SKiN Graft records recently announced the chilling Sounds to Make You Shudder compilation, and today we have the spook-tacular honor of premiering one of it’s most spine-tingling tracks: Pili Coït‘s “Lo Comte Arnau.”
The Lyon-based duo’s fantastic retelling of the titular Catalan legend weaves in and out of mystical, semi-traditional folk and wild, discordant noise. Also, apparently the tale of “Le Compte Arnau” is pretty analogous to the North American legend of Sleepy Hollow, but don’t take it from us: SKiN Graft label head Mark Fischer supplied us with a rather excellent summary and we wanted to share it word for word here:
“The legend of Count Arnau is the quintessential myth of medieval Catalonia. In Catalan mythology, Comte Arnau (Count Arnau) is a legendary nobleman from the Ripollès county in Spain who, for his rapacious cruelty and lechery, is condemned to ride an undead horse for eternity while his flesh is devoured by flames. The legend has its origins in a popular song of the sixteenth century and the ballad has survived the passage of time. According to tradition, many centuries ago, Count Arnau committed two sins: he succumbed to the pleasures of the flesh with an abbess (the female superior to a community of nuns) and he did not pay the vassals he was to protect for work they had done for him. The consequence of these actions was a punishment that still goes on to this day: He rides eternally on a black horse, accompanied by a group of demonic dogs.”
That’s a pretty radical setup if you ask us, and Pili Coït certainly do it justice – check it out below.
Pili Coït certainly serve up more than enough high strangeness to keep the song interesting throughout: from the classic noir spoken intro spoken by none other than the devil himself (as performed by special guest Benjamin Nérot) to the pleasantly clashing melodies and accentuated shrieks, each moment of “Lo Comte Arnau” presents much to pour over. Given that duo is half PoiL, half Le Grand Sbam, the potency of the song is no surprise as Guilhem Meier and Jessica Martin Maresco once again elevate their strangest, most glorious qualities.
It just so happens that Pili Coït are also in rather incredible company when it comes to the compilation itself. Sounds to Make You Shudder features fifteen tracks in total, brimming with bold acts like Terms, Jim O’Rourke, Tijuana Hercules, USA Nails, The Flying Luttenbachers, and David Yow with Yowie (yes, you read that right – performing together), not to mention several more.
Today also marks the digital re-release of Pili Coït’s most recent LP Love Everywhere, which still bubbles over with unruly post-punk energy. We were definitely fans of their pop inflected avant-garde 2017 debut, but the band seemed to transcend themselves with adventurous, cantankerous layers of noise on Love Everywhere. If anything, “Lo Comte Arnau” is yet another leap forward, and although we have zero clue what to expect from them next, we have no doubt it will be thoroughly entertaining.
The label are making the French Dur et Doux import of Love Everywhere available through their Bandcamp page, and have also announced a pair of limited edition cassette releases. Pili Coït’s Love Everywhere, as well as Yowie’s Synchromysticism will be in stores on December 3rd. That being said, those who pre-order from the label within the next couple of weeks will have them in their hands by November 18th.
SKiN Graft have been working overtime to bring all kinds of noisy math rock weirdness to a new audience, and we’re stoked to be working with them on projects like Pili Coït, the Sounds to Make You Shudder compilation, and some exciting, yet-to-be-announced collaborations as well. Until then, enjoy the haunting tale of “Lo Comte Arnau,” and stay tuned for more updates.
We also just did an article on the remastered masterpiece that is Scratch or Stitch by Melt-Banana, so suffice it to say, it’s going to be a pretty packed extravaganza by the end of the year. Check out the rest of Pili Coït’s stuff on their Bandcamp here, and patronize us us with our favorite caffeine fix here, if you’re so inclined. Coming up next we’ve got Our Violet Room, Cuzco, and much more. Thanks for reading!