Friday, March 11, 2011

An affecting 'single effect.'

From Merriam Webster:

en·sem·ble noun \än-ˈsäm-bəl, äⁿ-\ : a group producing a single effect

Sprung from the mind and pen of one Olivier Alary (London ex-pat, now resident of Montreal), and performed by a group of musicians fittingly called Ensemble, Excerpts displays the magic that can come from the efforts of many focused on one single aim.

That aim?

Beautiful music.

Excerpts is front-to-back gorgeous, playing like a blissful dream [I had thought of referring to it as a 'fugue' but it turns out that's a disturbed state of consciousness, and not something altogether pleasant] that you won't want to wake from.

Amongst his collaborators, Aliary is most capably assisted by vocalist Darcy Conroy, whose voice is the first heard on "Things I Forget," which follows the instrumental "Opening" (a track that bears a similarity to an orchestra warming up, but in a more unified, purposeful way). The pizzicato violin that pushes the song forward is in marked contrast to Conroy's gauzy, melancholic delivery, creating a strong tension that draws listeners in. Once in, you won't want to come out.

The mixture of folk, classical and post-rock elements in the compositions (they seem to be weightier than 'songs') are meant to invoke some of the trippier folk recordings of the '60s an '70s according to Aliary and it certainly brings to mind artists like Jay Bolotin, Rodriguez and Vashti Bunyan, but Excerpts' inclusion of orchestrated elements pushes it outside any boundaries those might have established in their musical exploration.

Here's the understated and lovely video for album closer "Before Night"

And you can listen to the title track below:

Find more artists like ensemble at Myspace Music

Be sure to check out their Facebook or Myspace pages since their website is a bit of a work in progress.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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