“The fifth album from the Montreal chamber rock collective is a beguiling mass of dialed-down post-rock, classical figures and exploratory soundscapes. Lost Voices manages mood and melody with a deft and hypnotic grace. Beyond words, beyond beautiful.”
– The Skinny (4 stars)
“Lost Voices is a supremely well-realized album.
Whatever you are doing, allow yourself to truly feel this record.
It’s a gorgeous experience, flawless from start to finish.”
– Echoes and Dust
“The duo at the core of Esmerine have been making tense experimental rock music in one form or another since the old days of the long-absent Set Fire To Flames, carrying on into the dooming fractures of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and sister band A Silver Mt. Zion respectively; through it all, Rebecca Foon and Bruce Cawdron have tried out as many abstract passions as there are, culminating in a gorgeous and peculiar record in Dalmak, which placed drones next to heady melodicism and Turkish instrumentation…
Lost Voices stands as a revitalisation of their sound: it allows the ambience of their music to remain, but hurries it towards the pace of rock music, a genre this record constantly threatens to contain itself in. Navigating a space between delicacy and despair, it’s hard to feel at ease listening to Esmerine – but it’s never hard to trust them.”
– Norman Records (9/10)
“Lost Voices casts off the shackles of the ordinary and the mundane, and transports you to a world of higher feelings. Certainly, the stylistic hallmarks of GY!BE and their contemporaries can be strongly felt at times; there are the suspenseful builds, the cataclysmic crescendos and the apocalyptic maelstroms of noise that are the signature sounds of this genre. But there are also strong distinctions; witness the rough edges and gypsy rhythms of ‘Funambule’, or the tense math rock and looping fractal forms to be heard on ‘19/14’. This music absorbs and surrounds you, demands your attention and a visceral engagement with the music.”
– Loud And Quiet (Album Of The Week)
“Out of all of the many Godspeed You! Black Emperor splinter projects there’s always been a feeling that Esmerine were the most interesting. Their name may not be as widely known or as A Silver Mt Zion but their musical journey since their 2003 debut has been a consistently rewarding and occasionally surprising one…
Fifth album Lost Voices builds on the strengths of its predecessor Dalmak, and can be seen as the defining Esmerine album to date. Each track here is purposeful and with a clear sense of identity – it all fits together to deliver an album of depth and undoubted longevity.”
– Music Omh
|11.04.15||Kingston ON||Tone Deaf Festival|
|11.05.15||London ON||First Spiritualist Church|
|11.08.15||Sherbrooke QC||Bar Le Magog|
|11.10.15||Saint Casimir QC||La Taverne|
|11.11.15||Québec QC||Le Cercle|
|11.12.15||Montréal QC||La Sala Rossa|
|11.13.15||Toronto ON||Monarch Tavern/Wavelength|
|11.15.15||Wakefield QC||Black Sheep Inn|
Esmerine was co-founded by percussionist Bruce Cawdron (Godpseed You! Black Emperor) and cellist Rebecca Foon (Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Saltland) in 2001, soon after the two met while recording the first Set Fire To Flames album Signs Reign Rebuilder. Esmerine released two critically-acclaimed albums of minimalist, eloquent modern chamber music in the first half of that decade on their own Madrona Records imprint: If Only A Sweet Surrender To The Nights To Come Be True (2003) and Aurora (2005). These albums had one foot in the new music/experimental terrain of contemporaries like Rachel’s or Town And Country and the other in a more visceral and lyrical instrumental landscape, as cultivated by the likes of The Dirty Three (and Godspeed themselves).
Foon parted ways with Silver Mt. Zion in 2008, Cawdron returned to the GY!BE drum chair for a couple of years (when Godspeed reunited in 2010 following a long hiatus) and Esmerine began charting a course of renewed activity, along with an intentionally collaborative agenda through this period (in the spirit of the annual Montréal concerts that the duo hosted throughout the 2000s, which featured diverse arrays of invited guest players). La Lechuza (2011) and Dalmak (2013) were both released on Constellation to broad acclaim, with each album grounded in a specific set of collaborations that expanded the band’s sonic and stylistic palette, while remaining anchored by Cawdron’s mallet playing (chiefly on marimba) and Foon’s expressive cello. Most recently, Esmerine has solidified into a core quintet, with Cawrdron and Foon joined by percussionist Jamie Thompson (The Unicorns, Islands), multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson, and bassist Jéremi Roy.
Dalmak won the Juno Award for Instrumental Album Of The Year (2014) among other accolades, and the group released their follow-up (and third record for Constellation) Lost Voices in October 2015 – their most visceral and soaring work to date, with Godspeed You! Black Emperor violinist Sophie Trudeau as a featured guest.
DALMAK and LA LECHUZA are available on Deluxe 180gLP (vinyl editions include an art print poster and 320kbps MP3 download), CD (in custom mini-gatefold jackets made from 100% recycled paperboard), FLAC and MP3 via Constellation mail-order:
ESMERINE ARTIST PAGE @ CONSTELLATION:
phone: 514 279 9705
phone: 514 279 9705
phone: 514 279 9705
BOOKING – USA:
169 Richardson St, Suite 2
Brooklyn, NY 11222
phone: 718 389 7100
BOOKING – CANADA | WORLD:
Esmerine • “Walking Through Mist (I)” • La Lechuza
Esmerine • “Au Crépuscule, Sans Laisse” • La Lechuza
Esmerine • “Spiegel Am Spiegel” (Arvo Pärt)
For Lhasa’s Birthday
Esmerine • “Snow Day For Lhasa” • La Lechuza