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The Sandman's Orchestra / Press

“I first heard these two on their “Nocturne” album. I have heard a lot of good indie-folk music, but was not prepared for the quality of these two; passion, confidence, chemistry and musicality. They truly have it all. (...) Since streaming “Crying For The Moon”, by THE SANDMAN’S ORCHESTRA, I’ve been hooked. And while I knew this album would be something beautiful, I never expected that it would be as thoroughly beautiful and captivating as this. The way their voices weave in and out with each other, the haunting melancholy mood and the perfectly simple instrumentation, totally showcases how much they have grown artistically since their last album. No auto tune, no filler, THE SANDMAN’S ORCHESTRA gives you music the way you’re supposed to hear it!”

“Crying For The Moon, the band’s third full-length release, is an unusual album with a sound that is at times haunting, sometimes gorgeous, sometimes even with spiritual flavor (like the uplifting vocal section at the end of the title track). The best way to first appreciate this album is to lie down in the dark and let it play without distraction. Let it take you where it will, or where your mind chooses. “I just love the way we float,” they sing in “Crying For The Moon.””

“Avec Nocturne, le duo n’a jamais aussi bien porté son nom. Un disque à écouter de nuit, capable de vous faire faire de beaux rêves grâce au mini-orchestre mis en place par Pierre et Léonie. Flugelhorn, Wurlitzer, violoncelle, banjo, dulcimer, kalimba et piano viennent agrémenter une musique folk au ton juste et sincère. Chanté par les deux, ensemble ou séparément, The Sandman’s Orchestra évoquera tour à tour Mazzy Star, Trespassers Williams, Beth Gibbons ou Mark Kozelek (the dying light). Avec la touche de magie en plus, celle, propre au marchand de sable du nom, qui permettra de suivre les traces célestes de Kate Bush (On a cloud). L’ensemble est invariablement lent et mélancolique mais jamais plombant. L’album est plutôt porteur d’une grâce qui vous réconforte voire vous élève et dont on appréciera chaque nuance jusqu’au dernier et magnifique Nocturne.”

“Much is made of ghosts, figuratively or not, and the shadows they leave on our hearts and minds, yet this is not a melancholy nightmare. It is a gorgeous minimalist lullaby for the hopeful, played on nylon string guitars, banjos, cellos, flugelhorns, wurlizers dulcimers, keyboards, saxophones, ticking clocks, overlaid choruses and sparing drums, all led by the beautifully honest and youthful voice of Gabriel and the experienced reflection of mentor uncle Laplace. Pierre and Léonie’s voices differ enough in register and timbre to be distinct enough, not only to be decipherable by gender, but also in color and personality, blending together a perfect batch of emotion to ride this thrilling roller coaster ride straight into the depths of the night and come out watching the clock at dawn, thankful you’ve been given another day to kindle the embers that almost went out the previous evening.”

“Opening track ‘Razor Eyes’ introduces Leonie’s beautiful vocals over a deliberate, and just as beautiful acoustic guitar line. The simple yet ethereal song sets the stage for an album full of relaxation for your body but a workout for your mind as the listener follows the pensive lyrics. The piano ballad ‘To Haunt You’ does get a little spooky at times but again dives deep into the listeners psyche. Here could be comparisons here to a dark Kate Nash. ‘On A Cloud’ welcomes more of an electronic feel with a brooding sonic palette sull of interesting sound while Leonie’s vocals sound a little more upbeat. The title track ‘Nocturne’ closes out the record with a deep wraithlike sound and Pierre’s mysterious vocal tone ... Bottom Line: Nocturne by The Sandman’s Orchestra is a beautiful record from start to end. This is a great album for a lazy Sunday evening when you have the time to relax and enjoy a full 47 minute album in its entirety.”

