefly to some of its predecessors they apparently didn’t stick with me. But this new one has insistently triggered my pleasure centers if not exactly lodged itself into my memory, registering its lovely mix of murky ambience and subterranean pop craft that channels Nick Drake via Elliott Smith. Benoit Pioulard returns to Chicago for a show Wednesday night at the Empty Bottle.