Published Jul 16, 2012If Seeds, the third album from Newfoundland orchestral collective Hey Rosetta!, had a single overarching imperfection, it was that it felt over-ambitious. The record, unlike their 2008 breakthrough Into Your Lungs, felt too scatterbrained, too jam-oriented, too focused on individual virtuosity -- the kiss of death for a band championing collectivity.
But performing to a polite, if disinterested, audience -- as they did on the final weekend of Quebec's Festival d'été -- Seeds' tracks began to make sense. Singer Tim Baker admitted that they had played a "unidimensional set of loud songs," but to his credit, they worked. Here, each member shared the limelight, with Kinley Dowling's swirling violin battling Rishi Thavanathanski's cello for the spotlight. Seeds' never-ending breakdowns, if unfocused in recording, adopted a grandiose quality in the open air. And Baker, displaying a rare vocal power, created an unlikely sing-along in Into Your Lungs' "Red Heart," which lingered with the audience long after its completion.
The result? A solid, if inviting, set, which won over a crowd impatiently awaiting Metric's performance.