|Chantal Acda — The Sparkle in Our Flaws|
Chantal Acda — The Sparkle in Our Flaws (25 September 2015) ♣ Byl jsem dost zvědav na Chantal, výsledkem je mírné nadšení s podporou kopnutí panáku do hlavy. Nahrávka obahuje dvě živé superverze z Hannoveru a Drážďan s Peterem Broderickem. Ten taky musí být všude, dnes ho tady ještě umístím s jinou zpěvačkou z Francie. Úsměv, nominace, pohlazení.Location: Antwerp, Holland ~~ Belgium
Album release: 25 September 2015
Record Label: Glitterhouse Records
01. Homes 6:50
02. Everything 3:24
03. Games 4:27
04. The Other Way 4:31
05. The Sparkle in Our Flaws 6:29
06. Up and Down 3:30
07. Minor Places 3:56
08. Still We Guess 5:38
09. Arms Up High (Live in Hannover) [feat. Peter Broderick] (Live in Hannover) 6:08
10. The Other Way (Live in Dresden) [feat. Peter Broderick] (Live in Dresden) 4:16Product Description
♣ Currently based in Belgium, Dutch–born Chantal Acda (b. 1978) has worked under the Sleepingdog moniker since 2006, making three acclaimed albums that closed on the 'With Our Heads in the Clouds and Our Hearts in the Fields' (2010) album for which she collaborated with Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid, A Winged Victory For The Sullen), and touring extensively both in Europe and North America. Also playing in various other formations (Isbells, True Bypass, Marble Sounds) had made her conscious of the patterns that we all, as humans, share in. So, she sought out kindred spirits with whom she might record an album filled with freedom and intensity, and who were conscious of the patterns we so often fall back on. One of the first to cross her path was inventive German pianist and producer Nils Frahm. When, shortly thereafter, multi–instrumentalist Peter Broderick (known from his solo work on labels such as Bella Union and Erased Tapes and from his work with a.o. Efterklang) and Shahzad Ismaily (regular collaborator of a.o. Lou Reed, Tom Waits and Bonnie Prince Billy) also stumbled into the picture, she instantly knew that these were the people with whom she wanted to record her first real solo record. What began as a journey ended in a wonderful record — one wherein all musicians were able to find their place and, together, with great warmth, tell their nine–song story. ‘Let Your Hands Be My Guide’ (released in 2013). When it came to touring around this release, the main challenge Chantal was facing was how to bring these songs live. The musicians that helped her record the album were both genius and very specific, and it was hard to recreate that same sound on stage with a different band. So she decided to step away from the album sound and employ the same vision of freedom towards the live set–up, surrounding herself with musicians that were able to bring their own magic to the table and transform her music into a new and refreshing whole by interpreting the songs rather than recreating them, and allowing her and us to experience the songs in a different way. These unique live versions as performed with her touring band — Alan Gevaert (dEUS, Trixie Whitley) on bass, Gaetan Vandewoude (Isbells) on guitar and Eric Thielemans (Jozef Dumoulin Trio, Lidlboi, Tape Cuts Tape) can be savoured on the album 'Chantal Acda — Live In Dresden' which appeared as a limited edition in 2014. After recording 'Let Your Hands Be My Guide' Chantal instantly knew that the bond that she experienced with Peter Broderick and Shahzad Ismaily was one to last for a lifetime. So it was compulsive to turn to them again for her new album 'The Sparkle In Our Flaws', which she had written in–between touring on the first album, and on which she wanted to further explore the musical freedom she felt while playing with them. Besides Peter and Shahzad, you will also hear contributions from Valgeir Sigurdsson, Heather Woods Broderick, Niels Van Heertum and Eric Thielemans. ♣♦♣ Inspiration for the album title came from the magical setting where recordings took place — "The Sparkle" Studio in Pacific City (Oregon) — and from the vulnerability that is exposed in them: played and captured in the moment, inherently flawed but all the same brilliant.
Review / Video
By: Si Forster
♣♦♣ Chantal Acda is not one to rest on her laurels. Making her mark with Sleepingdog, she has also experimented artistically as Nu Nog Even Niet, introspectively in the striking True Bypass as well as recent stints both as part of a band (Distance Light and Sky) and as a solo artist. Following on from this latter direction, The Sparkle in Our Flaws is a pleasant continuation from her Let Your Hands Be My Guide lone debut.
