First posted on echoesanddust.com.
Saxophonist Colin Stetson teams up with his partner Sarah Neufeld for the release of their collaborative album effort ‘Never Were The Way She Was’. Featuring Neufeld on violin and Stetson performing his powerful saxophone melodies recording without overdubs, the new album release showcases the incredible talent from these two Canadian musicians, coming across as one of the most essential releases both artists have released thus far in their extensive careers. Powerful blasts of saxophone layers like the breathing of an engine accompany the haunting notes of violin, resulting in some of the most creative music ever recorded by two individuals.
‘Never Were The Way She Was’ sees the incredible power of Neufeld and Stetson being combined in incredible ways, resulting in a musical experience that neither artist could achieve on their own. Incredibly powerful multiple layers of saxophone accompany haunting yet beautiful violin performances, resulting in a powerful listening experience that is both impossible to ignore or forget. Much of the album comes across as dark and foreboding, utilizing the deep notes of saxophones and the high-pitched notes of violins to create a symbiotic musical experience, where everything stands out amongst itself, whilst harmonizing with each other perfectly.
Like both Stetson and Neufeld’s solo album releases, ‘Never Were The Way She Was’ features a very experimental edge, and one that brings with it an almost inaccessible quality to the album. The music featured on the album can at times feel like rather challenging work to listen to, though one that ultimately gives those open to the experimental edge a wonderful listening experience. The underlying concept of both Stetson and Neufeld’s methods in compositon might also be a bit difficult to get one’s head around, though it results in some of the most powerful and impressive experimental music.
‘Never Were The Way She Was’ features many elements one might expect from either Neufeld or Stetson, though it hardly makes the whole album experience any less impressive. Both artists have pushed out their own respective talents to great lengths on their debut collaborative album, one that features the best of each artists own branch of music. Although much of the album feels rather dark for the most part, there’s also a wonderful beauty to much of the music, mostly in how Stetson and Neufeld combine their instruments and their own voices in unusual yet harmonious ways. This is certainly a powerful album, and one is certainly required listening for the fans.
- ★★★★★ 5/5
- The Sun Roars Into View
- Won’t Be A Thing To Become
- With The Dark Hug Of Time
- Never Were The Way She Was
Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld’s collaborative album ‘Never Were The Way She Was’ is out now.