SPILL NEWS: SNOWBLINK BRINGS ALBUM RELEASE SHOWS TO THE BURDOCK ON OCTOBER 8 & 9
SPILL NEW MUSIC: BLOND AMBITION - "HURRICANES"
SPILL NEW MUSIC: THE MISSION TO RELEASE ANOTHER FALL FROM GRACE OCTOBER 14th VIA EYES WIDE SHUT/SPV
SNOWBLINK BRINGS ALBUM RELEASE SHOWS TO THE BURDOCK ON OCTOBER 8 & 9
TORONTO / LOS ANGELES DUO TO RELEASE RETURNING CURRENT ON SEPTEMBER 9 VIA OUTSIDE MUSIC COAST TO COAST TOUR BEGINS SEPTEMBER 6 IN NEWFOUNDLAND
Snowblink’s newest collection of songs, Returning Current, is an unflinching study of human relationships – to self, to other, and to Other, and to the threat or actuality of losing those unrepeatable prizes. Set for release on September 9 via Outside Music, the Toronto / Los Angeles duo of Daniela Gesundheit and Dan Goldman recently performed a chill inducing set of three new songs from the album on CBC q.
Snowblink began the album recording process with a text based ‘mood board’ developed by Gesundheit to portray the sensations she wished to evoke in the production of the album. The musicians, producers, and engineers were faced with the task of sonically approximating themes of santa fe / arizona / palm springs / calypso disco / lots of space with bursts or ripples of sound.
Practically, this ambition meant that the band approached each song uniquely – here a full band live off the floor in a winter cabin, there a painstaking half-year-long process of revision, here a drum sample from years ago mixed with dozens of layers of analog synths and vocals. In sculpting the singular sound of Returning Current, no process was out of bounds – the band made themselves equally at home with a bevy of acoustic instruments, analog processes, or sample-based in-the-box production choices.
Earlier, the band shared album opener “How Now” and have now revealed “Feel Like A Man”, a song that “came out of a sort of ambition-exhaustion, a masculinity burnout – career-related, especially,” says Gesundheit. I wondered if other women felt similarly, that they had to figuratively and energetically be ‘in drag’ to get their voices heard. I pictured myself as a man, feeling both the elation and intense frustration of being powerful. The lyrics are buoyed above a repetitive synth pattern and relentless groove – a kind of echo of foot soldiers going out each day to conquer based on orders from above without being entirely clear on what the war is all about.”
Joining Snowblink in studio for the creation of Returning Current was co-producer Robbie Lackritz (Feist, Bahamas), and a cast of acclaimed musicians including Leslie Feist, Owen Pallett, Barbara Gruska (Fiona Apple, Jenny Lewis, Ray LaMontagne), Johnny Spence (Tegan and Sara), Thom Gill, Ariel Engle (AroarA), Steven Foster (Doldrums), Felicity Williams (Bahamas),Philipe Melanson (Rufus Wainwright), Mika Posen (Timber Timbre), and many others.
What results is “mastery at its liquidiest” claimed Feist in a personal letter to the band. A collection of songs that find the speaker reporting, in the stark, James Blake-esque ballad “Second Sight”, that “the sky was kneeling on my back to pray,” or elucidating the slipperiness of desire, as in Returning Current. These are private songs, domestic songs, songs to be absorbed over time – unhurried, biological time, the passage of which helps us to survive ourselves.
Snowblink is sensual, not sterile, elegantly imperfect, Wabi Sabi. Gesundheit’s empathic, mesmeric lyrics, when coupled with Goldman’s patient and narcotic arranging and production style, establish a genuine intimacy without telling us what to feel.
Looking to the emotional intelligence of heavyweights like Nina Simone, PJ Harvey, or Violeta Parra, or poets Anne Carson and Fanny Howe, while adhering to the optimistic and playful presentation of ’80’s French pop duo Elie & Jacno, Snowblink manages a courageous strangeness, otherness, an optimal mismatch.
Snowblink begins a month long coast to coast tour on September 6 in St. John’s, NL. All tour dates are listed below.
Returning Current Track Listing
How Now Exotic Bird
Feel Like a Man
Torn to Light
Snowblink Tour Dates
9/6 – The Ship, St John’s
9/7 – Timber Lounge, Halifax
9/8 – Plan B, Moncton
9/9 – The Capital, Fredericton
9/10 – Buoy Gallery, Portsmouth
9/11 – Trans Pico, Brooklyn
9/14 – Le Cercle (Bassment), Quebec City
9/15 – Casa Del Popolo, Montreal
9/16 – Pressed, Ottawa
9/17 – Sandbanks Festival, Picton
9/18 – Park Theatre, Winnipeg
9/19 – Bassment, Saskatoon
9/21 – Broken City, Calgary
9/22 – The Flying Steam Shovel, Rossland
9/23 – China Cloud, Vancouver
9/26 – Hungry Brain, Chicago
9/27 – Rock Island, Illinois, TBD
10/01 – Sounds Quixotic (in-store), Toronto
10/5 – Starlight, Waterloo
10/7 – The Garnett, Peterborough
10/8 – Burdock, Toronto
10/9 – Burdock, Toronto
The Spill Magazine is a Toronto-based online publication dedicated to covering the independent music scene with a strong focus on our thriving hometown talent. Our writers bring you up-to-date news, in-depth features on musicians and reviews for the latest CD releases. We also travel to the front lines for all local festivals including Canadian Music Week and North by Northeast.
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for all daily Spill updates.