Second vinyl-only release from Godspeed contains two long songs, and sets the bar for the sprawling compositions that would characterise the group in the years to follow.
CD in gatefold paperboard jacket.
180gLP audiophile pressing includes art poster + DL.
Acclaimed singer, songwriter, band leader from Ethyl Meatplow and The Geraldine Fibbers. First solo album in seven years, following a string of releases with her Evangelista project. Bozulich’s self-proclaimed “pop record”! Carla Bozulich, an art-punk heroine with almost three decades of exceptional, iconoclastic musical activity under her belt, returns with the third record of her storied career to be issued in her own name.
Boy is Carla's self-proclaimed "pop record" and is a refreshing and much-needed reminder of what pop can mean in the hands of a ferociously commanding singer/lyricist who has cut her teeth on genre-bending, genre–blending, and DIY production for 25 years.
Boy is unmistakably a pop-influenced album by way of punk, avant rock and lo/mid-fi; a batch of ten songs that clock in at 3-5 minutes each, mostly hewing to recognizable structures of verse, chorus and bridge, but full of destabilizing accents and strategies.
The songs are replete with hooks and melodies, delivered chiefly by the singing itself, with the underlying instrumentation and arrangements always in the service of Carla's voice and lyrics. Boy is without doubt the sharpest, supplest, most satisfying and most generous album that Bozulich has made in recent years, and also happens to be one of her most immediately accessible. It is a definitive expression – and should serve as a welcome reminder – of Bozulich's unique tastes, talents and trajectories.
1. Ain't No Grave
2. One Hard Man
3. Drowned To The Light
4. Don't Follow Me
5. Gonna Stop Killing
6. Deeper Than The Well
8. Lazy Crossbones
9. What Is It Baby
10. Number X
Vinyl includes Download Card.
Fourth Album From Modern Contemporary / Instrumental Rock Ensemble Led By Percussionist Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) & Cellist Rebecca Foon (Silver Mt Zion, Saltland, Set Fire To Flames). Partly Recorded In Istanbul With Four Turkish Guest Players. Mixed By Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes, Wolf Parade, Suuns). When Esmerine surfaced with La Lechuza in 2011, the album signaled many things: the band's first new recordings in six years, an expanded line-up, and a song cycle inspired by and dedicated to the life and untimely death of a dear friend and fellow musician.
What wasn't immediately clear was whether this acclaimed record would mark the opening of a new chapter for the band, or stand alone as a singular work of eulogy and homage driven by emotion and circumstance.Esmerine's new album Dalmak emphatically confirms that the group has indeed continued writing, exploring and collaborating – definitively extending its horizons in this new iteration of the band's trajectory.
Bruce Cawdron (marimba) resigned from his seat as drummer for Godspeed You! Black Emperor in 2012, allowing him to focus more fully on Esmerine alongside co-founder and cellist Rebecca Foon (Silver Mt. Zion, Set Fire To Flames); the two principals also recruited percussionist Jamie Thompson (Unicorns, Islands) and multiinstrumentalist Brian Sanderson as full-time members to solidify the group as a writing and performing quartet.
European tours in 2011-2012 brought Esmerine to Istanbul, where the group's enthusiastic reception led to an invitation for an artist residency in the city. Dalmak is the fruit of that visit: the majority of the album was recorded in Istanbul, where compositions by the band's four Canadian musicians were augmented by a number of Turkish guest players. "Dalmak" is a Turkish verb with many connotations: to be absorbed in, to dive into, to bathe in, to contemplate, to plummet. As a title for Esmerine's new album, “dalmak" refers in a literal sense to immersion in the culture and music of Istanbul but also appropriately evokes the range of music that emerged from this immersion: a collection of songs that shift between meditative pulsing and enveloping restraint to headlong flights into rhythm and groove.
With Dalmak, Esmerine presents some of its most richly minimal and intimate music alongside what is surely its most explosive, energized and ornate. The album is a tour-de-force of cross-cultural music-making, emotive but unsentimental, deeply textured and detailed but never precious or pedantic, superbly guided throughout by a balance of DIY rock, new folk and modern classical / contemporary sensibilities.
