Published Mar 17, 2014If the Olympic Symphonium were an app, they'd be the app for listening to music with lyrics while reading. There's something so mellow, so smooth about this Fredericton, New Brunswick-based indie folk outfit that ambient music might require a new pacifying sub-genre. Their new record, Chance to Fate, is as lush, contemplative, unhurried and altogether satisfying as their previous three.
Perhaps the music is a by-product of the vast geography of the Maritime's biggest province. You simply can't get anywhere fast, so settle in, dim the volume, lose yourself and enjoy. Perhaps it's also about whom the band chose to work with. This record features producer Joshua Van Tassel, an ambient-electric-artist and drummer known for his work with the Great Lake Swimmers, Doug Paisley, David Myles, Justin Rutledge and others. Or maybe it's where they recorded the music: this time around it was at a haunted seaside inn in St. Andrews.
Whatever it is, the band have a knack for creating beautiful musical landscapes. Serious subject matter is addressed with light, borderline hypnotic touches, gorgeous harmonies, lap steel, harmonica and country and western-inspired guitars. There are no weak spots here, but stand out tracks include "Weak at the Knees" and "No Saving Grace," which meander like blowing leaves. Chance to Fate sets the tone and stays with you. (Forward Music Group)