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Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Here On In

Review of Rachel Zeffira’s The Deserters

Photo via last.fmlast.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 Fader has an advance stream of the album, out in North America next Tuesday. CBC Music, Violent Success, and The Edmonton Journal all have features on the Canadian ex-pat.

Video: Rachel Zeffira – “Here On In”
Video: Rachel Zeffira – “The Deserters”
Stream: Rachel Zeffira / The Deserters

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 Fly has a interview with Suuns, who are playing Lee’s Palace on March 23 for Canadian Musicfest.

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.

Vancouverites The Belle Game have released a new video from their forthcoming debut Ritual Tradition Habit, coming April 16.

Video: The Belle Game – “Wait For You”

Exclaim has details on appropriately-titled Takes Time, the first new record that’s not a video game soundtrack from Jim Guthrie since 2003. It’s out May 7 and a first single is available to stream.

Stream: Jim Guthrie – “The Rest Is Yet To Come”

The Fly, Edinburgh Journal, and Exclaim have interviews with Doldrums’ Airick Woodhead. He plays The Horseshoe on May 11.

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”

The Skinny and DIY talk to Toronto’s METZ, who’ve premiered a new video from their self-titled debut at Stereogum. They bring all it back home to Lee’s Palace on May 17.

Video: METZ – “Wasted”

Beatroute talks to Hayden.

Toro has an interview with Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon.

The Darcys are working on a new studio album, but that doesn’t mean they can’t release a new video via Under The Radar to remind you of last year’s Aja cover album.

Video: The Darcys – “I Got The News”

Clash talks fashion with Claire Boucher of Grimes.

And finally, RIP Stompin’ Tom Connors.

By : Frank Yang at 8:31 am
Category: General

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post2 Responses.
  1. PaperBagRecords says:

    RT @fyang: chromewaves: Review of Rachel Zeffira’s “The Deserters” http://t.co/2LabWMEpyd

  2. thomaus says:

    The animated video http://youtu.be/JqHXsZ4L1QU and the story behind the animating blog post http://www.thingsbydan.co.uk/2013/03/the-rest-is-yet-to-come-process/ for Jim Guthrie’s new song are pretty nice too.