Release Date: Feb 25, 2014
Record label: Monotreme
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Barzin is the vehicle for the musical outings of Barzin Hosseini, chilled troubadour of the Toronto music scene. He toured here a couple of years ago with Great Lake Swimmers, whose Tony Dekker features on this album. What was notable about those appearances was his ability to hold a room in rapt silence as his melodic songs insinuated themselves into the audiences’ consciousness.
A five year gap between albums is not necessarily a bad sign, but it is rarely cause for optimism; more often than not, it is the hallmark of a writer's block or a laboured recording process. While Barzin admitted he initially envisioned the long-awaited follow-up to 2009's Notes to an Absent Lover as a more stripped-down affair, To Live Alone in that Long Summer is an elegant, contemplative album that thankfully bears little trace of its long gestation. Joined by Nick Zubeck on guitars and an all-star cast of backing vocalists that includes longtime friend Tony Dekker (Great Lake Swimmers), as well as Daniela Gesundheit (Snowblink) and Tamara Lindeman (the Weather Station), Barzin leads the listener through occasionally hopeful ("This going nowhere/ Must lead to somewhere") meditations on urban life, empty relationships and lonely nights dressed up in unobtrusive strings and steel guitars.
Barzin's fourth album is another unshowy affair. Songs are hushed and intimate meditations on relationships, slowly and evenly rolled out with few spikes or dips in emotion; the main mood is sensitive contemplation. Sometimes Barzin's singing is soft and serious, others times dreamy and wistful. Immaculately arranged, it's an album you settle into, then relax into.