Doug Tielli Swan Sky Sea Squirrel

Toronto Island is a paradise seemingly removed from time or worry, where one is able to focus on the rustles, scents and splashing of simple life. Swan Sky Sea Squirrel was born of this freedom. After spending three months recording these tracks on the island last year, playing virtually every instrument himself, Doug Tielli has surfaced bearing gifts of essence ― warm examples of basic existence. The listener is guided through a vast museum of musical styles, all of which coalesce into a colourful auditory quilt. The lazy, lilting horns above gently plucked guitar strings on "Riversea" set the record's tone of drowsy, aquatic romance. "Santia" sees dub reggae beats meet languid Jeff Buckley trills, eventually evolving into a scintillating rock tornado, spiked with country twang. The record's eclectic, meandering style can sometimes make it challenging to follow, but by the same token, intent listeners are treated to the musical equivalent of an aimless wander through sunny island beauty. (Blocks)