I would like to echo a Youtube user’s advice from the comments section of a God Speed! You Black Emperor album video: when listening to Esmerine‘s latest offering, Lost Voices, listen with your eyes closed, free from distractions, no rush, in the dark, and loud.
You can really get lost in these songs. Are we in Europe? Is it hundreds of years ago? The melodies sound ancient, medieval perhaps. Or are we in the present day, with drums and electric guitars, in the streets of Montreal (which feel like Europe anyways) – protesting alongside the 2012 student strike? Raising our voices loud and in harmony, across languages and cultural differences.
Rebecca Foon’s cello, haunting and alive, blends fluidly among the many musical styles present on the album. From the heights of “The Neighbourhoods Rise”, to the softness of “Our Love We Sing”, to the rhythmic technicalities of “19/14”, she has our full attention. Bruce Cawdron’s marimbas, vibraphones, and glockenspiel create palettes of moods effortlessly. The album is timeless, contemporary, and at the same time rooted in Western tradition – but not without questioning and challenging it.
Esmerine, Lost Vocies
Constellation Records, October 16, 2015