|Dear Reader — Day Fever (Feb. 24th, 2017)|
Dear Reader — Day Fever•→√•→ Každý má někdy špatný den, že jo? Denní horečka je vyjádřením údivu či zděšení, kryptogramem a zastaralým eufemizmem pro hysterii. Nemůžu čekat na další nahrávku, která by podobně měla mít na paměti události posledních 12 měsíců, ale zatím je toto album pro mne inspirativní. Nahrávalo se analógově v Tiny Telephone Studios v San Franciscu, které vlastní Vanderslice. Digitální korekce malých chyb během produkce nebyla volbou: buď budou mít stopu, nebo ji vymažou — to vše — anebo začnou znovu. „Bylo to proti všemu, s čím jsem se do té doby cítila komfortně,″ řekla Cherilyn MacNeil a dodala, že „ztráta kontroly byla zpočátku děsivá″. John Vanderslice ji ovšem přesvědčil, aby se přizpůsobila těmto malým chybám a přijala nedokonalost jako součást dobré, čestné hudby. Nakonec MacNeil trvala na tom, že její rozhodnutí pracovat s Vanderslicem je lepší volbou, než nahrát album v Berlíně a přesně tím, co její hudba potřebovala. Cherilyn MacNeil a Darryl Torr začali jako alternativní popové duo, natočili první album Replace Why With Funny ještě v Jižní Africe. Pak Torr opustil kapelu a MacNeill se přestěhovala do Berlína. Obklopila se avantgardními spoluhráčkami. Kvartet dále tvoří: Evelyn Saylor (New York City, elektronika, piano), Stella Veloce (multiinstrumentalistka ze Sardínie) na cello a Olga Nosova z Ruska (efekty, bicí, zpěv). Na albu však hned od prvních tónů zpívají Erika Wilson, Inés Beltranena, Carly Bond, Rebecca Edwards, Lindy Groening, Madeline Kenney, Sami Perez, Erika Wilson a Cherilyn MacNeil. Vanderslice se ujal režie, produkce, sám na něm hraje a programuje syntetizátory. Celkem se na albu podílí 19 lidí, uslyšíme na něm také cello, lesní horn, klarinet, Rhodes Piano a dost elektroniky. MacNeill si zvolila téma historie Jižní Afriky — od naděje přistěhovalce k brutalitě rasismu. To neznamená, že jde o album zaujaté utrpením a útlakem. Je to ten nejodvážnější krok, který kdy band Dear Reader učinil. S texty, které balancují na hraně nože, nové album paradoxně nic neskrývá. Upřednostňuje perfektní zvukomalebnost biblického jazyka, aby demaskoval písně z temnoty. S odkazem na svaté, krále, proroky, svaté jazyky a zvířata Day Fever vykresluje svět, ve kterém naše tajemství — ušlechtilá i ošklivá, jsou vystavena slunci. Sluneční záře nás vystavuje současnosti, abychom konfrontovali život v reálném čase. S pozoruhodným nedostatkem reverbu zní Day Fever minimalisticky a pracovně, jaksi předběžně (vanguard) a jinak, než předcházející album Rivonia (2013). Dear Reader dosahuje účinku ohýbáním tématického pole alba a expresí: ve skutečnosti každá skladba na albu je výsledkem pouze jednoho nebo nejvýše dvou studiových setkání. Za tento zážitek si určitě rádi zaplatíte. Závěrečné zvonění: cokoli slyšíte, vás nutí přemýšlet, jestli je něco důležitější, než najít krásu v nedokonalosti. Výsledkem je album s emocionální dravostí. Vyhýbá se velkým efektům, je organické, připomíná éru “The Beekeeper” od Tori Amos nejen z hlediska stylu a tónu, ale také v jeho bolestivě upřímných a otevřených textech. Nejsme všichni občas také maskováni trochu tenkou slupkou, nevyvážení, nebo jen máme špatný den? Přesně tak. (BTA) © Cherilyn MacNeil ... lead vocals, Rhodes Piano, guitars. Dear Reader. Photo credit: Shane Thomas McMillan
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa ~ Berlin, Germany ~ San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Genres: Adult Alternative Rock / Singer~Songwriter, Female Vocals
Album release: February 24, 2017
Recorded: John Vanderslice’s San Francisco studio
Record Label: City Slang
01 Oh, The Sky! 4:50
02 Tie Me To The Ground 3:18
03 So Pretty So Pathetic 2:40
04 Mean Well 4:09
05 Wake Him 2:35
