By Camila Craig
Julien Marchal is a pianist and composer from Bordeaux who released Insight III, his third studio album, on June 2nd. Recorded, mixed, and designed by the artist himself, the intimacy of his work is evident and enthralling.
Insight III starts with the song “Insight XXIV,” which introduces the listener to a world of quietude and auditive hypersensitivity. Each second is important, thus this piece contains all the hints of what will come later in the album. Delicate and smooth, natural in its progression. That’s how the artist starts the record, aiming to surprise and catch the spectator’s attention from beginning to end.
The following track, one of the most popular songs from Insight III, is called “Insight XXV.” This song builds up suspense, slowly, almost as a premonition. You can feel a wave coming at you, or picture a car accident in slow motion. It keeps building up, faster, to then fall abruptly into peace and nothingness.
By the middle of the album, the music is more calm and soothing. “Insight XXIX,” the sixth track, is calm like the sound of the ocean after a storm. Structurally, it is incredibly well put together. It is vibrant within its calmness, which provides a sense of balance and stability.
In contrast, the final track has an insanely good crescendo. The song is generally more upbeat. It transmits a sense of hopefulness, it is an end full of promises. It has the power to evoke memories of tranquility. It takes you back to when you were a 5 year-old, hiding under a fort made of blankets and pillows. You can picture a beautiful sunset, painted by the rich melody. The album concludes in a comforting darkness, as the metaphorical sun falls softly under the ocean.
Stream/buy Insight III on your prefered digital platform.