♣♦♣ Returning with Efterklang’s Peter Broderick and the multitalented Shahzad Ismaily who lent such grace to her previous record, the comfort in her musical and collaborative surroundings is evident from the off, opting for a seven-minute gentle rollercoaster in Homes to ease the listener in and to set out her peaceful vision for the remaining eight songs.
♣♦♣ For anyone new to Chantal’s music, this is a great way to become both introduced and familiar. A voice that initially comes across as so fragile belies its own strength and depth as it’s evident that it’s this voice that isn’t just the anchor to everything that patiently builds up around it. It’s also the thing that seems to naturally determine everything that comes to it, as instrumentation both acoustic and electronic appear to approach each song with a cautious curiosity before building with more confidence, supported by the vocals. A song like The Other Way shouldn’t be as gently halcyon as it is, given that it contains both trumpet and banjo, but it remains a spiderweb–thin and sunlit song that’s as bright and beautiful as anything else on here.
♣♦♣ It’s fitting that a record where everything swirls around a central point in each composition that the title track sits at its very centre. A piece that isn’t so much a song as an incoming storm, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by a build–up that simply doesn’t stop until you’re right underneath it and it’s a genuinely wonderful feeling just to get caught up along with it.
♣♦♣ For this particular listener, it does occur to me that The Sparkle In Our Flaws represents a high point emotionally for the artist, as while much of the music retains the slow moving calmness of before, there is a further lightening of Chantal’s own worldview that continues from her solo predecessor, the hand–wrought, gleeful percussion of closer Still We Guess pointing at a further upward spiritual trajectory away from the hurt felt and expressed through True Bypass’ two albums, and it’s a joy to witness.
♣♦♣ The overall experience is like walking over a frozen river. You never know when, or even if, the ground will give way underneath you but just going along with it is such a joy that contemplating its fragility becomes a secondary consideration to how it’s all holding you up at all. The Sparkle in Our Flaws can do nothing but lift any mood and lighten any atmosphere. ♣ http://echoesanddust.com/Review
By MIKE DAVIES on 21 SEPTEMBER, 2015
♣ Born in Holland, based in Belgium, Chantal Acda is an ethereal voiced experimentalist singer–songwriter who’s also known under the moniker of Sleepingdog under which she’s recorded three albums, the most recent two with Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid, A Winged Victory For The Sullen). The Sparkle In Our Flaws is her second studio recording under own name and finds her working with fellow sonic experimentalist Peter Broderick (and his sister Heather), Shahzad Ismaily (a diverse collaborator who has worked with the likes of Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Jolie Holland, Laura Veirs, Bonnie Prince Billy and Sam Amidon) and Icelandic musician, producer and member of the Bedroom Community collective and label, Valgeir Sigurdsson.
♣ She’s a self–confessed admirer of Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis and sports Philip Glass influences which feeds into this airy, delicate and simultaneously glacial and warm collection of songs about relationships and belongings that are both dreamily soporific and infused with a keen awareness of life unfolding.♣ Named in part after “The Sparkle” Studio in Oregon where it was recorded and the inherent vulnerability within the songs (there’s a wealth of images conjuring fragility), it opens with Homes, a simple, spare arrangement of a circling synth drone and quietly puttering drums behind her breathy, crystal pure vocals. She sings of how you home always travels with you in your head and heart and how we are always connected to our roots. That we also sometimes need to get away from the place to which we are always drawn back partly informs The Other Way, her folksy delivery (she’s been likened to This is The Kit) backdropped by another water rippling syth line and haunted by a muted, melancholic saxophone.
♣ Elsewhere connections and relationships inform the lyrics, a sharing of souls, (two songs talk of sharing breath, others of games or embracing someones flaws and all), the music swelling on Everything, hinting at a celtic warmth shared on the title track, introducing pizzicato strings for the slow march rhythm of Up and Down, skittering on the celebratory Still We Guess (“we broke the rules and danced all night again”) with its violin solo or conjuring jazz, folk and pop colours on Games with its repeated “don’t go” chorus lines.
♣ Ethereal and also full of swirling passions and whispered longings, it’s an intoxicating, calming and beguiling journey through the beauty of our imperfections.
|Chantal Acda — The Sparkle in Our Flaws (25 September 2015)|