Fifths of Seven Spry from Bitter Anise Folds

A meeting of great Montreal musical minds, A Silver Mt. Zion contributor Beckie Foon comes together with Wolf Parade member Spencer Krug to form — along with mandolin player Rachel Levine — this obtuse, yet intriguing band. While some songs do have some sense of pace to them, Fifths of Seven are much more at home letting their deep cello, violin and piano wallow in a semi-drone state that thickens the atmosphere with its rumblings and abrasive scraps. But the album also moves away from that aforementioned sound to a much lighter and inviting one, centring on a formidable use of accordion and mandolin, best heard in "Out From Behind the Rigid Bellows.” Indeed, every player’s instrument is given ample room to breath, as "Waiting” puts Krug front and centre as his minimal Satie-esque notes provide wonderful room to breath amongst the, at times, heavy strings. While this overall effect of Spry brings to mind a more classical sound, it is also hampered with a phenomenal sense of tight experimentation. They keep to a magnificent rigid classical structure, but include enough drone and Eastern European musical elements to make sure that the listener isn’t kept too comfortable amongst the deceiving arrangements. (Les Disques du Soleil et de l’Ac)