With initial recording by Barkin Engin and Metin Bozkurt in Istanbul, Esmerine laid down the live bed tracks for the up-tempo rhythmic songs at the album's core: "Lost River Blues", "Barn Board Fire" and "Translator's Clos". Marimba, cello, drums, tenor banjo, bass and trumpet are joined by bendir, darbuka, erbane, meh, barama, saz and electric guitar from local players for these centerpiece tracks, where extended melodic themes and short solos are passed around and woven through staccato grooves and polyrhythmic vamps in deeply satisfying fashion.
The sessions continued back in Montréal at Breakglass, where Cawdron and Foon tracked the more studied cello and marimba songs "Learning To Crawl" and "White Pine", and where the album's gorgeously saturated warmth, depth and propulsive grit was achieved courtesy of Breakglass head engineer Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes, Wolf Parade, Suuns) and Ian Ilavsky, who mixed the album alongside Rebecca and Bruce.
We're thrilled to present this new album from Esmerine and to document the continued evolution of Bruce Cawdron and Rebecca Foon, two musicians with whom Constellation has enjoyed a decade-long relationship spanning multiple projects. Dalmak is a distinct and exciting highlight in their diverse and adventurous discographies.
1. Learning To Crawl
2. Lost River Blues
3. Barn Board Fire
4. Hayale Dalmak
1. Translator's Clos
2. White Pine
3. Yavri Yavri!
LP is pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl at Optimal (Germany) and comes in a tipped-on heavyweight gatefold jacket printed in full-colour process plus a spot metallic ink and spot matte varnish. LP dust sleeve is also 4-colour print.
Package includes a 7 inch in printed dust sleeve (same audio appears in a different sequence on the CD) and a 12"x 48" pull-out poster (printed full colour on both sides) featuring a collage of film stills specially-photographed and captured from the GYBE live 16mm projections.
A decade has passed since the release of Yanqui U.X.O., the last album by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Never a band to pay heed to industry wisdom, Yanqui was released shortly before xmas 2002 with little publicity, no press availability, no marketing plans, cross-promotions or brand synergies, adorned with now infamous back cover artwork diagramming the links between major record labels and the military-industrial complex. Like all GYBE albums, this one did just fine and ‘found it’s audience’: a passionate and committed fanbase galvanized by the group's sonic vision and its dedication to unmediated, unsullied musical communication.
That such simple principles and goals have become harder to maintain and enact a decade later is an understatement. For all the contents and discontents – for all the “content”– of our present cultural moment, the idea of circumventing the glare of exposure or side-stepping the careful plotting of media cycles and identity management seems profoundly illadvised, if not futile. But Godspeed is looking to try all the same.
The band wants people to encounter and care about this new album, without telling people they should. They seek to preserve the thrill of anonymous and uncalculated transmission, knowing full well that these days, anti-strategy risks being tagged as a strategy, non-marketing framed as its opposite, and deeply held principles they consider fundamental to health as likely to be interpreted as just another form of stealth.
The band has been carving its own path again since 2010, regrouping as the same self-managed collective entity it has been from the outset, making appearances at a tiny clutch of music festivals, and otherwise just touring its own shows. It's been a disorienting time to resurface, but it has felt overwhelmingly right, honest and good.
We think Godspeed has made a new record that maintains if not exceeds the standards of their previous work – a high bar, many would agree. GYBE picked up right where they left off, and after almost two years of practicing, playing and touring, ‘Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! Delivers two mighty sides of music (bookended by two new drones) that the band had been working up prior to their 2003 hiatus, which they have now shaped into something definitively stunning, immersive and utterly true to their legacy.
The future looks dark indeed, but on the evidence of this new recording, Godspeed appears wholly committed to staring it down, channeling it, and fighting for some rays of sound (and flickers of light) that feel righteous, unflinching, hopeful and pure.
2. We Drift Like Worried Fire
3. Their Helicopters' Sing
4. Strung Like Lights At Thee Printemps Erable