L’Eclair – Sauropoda

A gentle psychedelia washing through the new album from L’Eclair. An album consisting of refined jams, and groove cut passages could go two ways. Self-indulgence is one route, enquiry, and experimentation (psychedelia) is the other option. Sauropoda, thankfully, leans in the right direction – and the follow-up to 2018’s Polymood is a pleasing excursion that continues down a path first expressed by the band’s breath through album.

There are five tracks here. Each of them express different textures, but for the main the timbre, tone and color palettes remain pretty fixed. There’s a sense that the band want nothing disquieting about process. Nothing should interrupt the inclination to dance, or at least move. And if we’re not moving, we should pursue these thoughts.

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In production, capturing the refined road-tested tracks, there is a sense of reflection. Nothing is rarified, but a retro-futurism shapes the track sequencing. ‘Endless Dave’, a track of over twelve minutes long, has a Barbarella. And for that, there are echoes of Air, and the Moon Safari epoch of romanticism.

There’s little electronica here, though there are many electronic sounds. The heart of this album is very human. Musicianship, bent guitar notes, live drum kits, and the soft edges around synth programing make for a personable album. The result is a substantial authenticity with its heart set on groove.

Atmospheric albums, such as Sauropoda can often become singular in tone. They can dissolve into the background. The groove does all the work. However, the seven members of L’Eclair never settle into auto-cruise. Textures are offered, and the dynamic range passes through enough undulation, enough drama, that even at their most chill there’s enough challenge to probe and question.

Not for everyone, but for the initiated, E’Clair have delivered a soundtrack to the summer of 2019. Sauropoda is infused with timely grooves, and it gives great color. Oh, and the swirling synth sounds are perfect for when the good stuff kicks in.


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