Monthly Archives: November 2015

Lost Voices – Esmerine

Canadian group Esmerine’s 2013 album effort of ‘Dalmak’ came across as an incredibly concise and impressive musical experience, one showing the chamber-pop band as one that has evolved from its early roots into one willing to explore new ideas and indulge in creative concepts. The groups latest album effort ‘Lost Voices’ continues this reign of impressive musicianship, with the band offering up another beautiful and haunting album experience. It seems on their last album Esmerine really found their footing in their music, and have now found a way to channel it all into an incredibly cohesive and well constructed format, resulting in some of the best albums of their career.

‘Lost Voices’ continues much of what Esmerine established on ‘Dalmak’, though the whole effort seems to take more steps forward than its predecessor. It seems the band are offering a new chapter in their repertoire,  with ‘Lost Voices’ displaying more creative ideas and ingenuity. Whilst beautiful string melodies help form character in the tracks, its the use of electric guitars that anchors most of the album together, creating a drive that hasn’t really been seen on previous Esmerine albums. There’s somewhat of a sinister and dark edge to a few of the tracks, though the fragile beauty we know of Esmerine still remains apparent in most of the songs.

Esmerine’s wonderful and delicate touch on music is hard to fault, with the realization and execution of the project coming across brilliantly on the album itself. Everything feels incredibly well crafted, with such care and attention going into each track in terms of their structure and pace. The Middle-Eastern influence that formed much of the basis on ‘Dalmak’ seems to been removed on ‘Lost Voices’, though this makes the album a much different character, showing that Esmerine have much more to offer in their music than what a single album suggests.

It seems Esmerine have managed to follow up what was easily their strongest album with an album that easily comes across as having equal strength to its predecessor. The new concepts and ideas Esmerine explore come across so naturally, and yet there are so many complexities to the album that those who enjoy listening to every little detail in every second will find ‘Lost Voices’ to keep delivering with each and every listen. This is truly beautiful music in every sense of the word, even when there is some feelings of worry and fear being injected to the songs, it comes with its own achingly beautiful edge, certainly making the album itself one of the best this year.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★★ 5/5

Selected Songs:

  • The Neighborhoods Rise
  • A River Runs Through This City
  • 19/14
  • Funambule (deus pas de Serein)

Esmerine’s latest album ‘Lost Voices’ is out now on Constellation Records.

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No.3 – Christina Vantzou

Artist, musician and composer Christina Vantzou continues her string of her sequential solo-albums with the release of ‘No.3’. Joined this time by a 15-piece orchestra, the new album continues Vantzou’s wonderfully haunting style of ambient and classical music, drawing out sections for long periods of times and at others reducing it all down, forever tinkering with everything to a very specific mathematical framework. ‘No.3’ comes across as one of Vantzou’s more darker and harrowing album experiences, and also one of her most ambitious thus far, clearly showing a great progression forward in her own talents as a composer and musician.

On ‘No.3’, Vantzou seems to push forward a more visionary album experience, one where drones build up subtly and calmly in order to create new environments and settings. The work on ‘No.3’ feels very methodical, with careful attention going into each detail in all of the tracks, which combined with the wonderful range of styles and approaches to music, equates an incredibly strong album experience that expressed Vantzou arguably at her best. It all results in an album experience that is rather experimental from time to time, yet still contains its own element of accessibility, through its harrowing and beautiful concepts expressed through song.

‘No.3’ is certainly another accomplished album experience from Vantzou, and one that cements her position as an extraordinary musician and composer working today. At times, certain elements on ‘No.3’ do feel a little difficult to get through, with it coming across as the most inaccessible work from Vantzou thus far. Those unfamiliar with the style of music from this artist may find the territory being explored here a little to avant-garde at times, perhaps even those as well who are familiar with Vantzou’s previous releases. Though a little bit more experimental, ‘No.3’ shows Vantzou as an evolving artist, one who is exploring new ideas and concepts with every release.

Christina Vantzou seems to be elevating herself up with each release she pushes out. Her latest release ‘No.3’ shows a strong level of ingenuity, creativity and passion for what is being created in the first place. Everything feels so delicately crafted, all pushing forward the vision Vantzou is expressing in the third chapter of her own solo albums. Though tied together in name to her previous works, ‘No.3’ offers up something of its own, making it a strong record in her ever growing repertoire. Certainly her previous works made Vantzou an artist to keep an eye on, building up anticipation over what comes next. ‘No.3’ cements this belief even further, for all the right reasons.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆ 4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Valley Drone
  • Entanglements
  • Stereoscope (Feat. Loscil)
  • The Future

Christina Vantzou’s latest album ‘No.’3 is out now, available from Kranky.

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