ESMERINE
 
 

Mechanics of Dominion

 

Mechanics of Dominion is careful, elegant and cerebral but it is also quietly stirring.”
– The Wire
 

Mechanics of Dominion is a bold, gripping and brilliantly nuanced addition to Esmerine’s gorgeous catalogue, swelling with hope and brimming with energy.”
– Exclaim 9/10

 
“Constellation Records continues to be on a tear, the latest Esmerine record its crown jewel. Throughout the set, there is such beauty.”
– A Closer Listen

 
“The Juno-winning Canadian chamber group’s sixth album channels existential and environmental dread through a state of graceful introversion not unlike that of an old peer in modern chamber music, Rachel’s.”
Album Of The Week
– Line Of Best Fit

 
“Minimalistic in its outlook and yet with rich instrumentation, traditional in both its inclusion of classical and folk influences and still forward-thinking and experimental. The subtlety of the melodies, and the expansive power they hold, are responsible for Esmerine’s tour de force.”
– Pop Matters 8/10


“Esmerine don’t hold anything back on their latest album; they’re at their most intense. Their songcraft has been elevated once again. Mechanics Of Dominion is a mood-swinger, breaking through the sobering walls of tragedy and despair until it reaches a place of relief and the sunrise of a small smile.”
– Fluid Radio


“Esmerine’s style is a music genre of itself. Mechanics of Dominion is a marvelous release and when it gets you with its overwhelming concept and brilliant execution you can’t help but play it again.”
– Echoes And Dust

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Lost Voices

 

“The fifth album from the Montreal chamber rock collective is a beguiling mass of dialed-down post-rock, classical figures and exploratory soundscapes. Lost Voicesmanages 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

 
 
 
 

Dalmak

 

"5/5: 'Dalmak' is a Turkish verb that can mean many things – to contemplate, to become absorbed by, to dive into, to plummet – and it provides an apt title. On Dalmak, the meditative drones and shifting melodies of the Canadians’ strings and percussions are vamped up by an array of [Turkish] sounds...in a thrilling and meaningful conversation.” 
– New Internationalist


"['Dalmak']involves four Turkish players on everything from saz to electric guitar, with space for the haunting, duduk-like meh oboe and a ton of trad percussion. Rich textural explorations alternate with fiery melodic workouts in Turkish rhythms."
– The Wire


“A listen of brutal intensity and beautiful celebration...At times, melodies are plucked quietly, arcing as delicately as black eyelashes, but they never deviate from what is at the center – an intense cauldron of dynamic fire and free flowing passion.”
– Fluid Radio


“Lost River Blues II” explodes in an exuberant array of swaying rhythms and sinuous melodies, while the equally intense “Barn Board Fire” casts a powerful spell…”
– Textura


“Esmerine compositions are emotional portals for the listeners. There is significance in these songs, and the band uses their notes to convey heartfelt and deep emotion. This record is triumphant when asked, but still grounded in sadness. Nothing in my life is fused with the livelihood and beauty you find in Turkish markets or the political strife the country’s citizens face on an everyday basis, but these songs still act as a gateway into my own soul. These songs force me to think, to explore, to question. They make me want to love, to hold, to push on.”
– HeroHill


“Esmerine’s upcoming fourth LP continues to eschew guitars for moody, often unsettling fits of dramatic movements through cello, marimba, and tenor banjo as well as imported tools that include bendir, darbuka, erbane, meh, barama and saz... A welcome and fitting return.”
– Decoder


"Esmerine are avidly developing a fascinating and melodic balance between cultural and musical boundaries."
– Beats Per Minute

 
 
 
 

La Lechuza

 

"La Lechuza is unquestionably an album about mood. What distinguishes it from so many artists skirting the overlaps between new folk and chamber music-style arrangements is the attention to composition and content. Where lesser talents are content merely to create mood, satisfying themselves with the surface rewards of alternative timbres, Esmerine wrap mood around substance."
– The Wire


"Exquisitely restrained... mosaic-like instrumentals for marimba and strings."
– Mojo (Top 10 Underground Albums of 2011)


"The results are quite beautiful, like a more introspective Godspeed, with Foon's mournful cello lines taking centre stage."
– Q (4/5 STARS)


"A towering achievement... emotive and powerful, delicately wrought and stunningly beautiful. The recording is outstanding... a rare pleasure from start to finish."
– The 405


"The group's most diverse, most skilled, and most beautiful release yet."
– Alarm Press


"Intelligent and meticulous... Certain pieces are almost too painful to hear, others are alive with color and purpose... A dazzling collection of talent..."
– Fluid Radio


"La Lechuza is an album of mourning; filled with anger, sadness and acceptance and all of that spirals through you at various times. A superb group of songs..."
– The Muse in Music


"La Lechuza is easily Esmerine's best-produced and most emotionally visceral album yet."
– Exclaim!