Although Exclaim has been a fan of the label since violinist Jesse Zubot set it up in 2005, often several records come out at once and it's hard to soak up all the excellent, mind-expanding sounds.
The latest round of releases features veteran jazz-based ensemble The Tony Wilson Sextet, twisted pop/rock from Copilots and perhaps most interestingly, vocalist Viviane Houle's enchanting and experimental Treize.
Thirteen tracks are almost enough to cover the stunning range of Houle's vocal improvisations with duet partners ranging from cellist Peggy Lee to Stefan Smulovitz's psychedelic computer orchestrations. At times, Houle sounds like Diamanda Galas' worst nightmare, elsewhere she's got a small and hesitant voice. It all adds up to a stunning album that was released at the end of October and is gaining critical (and hopefully commercial) traction since then.
Here's a duet with veteran guitarist Ron Samworth, a mainstay of the Vancouver's long-running NOW Orchestra, entitled "Quiet Eyes." Houle sings in a relatively straightforward manner in this song, while Samworth takes a delicate route to exploiting a few guitar chords into an uneasy yet beautiful mood.
See Exclaim's full album review here.
Click on the arrow below to download Viviane Houle and Ron Samworth's "Quiet Eyes"