06 Placate Her 3:35
07 If Only Is 3:11
08 I Know You Can Hear It 3:30
09 Nothing Melodious 4:05
10 Then, Not Now 3:21
11 The Run 3:20
•→√•→ Cherilyn MacNeil lead vocals, Rhodes Piano, guitars
•→√•→ Evelyn Saylor piano, electronics
•→√•→ Stella Veloce cello
•→√•→ Olga Nosova drums, percussion
POUR LES FANS DE:
•→√•→ First Aid Kit, Angus & Julia Stone, Fleet Foxes
•→ Stella Veloce is a sardinian composer and multi~instrumentalist. She holds a cello degree and is currently studying composition at the universität der künste of Berlin. As a composer she works in the fields of instrumental acoustic music, performance art, sound art and stage music. In addition to composition her activities as a musician range from pop music to free improvisation. Her work as a musician in the pop music sphere and her research in extended instrumental techniques and collective improvisation greatly influence her work as a composer and feed her inclination for collaborative work. Veloce is co~founder of the new music and performance event series “reflektor” happening quarterly in the art venue westgermany in Berlin. Past and present collaborators include Neele Hülcker, Katie Lee Dunbar, Anaïs Héraud~Louisadat, Julian Weber, the Agency, Clara Murtas, Kyle Bellucci Johanson, Carlo Spiga, Angela Guerreiro, Kat Frankie, Katrin Hahner, Raz Ohara, Kuraia Ensemble, Serenus Zeitblom Ensemble, Opera Lab, Dear Reader, Christiane Hommelsheim.
•→ Evelyn Saylor studied Music with a concentration in Composition at Pomona College and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Sound Studies at the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany. She has been composing since she was formally educated in music at a very young age, and attended The Special Music School of America and LaGuardia High School for Music and Art in New York City. In addition to receiving commissions from the Church of the Heavenly Rest and from the Orfeo Duo in New York, she was also the recipient of the Mellon Elemental Arts Initiative Summer Experience in the Arts Award. This award commissioned her to travel to Berlin, Germany for the summer and compose a large~scale piece of electronic music partially created from geological data relating to tectonic plate movements. The piece, “Tech Tonic Plates,” was presented in the Pomona College Museum of Art, and was also installed as an audiovisual installation in collaboration with Mari Matsutoya in the gallery Dzialdov in Berlin, Germany. She graduated Cum Laude and received the Cecil Short Memorial Prize in Music from Pomona College.
•→ Ms. Saylor has written electronic, choral, and instrumental chamber music. Her compositional thesis included a five~movement work for cello and piano entitled “Character Pieces,” which she herself performed at Pomona College. Her thesis also included “Exuberance,” a song for voice and piano. Her electronic piece “The Bells” was performed in the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival 2014. “Reckless Poem,” for soprano, violin, and piano and commissioned by the Orfeo Duo, also received its premiere in New York. Her piece “Prayer for My Heart” for women’s chorus and organ has been performed at the Church of the Heavenly Rest and Trinity Church Wall Street in New York (also telecast), and at Harvard Memorial Church in Cambridge, MA. She has written dance scores for original Modern Dance choreography. Upcoming projects include a collaborative work to be performed in the Tischlerei at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Germany in June 2015. In addition to being a composer, Ms. Saylor is also a pianist, a singer, a dancer, and a visual artist. She has completed an internship in Munich, Germany, at the avant~garde Münchner Kammertheater.
