Published Sep 05, 2014Naming a record "Ephemeral" is an easy way for an artist to set themselves up as a critics' punching bag, but in the case of Rich Aucoin, the name couldn't be more apt. He's built a rabid following who flock to the interactive, mixed-media extravaganza that is the Halifax musician's live show to be part of a unique, collective experience. Until now, his recorded output hasn't matched the fever pitch of those shows, but Ephemeral goes a long way to changing that.
Where he adopted a hushed croon on many of We're All Dying to Live's tracks, here Aucoin uses a yelp; its visceral punch is matched by the 10 high-energy tracks that make up the record's scant 30-minute runtime. Gone are the long intros, outros and instrumental passages. Ephemeral is an all killer, no filler affair, even as Aucoin's lyrics (something he rarely gets credit for) continue to display an earnest optimism that embody his #yolo attitude.
We're All Dying to Live was marked by its insanely collaborative creation (over 500 musicians are credited), but while Aucoin wisely bucks that approach here, he is once again writing to visuals: Ephemeral doubles as the soundtrack to a 1979 Claymation adaptation of The Little Prince. The two don't need to be experienced in tandem, though. More than ever, Aucoin's music stands on its own merits. (Bonsound)