Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Here On In
Review of Rachel Zeffira’s The Deserters
last.fmIn some ways, being introduced to British Columbia-born/London-based Rachel Zeffira by way of Cat’s Eyes did less to prepare one for her solo debut The Deserters than coming to it completely cold. That 2011 collaboration with Horrors frontman Faris Badwan presented her as a sweetly-voiced ingenue, and since its strong throwback/girl-group aesthetic was so far removed from The Horrors’ grinding shoegaze, one could reasonably assume that it better reflected where Zeffira’s own influences lay.
It isn’t that The Deserters presents her in a dramatically different light, it’s more that it presents her in a much more revealing one and; one that so much better demonstrates the full breadth of her talents. Her operatic training, only implied by Cat’s Eyes, is much more to the fore here but is never the point. Her voice – a lovely, lilting thing that effortlessly soars when called upon – is a formidable instrument to be sure, but just one of them. While voice and piano do form the foundation of the album, orchestral and electronic flourishes surface throughout and the numbers built around more conventional rock band configurations – with contributions from TOY and S.C.U.M. – add extra dimensions to the album without jarring its flow. Impossibly elegant and beguiling throughout, The Deserters is a timeless, otherworldly, and utterly remarkable debut.
The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Al Spx of Cold Specks, performing at The Kool Haus on March 22 for the Canadian Music Week Indie awards, and at Fort York on June 7 as part of the Field Trip festival.
The StarPhoenix, The Calgary Herald has an interview with John O’Regan of Diamond Rings, also playing the aforementioned Indies on March 22 and then opening for OMD at The Danforth Music Hall on July 11 and 19.
Toronto-Vancouver electro-pop outfit Gold & Youth caught my ear last Fall but are only getting around to releasing their first album this Spring. Beyond Wilderness will be out May 14 and a first track is available to preview courtesy of Noisey.
Stream: Gold & Youth – “Jewel”
Video: METZ – “Wasted”
And finally, RIP Stompin’ Tom Connors.