•→ Date of birth: 28 Sept., 1986. Olga Nosova is sound~artist, drummer, singer. Olga started her musical activity in Moscow 2001. There she played drums in various local bands of different styles and genres, such as Syncopated Silence, Motherfathers, Brom, etc. She uses a wide range of different electronic sounds and effects, and a variety of acoustic instruments and sound objects. Since August 2013 she produced the music for dance projects like Company urbanReflects and AutreMina and independent dancers, taking part in perfomances. With Alexei Borisov she has a duo Astma, a project that is dedicated to experimental, improvised music. She is very active internationally and perform with many influential musicians, such as Peter Brötzman, Thomas Lehn, Dave Phillips, Thomas Buckner, Jandek, John Hegre, Pekka Airiksinen and much more. Olga lives in Berlin.
•→√•→ Life is, on occasion, terrifying. Day Fever, an album half~jokingly named after an outdated euphemism for hysteria, embraces that. The record is indie~pop act Dear Reader’s first in four years, and accordingly, singer songwriter Cherilyn MacNeil looks back on the ten days spent recording in John Vanderslice’s San Francisco studio, Tiny
Telephone, as being “psychically painful.” She laughs, but she means it.
•→√•→ Already far from home in Berlin, the South African musician’s trek to San
Francisco meant a huge adjustment in terms of her recording style.
•→√•→ Well~known as a producer for acts like Spoon and The Mountain Goats, and
a musician in his own right, Vanderslice has made a name for himself in analog recording, something Dear Reader hadn’t explored prior to the decision to record at Tiny Telephone. On tape, digitally correcting small mistakes during production wasn’t an option: they’d keep a track or erase it ~ all of it ~ and start again.
•→√•→ “It went against everything I felt comfortable with,” Cherilyn says, calling the loss of control initially terrifying. She remembers a recording, for example, in which she didn’t pronounce the ‘s’ sound at the end of a word, and wanted to redo it. Vanderslice, though, persuaded her to cozy up to these small mistakes, accepting imperfection as part of what makes good, honest music. (In the age of cloud back~ ups, he once impulsively erased a track after Cherilyn’s questioning the use of a trumpet,
teaching the lesson of “gone” the hard way.)
•→√•→ In the end, MacNeil insists that her decision to work with Vanderslice, rather than to produce the album herself in Berlin, was exactly what her music needed.
It was also a whole lot of fun. She jokes that before flying to San Francisco, she’d stayed in her room making music by herself “for like, three years.” (It’s worth mentioning that Cherilyn did venture out of her room to win a German film prize for her work on the score for the black~and~white Berlin movie, Oh Boy.) Ultimately, recording on tape
helped her commit to the performance and narrative act of making an album, and to break, in her words, the habit of “editing the life out of things.”
•→√•→ In Day Fever, those old habits have died, and hard. The raw, melodious, at times discordant record has most certainly retained its life, left fresh and untrampled by infinite do~overs. In fact, each song on the album is the result of just one, or a maximum of two, studio performances. For anyone who has ever discovered new music live and run home, hands shaking with anticipation, only to find the same songs
sterile and over~produced off~stage, Dear Reader brings relief.
•→√•→ “Oh, the Sky,” the album’s opening track, punctuated by what could be the
drip of a mechanical IV, is a crisp, triumphant take on grief. “The saint in the painting is fetching her home / His arms are outstretched and he’s beckoning, come / It rattles the blinds and it shatters the window,” Cherilyn sings. It’s painful and it’s pretty, setting the tone for the rest of the record.
•→√•→ With a notable lack of reverb, Day Fever sounds more minimal, more vanguard than Dear Reader’s previous albums, bending to match the album’s thematic pitch: if Rivonia (2013) pulled us back into the MacNeil’s (and South Africa’s) history, Day
Fever slingshots us into the present to confront life in real time.
