Colin Stetson New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light

Colin StetsonNew History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light
Forming the final part in Stetson's New History Warfare trilogy, To See More Light is comparable, both stylistically and thematically, to its 2011 Polaris Music Prize-nominated predecessor. In a similar manner to Judges, it was recorded, for the most part, live in one take, employing the same clever mic placements, impressive circular breathing, simultaneous singing while playing, rhythmic valve-tapping and brooding atmosphere. The guest vocalist this time around is Justin Vernon, who Stetson has recently played with as a touring member of Bon Iver, a head-scratching marriage on paper that, to their credit, couldn't be a better fit in practice. The use of the vintage bass sax with the sci-fi themes, at times, summons up the dystopian, retro-futuristic imagery of Terry Gilliam or Jeunet and Caro (the directors of Delicatessen). By far the most successful and complete of his trilogy, To See More Light is a masterpiece that organically and coherently blends Stetson's avant-garde playing and dark, complex themes with accessible and compelling compositions that bring a ray of hope not just for the characters in his underlying narrative, but for the future of music.