Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Props for this entry go to my friend Myke, the Music Director at CJSW (Calgary's finest radio station) as he's the one who first tipped me off on Azeda Booth. Considering his own taste, and the fact that he used to be in the band, I knew I had to check out their EP Mysterious Body when it arrived at the station last year. I enjoyed it, but that effort pales in comparison to what the group achieve on their full-length, In Flesh Tones, due out July 22nd on Absolutely Kosher. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about when I say 'pales,' let's say this is Mysterious Body. In Flesh Tones, in contrast, would be this. It's an immense leap forward.
The fact that In Flesh Tones is their debut full-length is a jaw-dropper as it's just so fully thought out and finds the band having thoroughly developed its own sound. There are musical signposts, certainly, but these only hint at what Azeda Booth have developed as a 'sound.' Her Space Holiday is the first that comes to mind, with the hushed vocals and dreamy, atmospheric electro-pop arrangements. All Music Guide go with Boards of Canada and The Octopus Project in their influences as well and certainly there are some ambient points that give a nod to BoC most noticeably (the opening notes of "Big Fists" for one).
But just listen to opener "Ran" (streaming on Myspace) and you'll hear how these comparisons only scratch the surface where Azeda Booth's songs are concerned. It starts with ten seconds of atmospheric keys but then the toms kick in, propelling the song with a manic energy that dispels the dreamy vibe, setting the listener up for the plaintive (and eerily panicked) opening vocals "keep me/awake/i'll stay," and later, "how can/you bring/yourself to love me."
There's a majestic desperation to these opening minutes and things only get better from there as the band experiments with claustrophobic textures and rich soundscapes, building a singular record. If this album doesn't make my Year-End "Best Of" list, I'll eat my copy.
I couldn't find a download of any of the new material, but the band has made both "Dead Girls" and "Aislinn Bos, Y" available as mp3s.
Be sure to check out the band's website, Myspace page and Facebook group, and don't forget to mark your calendars for In Flesh Tones' release date: JULY 22, 2008!
Thanks for reading, now start listening...
P.S. If you image search Azeda Booth on Google, one of the results is this. Awesome.