Esmerine Aurora

Esmerine is Beckie Foon and Bruce Cawdron, both of whom have played with GY!BE and some ever-spawning offshoots. This project is somewhat in the same musical vein, but with more emphasis on strings and bells than cataclysmic guitars. Opener "Quelques Mots Pleins D’Ombre” explores some of the lower, richer notes of a cello, and the rumbling bells and odd dissonant instruments make for an interesting, tension-ridden exploration. The fullest song of Esmerine’s intentions is found in the epic "Histories Repeating as One Thousand Hearts Mend,” which while slightly sludgy, is stunning in its atmosphere. The rich cello scraps across a slight drone, while the hushed dull thuds of bells are echoed around them, thus bringing forth a trance-inducing element to the proceedings. Definitely shorter, but just as worthy of a stand-out, is "Why She Swallows Bullets and Stones,” which uses a meandering piano melody over the dissonant strings. The most conventionally classical song of the album, it brings a nice respite from the other usually heavy and somewhat dour songs. Expertly done, Aurora is an interesting find and will not let down those who thought the strings and in-between instrumentals in GY!BE were definitely the best part. (Madrona)