Tuesday, 21 September 2010



This is a sedate and glistening record.  One that houses are rare humanity and pained love for love.  It celebrates all that is wonder in the harsh tones of the human condition and human spirit.  Solemn and deceitful it reads like a diary of earnest stolen poetry.  There is bravery in being conflicted.

Eric Chenaux hails from Toronto, Ontario in Canada home of a great many people all I know all seemingly affected by one staunch trait or another.  And they are all second generation immigrants, expansive and emotion.  It is all such a rich tapestry.  Likewise Chenaux appears to specialise in the luxurious recollections of the moment and subtly standing out while feeling outcast.  He captures his surroundings of both body and spirit with intricate detail and explicit play that houses subtle experimentation in his playing an thus he endeared himself to Constellation.  He has referred to his guitar playing as “amazing background” which along with the vagrant layered subtleties taps into the exploratory nature of said scene/label.

In execution his vocal dexterity recalls Will Oldham without the weird, Nick Drake without the nerves and Lou Barlow sans the spite.  In other words there is plenty to attach to and borrow from.

It opens exchanging pleasantries, asking questions and debating wistfully.  For some reason it feels solemn and deceitful capturing a moment of lust and love while making things sound like the world is coming to an end.

The edge comes in the atmospherics of the movements, the fizzing pulse that carpets proceedings.  It lends colour to the pictures of Chenaux’s mind, which is quite the treasure in a world of grey singer songwriters.  It’s a dizzying array.  And when laced with lush harmonies its sentimental existence certainly feels the full embodiment of living with love.

Seemingly at one with nature, if not nurture, the solid set of ten songs play as a beacon to hope held against ships set on fire.  A little bit country, a little bit folk, all sparkling a funny thing happens when during the chorus of “Lavalliere #2” I find myself reminded of Donovan and specifically “Colours” as I almost begin singing another man’s song.  This is how an expert relates.

The album remains in the same gear all the way through.  This is not the soundtrack to a stressful moment on public transport or heavy day at work, this is sensual and luxurious music aimed at moments of calm and steady complexity.  Here are the gestures of a very nice man.

Thesaurus moment: serene.

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