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Saltland - I Thought It Was Us But It Was All of Us

I Thought It Was Us But It Was All of Us
Constellation - 2013

Michael Panontin
Rebecca Foon's latest project, Saltland, veers somewhat from the ethereal minimalism of her previous record for Constellation, Esmerine's frankly stunning La Lechuza. Here the Montreal-based cellist teams up with Unicorns drummer Jamie Thompson, so it should surprise no one that parts of I Thought It Was Us But It Was All of Us even take us into standard alt/indie territory. Foon had composed the whole of it locked up in a cabin in Banff back in the winter of 2011, and though it was originally to be billed as a solo project, the contributions of Thompson, co-producer Mark Lawson and the coterie of well-known studio musicians must have given her second thoughts. "The initial process of writing was very solitary and isolated, but I wanted to move out of that isolation to record the material," she told on-line mag Beats Per Minute. "Mark Lawson produced the record - he has been so incredible and artistically generous to work with - and he had a significant impact on the overall aesthetic/sound of the record".

Indeed, the opener 'Golden Alley', with its processed percussion and bassline buttressing Foon's woozy strings and vocal, is a sonic delight, somehow managing to recall the syrupy psychedelia of the long-forgotten Vanessa Daou. Some tracks, though, are decidedly grittier, like the drony 'I Thought It Was Us', with its methodic drum and guitar tweaked by Colin Stetson's saxophone squeals. Still others explore the more sombre side of things, but the constant throughout is Foon's deft cello playing, sometimes bowed, at other times plucked, but always a deeply satisfying experience. I Thought It Was Us... is another fine addition to the Constellation roster.



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