Rachel Zeffira

The Deserters

BY Cam LindsayPublished Mar 8, 2013

Kootenays, BC native Rachel Zeffira has a long back-story that involves relocating to the UK, being deported, performing at the Vatican for the Pope and befriending the Horrors. But her tale shouldn't overshadow the fact that this classically trained soprano has accidentally become a remarkable producer and songwriter. Following the album she recorded with Horrors frontman Faris Badwan as Cat's Eyes in 2011, Zeffira has ventured out on her own and applied what she's learned to a solo album that elegantly combines her influences, new and old. The Deserters doesn't sound like the work of an artist who just discovered "shoegaze" five years ago, but Zeffira's orchestral arrangements — recorded at Abbey Road, no less — mirror the way artists layer guitar noise. Her dizzying cover of My Bloody Valentine's "To Here Knows When" may have initiated her solo career, but it doesn't define her; she reimagines sparkling disco on the "Break the Spell" and '60s baroque pop on "Waiting for Sylvia" like a well-educated student. No matter how enchanting the music gets, nothing quite eclipses her exquisite voice, which elevates the songs on The Deserters to a blissful level that no one can touch.
(Paper Bag)

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