“Léonie Gabriel is an artist whose voice offers a remarkable honesty and beauty. Here she is also complemented by lovely orchestrations and lyrics that tantalize with their complex imagery ... Laplace’s sparse and almost ethereal, emotionally gripping, thought provoking and completely original pieces of work absolutely blew me away. In a time when overblown and over-produced music is constantly flooding the market, Pierre’s orchestrations leave you room to breathe, to ponder, to assimilate and to thoroughly digest the compositions ... There’s something magical about “Nocturne,” which is too difficult to describe with only words. Just listen to it yourself. If you aren’t moved, you’d better check your pulse-rate.”

“Belangrijkste bindmiddel op “Nocturne” is het wonderschone en betoverend stemgeluid van het inmiddels zeventienjarig engeltje. De andere helft van The Sandman’s Orchestra – multi-instrumentalist Pierre Laplace, is niet alleen een talentvol liedjesschrijver en beschikt over een prettig stemgeluid, maar laat tevens zijn klasse horen op de gitaar,banjo, piano, wurlitzer, dulcimer, kalimba, keyboards en percussie. Gastmuzikanten Matt Constantine (cello) en Mr. Pher (flugelhoorn) tillen de spanning van de aangename sluimermuziek op “Nocturne” naar een hoger plan. Dit leidt tot een intense pracht, 47 minuten lang, pijnlijk mooi met lichte referenties naar Dead Can Dance, Kate Bush, Beth Gibbons en Cat Power. Knap gecomponeerde liedjes om stil van te worden vol beheersing en terughoudendheid. Met verwijzingen naar de dood, geesten en het mysterie van schaduwwezens is de zweefmuziek op “Nocturne” als een stel liefhebbende armen om je heen. Warm en nimmer loslatend.”

“Listening to just a few songs from the album these two have produced, I’m amazed by how ‘signature’ each one is, while still having a very distinct sound and thread throughout. The skill demonstrated in their musicianship is truly remarkable, and there is obvious dedication to their craft, as their songs and lyrics are beautifully written. The Sandman’s Orchestra has something very special to share with the world, and I look forward to witnessing it.”

“The Sandman Orchestra are even more hypnotic to the senses than ever before. The French duo are an intriguing pair, consisting of singer-songwriter Pierre Laplace and the bewitching sound of niece Leonie Gabriel’s voice. Atmospheric to the point of becoming almost cinematic; the sonorous quality of their blend of dark jazz and folk takes you on a dreamy adventure across an unfamiliar, mysterious landscape. With Leonie’s influences coming from the likes of Kate Bush and Cat Power, the freshness of the lead vocal perfectly compliments the Nick Drake-reminiscent acoustic inclusions. It’s great down time music, so give it a spin.”

“The Sandman's Orchestra exemplifies what home recordists can accomplish nowadays - their 2011 LP "Silver Linings" has been in high rotation on my playlist for a year, and anytime I try to tell myself I can't do something without a giant studio, I listen again. Classic songwriting, unique and haunting sound.”

“On a bit of a mission to bring this band to wider attention. They are a duo made up of Pierre Laplace, a singer/songwriter from Lille, France, and his 16-year-old niece, Léonie Gabriel, and they make great modern folk music. ("Silver Linings" selected as one the 15 best albums of 2011)”

"Both Laplace and Léonie sing in English, Laplace’s gravely voice matched by Léonie’s astonishingly mature and world weary-sounding vocals. ‘Silver Linings’... is an album of slow-burning atmospherics and tensions. Tinged with touches of both folk and jazz, its tone is mournful and bleak, but it finishes on a note of hope."

“Un disque de folk/jazz noir au service de la superbe symbiose existant entre les deux protagonistes : Léonie chante avec intensité et sincérité les beaux textes subtils poétiques de Pierre Laplace et celui-ci s'avère un partenaire vocal aussi complémentaire qu'indispensable avec sa très belle voix grave et captivante. Ce qui est le plus agréable, à l'écoute de ce merveilleux et inattendu disque, est qu'il ne ressemble à rien d'autre, ne souffre d'aucune comparaison, car le duo a réussi à créer, en l'espace d'un seul disque, un univers musical remarquable : personnel, intimiste, so(m)bre et profond.”