From the cultural crossroads of Nantes, France, Les Fantômes du Jour – The Ghosts of the Day – have been sculpting their unique soundscapes since 2017. Formed initially as an instrumental trio under the creative direction of guitarist Ronan Cloarec and bassist Bruno Bourrien, the band has since grown into a quartet in 2021 with the valuable additions of drummer Alexandre Jadi and vocalist Amine Bousta. As they prepare for the release of their debut album, “Ravages,” the band grants us a glimpse into their upcoming sonic narrative with the premiere of the first single, “Situations II.”
Slated for a November 3 release via Ajna Management, “Ravages” comes to fruition after an extensive period of composition and recording. To truly capture their vibrant on-stage energy and translate it into a recorded format, Les Fantômes du Jour employed a variety of studio techniques. The use of a large room for drum recording provided depth, while guitar overdubs, vocal harmonizations, bass re-amplification through pedals, and liberal usage of reverb and distortion across nearly every instrument contributed to an album that aims not to replicate their live performances, but to create a unique listening experience – a reflection of the distinct atmospheres of the stage and the studio.
Ronan Cloarec, likely to the detriment of his own sanity, helmed the entire production process – recording, mixing, and mastering – with the aid of Ronan Fouquet during the drum session and Sybille Delattre for the vocal recording. The band also entrusted the visual elements of the project to producer Sybille Delattre and graphic artist Julien Bonnet, the latter of whom furnished the band with a dedicated cover for “Situations II.”
Les Fantômes du Jour are now ready to step into the light with “Situations II,” a track that explores the chaotic facet of existence and our intrinsic quest for understanding amidst this turmoil. This central concept was partly inspired by renowned Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz and his novel “Cosmos.” The form of “Situations II” evolved through personal journeys and chance encounters, with the constant ambition of allowing chaos to seep into specific aspects of the song.
The seed of the song is born out of a period of existential chaos for the guitarist. “Situations II” is a mélange of parts that refuse to be boxed into any single direction. The track is both uncomfortable and desirable, with its start and end reflecting an attempt to impose order onto randomness, transforming unease into something desirable. Amine Bousta’s lyrics depict the daily life of a woman, where the chaos of reality clashes with the allure of order, even if it’s merely an illusion. It paints a picture that exists in the intriguing intersection between Gombrowicz and Bridget Jones.
As Les Fantômes du Jour steps forward to claim their rightful place in the annals of progressive metal, it’s clear that “Ravages” is poised to tell a riveting story of existential turmoil and the beauty hidden within chaos. The curtains are just beginning to rise on their haunting performance.