Chronique | Thot - Delta

Pierre Sopor 10 mai 2024

It's been a while since Thot released a new album: Fleuve dates back to 2017. Over the years, Thot have followed the flow of life, released a few short formats, but above all they have gone through a period of soul-searching that has benefited the small band led by Grégoire Fray, who have finally released Delta. Just as a delta is the place where a river splits into several smaller streams, this new album stretches out in several directions and feeds on multiple currents.

Thot have never been easy to categorise: somewhere between industrial rock, noise rock and post-rock, their music could just as easily be described as avant-garde, so as not to get bogged down in too many labels. From rage to melancholy, it's often poetic, visceral, intense and unbridled, just like the electronic pulse that kicks off Euphrate and is gradually fleshed out by instruments and voices. Like a river that swells with its various tributaries, the sound gains in breadth and power over the course of tracks with rich, unpredictable structures. Thot draws on its different musicians and different sensibilities (the Czech singer Lenka Dusilová brings a dreamlike flavour to the hypnotic Sleep Oddity, and Grégoire Fray has worked with the choir Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, which he samples regularly): even when the tracks are short, they give the impression of an epic journey full of twists and turns.

One of the things that jumps out immediately is the appearance of French language, a first for Thot. The chiselled lyrics take on an immediacy and spontaneity that's new to them: they bounce between almost punkish outbursts and introspective, almost mystical tracks (The Last Solstice). Thot's inventiveness is as rare as ever: none of Delta's tracks sound as if they've been put there by default. On the contrary, the ideas are superimposed in a continuous stream. There's never any stagnation, and from this perpetual movement emerge many moments of grace, poetic flashes of striking elegance (the concluding track, Estuaire, where the ghostly piano and choirs add a theatrical touch that's as poignant as it is delightful).

Turbulence, lulls and, above all, unpredictable directions: Delta's crossing is often tumultuous, giving us a glimpse of shores as varied as they are fascinating. Taking a step back and some time has paid off: in 2024, Thot is an incredibly class act.