Release Date: Sep 3, 2013
Record label: Constellation
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
As might be expected from Esmerine, a band that features members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Bruce Cawdron) and Thee Silver Mount Zion (Rebecca Foon), Dalmak is a dense, intriguing, and overall, utterly spellbinding listen. The band has expanded recently bringing Jamie Thompson and Brian Sanderson into the fold, giving them greater flexibility; Thompson’s percussive work over the course of the album is nothing short of inspired. The genesis of Dalmak began following a successful European tour, when the band was invited to take an artist in residency position in Istanbul.
Over a decade since the release of their debut, If Only a Sweet Surrender to the Nights to Come Be True, Canadian chamber minimalists Esmerine are dropping their fourth studio effort, Dalmak. The quartet, comprising co-founders Bruce Cawdron (of Godspeed You! Black Emperor fame) and Beckie Foon, as well as recent additions Brian Sanderson and Jamie Thompson, spin a fine web of noise – it’s fragile, tempestuous, pensive and sprawling – as they experiment with languid strains of clinical harmony, exploring avante-garde themes in neo-classical music, electronica and post-rock. After lengthy tours of Europe brought Esmerine to Turkey – Istanbul specifically – the group were invited for a residency in the city.
Montreal and Istanbul. The similarities might not be immediately apparent, but on reflection, it’s not such a strange pairing. Two traditional capitals, although both now supplanted, they share histories of unusually pronounced cultural interaction (francophone/anglophone and Asian/European, respectively) and both retain their reputations as diverse, cosmopolitan cities.