American singer-songwriter, poet, and photographer Thomas Meluch, known musically as Benoît Pioulard, has continually refined, redefined, and adjusted the focus of his gentle pop project over the last 20 years. Recorded primarily with guitar, tapes, and voice, his catalog flows seamlessly between ambient improvisation and pop composition. His first recordings as Benoît Pioulard appeared on the Random Number…Colors Start compilation released by the Ann-Arbor based Moodgadget label in 2004. After 2005’s Enge EP Meluch was signed to Chicago’s Kranky imprint, for whom he recorded the albums Précis (2006),Temper (2008), Lasted (2010), Hymnal (2013), Sonnet (2015), and The Benoit Pioulard Listening Matter (2016), as well as Lignin Poise (2017) for Beacon Sound, and Sylva (2019) for Morr Music. In 2010, Meluch formed Orcas with minimalist composer Rafael Anton Irisarri. The duo’s self-titled debut was released in April 2012 on Germany’s Morr Music imprint, and its follow-up Yearling was released in early 2014. With his new album Eidetic (2023), he swings back to sharpened forms with his most structured and vocal release to date. Lush banks of treated guitar and synth brush against hushed percussion; there is mist in the distance, but everything up close is intricately constructed and radiant. Meluch’s voice is notably forward in the mix — a warm and calming tenor, a harmonic coo more than a whisper — ever-observant and actively processing. Eidetic is the culmination of Meluch’s craft both as a producer and writer. An evocative sonic vocabulary meets deft lyrical introspection, articulated with the nuance, vulnerability, and confidence of a longtime artist hitting a stride.