Jay Malinowski & the Deadcoast Martel

Jay Malinowski & the Deadcoast Martel
7
On Martel, Malinowski trades in his guitar and radio-ready Bedouin Soundclash sound for a piano and, for the second time since 2012's Indian Summer EP, teams up with Vancouver string trio the End Tree to bring something more orchestral and cinematic. As a whole, Martel is a good collection of songs: from its eery intro and the steering drums of "Meet Me at the Gates" to the deathly crawl of the closer "Low Low Low," the album is a dramatic affair that plays out as a linear narrative. This is a highly involving record that demands to be enjoyed in full, which leads to both the album's greatest strength and greatest weakness. A few of the songs, particularly in the middle, require the use of either the interactive website or the map on the CD's gatefold to fully enjoy, as the songs' the musical styles line up with the destinations. "Carnival Celebration #2," for example, takes place in the northern tip of South America, and has a Caribbean flavour to it. Martel isn't a casual listen, but hides many treasures in its salty brine for those willing to fully dive in. (Pirates Blend)