|Chantal Acda — Let Your Hands Be My Guide (2013)|
Chantal Acda — Let Your Hands Be My Guide
¬ "It's as a delicate whole that Let Your Hands... conveys its true gossamer beauty" — 4/5 The Skinny
Location: Leuven, Belgium (Dutch-born)
Album release: November 11, 2013
Record Label: Gizeh Records
Code/Format: [GZH46] LP / CD / DL
01 Jason 3:54
02 We will, we must 3:08
03 My night 5:41
04 Own time 5:56
05 Arms uphigh 5:01
06 Lost 3:30
07 Backdrops 7:40
08 Wintercoat 3:24
09 We must hold on 5:41
¬ All songs/lyrics written by Chantal Acda, (except 'My Night' lyrics by Toby Litt)
¬ Players: Chantal Acda, Nils Frahm, Peter Broderick, Shahzad Ismaily and Gyda Valtysdottir.
¬ Recorded and mixed by Nils Frahm at Durton Studio Berlin
¬ Mastered by: Pieter Dewagter
¬ Graphic design: Rutger Zuydervelt
ALBUM REVIEW BY CHRIS BUCKLE. PUBLISHED 31 OCTOBER 2013
¬ Though billed as her first ‘real solo record’ (following a trio of softly sumptuous slowcore releases under the Sleepingdog moniker), Chantal Acda’s Let Your Hands Be My Guide comes courtesy of a raft of esteemed collaborators, including composers Nils Frahm and Peter Broderick and Múm cellist Gyda Valtysdottir — all figures well-practiced in the subtle-yet-soaring arts in which Acda is specialist.
¬ Her unhurried compositions aren’t afraid to fade to near-silence, exhibiting such gentle poise that listeners would be forgiven for nodding off mid-song — not a charge of tedium, but an acknowledgement of the lullaby effects of Acda’s refined songwriting, with minimalist arrangements allowing her attractively light voice the muted spotlight. ¬ Pushed for highlights one might identify the twinkling ether of My Night or the duet at the core of Arms up High, but it’s as a delicate whole that Let Your Hands… conveys its true gossamer beauty.
¬ Chantal Acda (b. 1978) has worked under the Sleepingdog moniker since 2006, making three affectionately received albums; Naked in a clean bed (2006), Polar Life (2008) and, most recently, With Our Heads in the Clouds and Our Hearts in the Fields, in which she worked closely with Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid, A Winged Victory for the Sullen). They toured the UK and Benelux with Low. At the same time, she was a constant on-stage presence with Isbells.
¬ After all this, it was time for her first real solo record. Playing in various formations 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.
¬ Nils Frahm was the first of these to cross her path. The German pianist reaches in and touches with his intense records and adventurous performances. Acda also experienced a direct bond with Peter Broderick. We know this multi-instrumentalist from his solo work and from his work with, among others,Efterklang. Cellist extraordinaire Gyda Valtysdottir had previously worked with Chantal as a member of the Sleepingdog live band. She had previously played in Icelandic group múm. Shahzad Ismaily stumbled into this picture by chance, but when Chantal and he found themselves in the same room they formed an instant rapport.
¬ The circle completed, Acda had found the 4 worlds that would enable her to record an album wherein she might go in search of those boundaries and patterns. In full freedom. Power revealed through vulnerability.
¬ Nils Frahm, who played all over the record, also took on the role of producer.
¬ What began as a journey ended as a wonderful record — one wherein the five musicians were able to find their place and, together, and with great warmth, tell their nine-song story.
¬ Chantal Acda has been performing and recording under the name Sleepingdog since 2006. ‘Polar Life’ is her second album following her debut ‘Naked in a Clean Bed’ which was released on Zeal back in 2006.
¬ On both these records Chantal has worked with Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid/Dead Texan). Adam has become an essential part of the music, bringing his trademark soundscapes and strings into the songs and handling production duties.
¬ Wiltzie suggested to select for ‘Polar Life’ only those songs in which beats are all but absent, so the subdued pureness and the unity of the atmosphere of the album go beyond the limits of New-Folk and Folktronica.
¬ The fitful climate and the fairy-like atmosphere of Iceland remains a great source of inspiration for the music of Sleepingdog. Thus the poem ‘Nú hverfur sól í haf’ by the Icelandic author and poet Sigurbjörn Einarsson was used as a starting point for the track ‘The Sun sinks in the Sea’.
¬ For the first time a cover appears on a Sleepingdog album: ‘If Only’ by Sophia, a song that was already popular when sung live.
¬ The artwork on Polar Life was again done by the Greek-American media-artist Christina Vantzou.
¬ Previous to Sleepingdog, Chantal recorded under her own name to release ‘Dreamy Yell’ in 1999 before moving from her native Netherlands to Belgium. In 2003 her new band Chacda released ‘La Sortie’ and toured the UK with Lambchop.
FLUID RADIO: http://www.fluid-radio.co.uk/2013/09/chantal-acda/
|Chantal Acda — Let Your Hands Be My Guide (2013)|