•→√•→ It’s the most naked thing Dear Reader has ever made. With lyrics that teeter
on the knife~edge of saying too much, the new album hides nothing, preferring the gauzy ornament of biblical language to cloaking songs in obscurity. With reference to saints, kings, prophets, holy tongues, and beasts, Day Fever paints a world in which our secret selves, both the noble and the ugly, lay exposed out in the sun. In “If Only Is,” we run through a darkening forest from a clangy mix of instruments (and arguably also from our inevitable aging): “We can’t afford to linger long,” Cherilyn tells us. “If only is the bitterest song.” In “Placate Her,” we wonder why we can’t just be nice to ourselves. In “I Know You Can Hear It,” we tap our feet to the tambourine and also, incidentally, to a tale of a king who murders women for fun. “Mean Well” is a tragic
look at vulnerability and anxiety, and in “Nothing Melodious,” the choir echoes Dear Reader’s worst fear in investigating this kind of suffering. “Get to a doctor,” she sings. “You’re making a fuss.”
•→√•→ In all its darkness, Day Fever ends on a sunsetty high. “The Run,” the
final track (which Cherilyn wrote on her phone, out running one night) gives shape to the soaring sense of invincibility that comes with embracing the burn of a life lived raw and open. “A choir of uneven voices / Futile / But it’s very beautiful,” she sings. Bells toll.
•→√•→ Anything but insincere, Dear Reader makes you wonder if there’s anything
more important than finding beauty in imperfection.
•→√•→ That’s not to say this isn’t difficult, or that the album doesn’t veer towards the
void. With three tracks that beg to stop time and another two lamenting the mundane terror that lurks in supermarket aisles and in bedrooms, it’s definitely difficult. It’s definitely dark. But no one ever promised otherwise. MacNeil admits it: “Right now my view seems rather dark,” she sings in “Then, Not Now,” the penultimate track, confronting religion and homeland one final time. If Idealistic Animals (2011) was a
eulogy of the singer’s faith, this song is a burial. In all its lyricism and theatrics, Dear Reader affords herself a few plain words: “It is our noblest endeavor / to improve on the past.”
•→√•→ And she has.
Website: http://olganosova.com/ © Cherilyn MacNeil lead vocals, Rhodes Piano, guitars. Dear Reader. Photo credit: Shane Thomas McMillan
Written by Philip McCarthy. 2 March, 2017 / Score: 8
•→√•→ Dear Reader’s first new album in four years, and one where she “accepts imperfection as part of what makes good, honest music.” Both painful and pretty, City Slang call it “the most naked thing Dear Reader has ever made” and Cherilyn sings “It is our noblest endeavor / to improve on the past.” Which she has, agrees Philip McCarthy.
•→√•→ Although relatively new to me Dear Reader, in essence singer songwriter Cherilyn MacNeil, has been around since 2008. Originally based in Johannesburg she has produced four albums. Her base is now in Berlin.
•→√•→ I do not like reducing music down to gender but I have noticed more and more of the individual, original music is being created by female artists Jenny Hyval, Holly Hebden , Chelsea Wolfe etc. Cherilyn is not ‘the same’ as them but she slots right in to the imaginative atmospheric mode.
•→√•→ Another attraction of this album is the array of themes for each song. Oh, The Sky is about her personal feelings on a revisit to South Africa. So Petty, So Pathetic is about her reaction (or lack of it ) to harassment of a homeless man.
•→√•→ Although some of her songs have an tinge of politics within them as you would expect from her background some of them are more personal for example. Placate Her which covers her feelings of self love/self loathing although in this self obsessed society we live in that could well be considered political.
•→√•→ To add to the global nature of the album it was recorded in San Francisco with the help of analogue producer John Vanderslice. The production is sublime but at the same time the analogue “no margin for error” makes the album feel very natural.
•→√•→ The arrangements are quite intricate but as far as I can see again all backing instrumentation is traditional clarinet, horns, drums. There appear minimal traces of synth sound but that could well be the producers work. Another major mark of the album is the choral style vocals not a production trick but a group of singers recording in one take.
•→√•→ Some of this will make it sound like a complicated album to listen to. It isn’t. Its a very personal work of light and dark and an atmospheric piece to immerse yourself into.
•→√•→ Day Fever is an old fashioned term for Hysteria. I cannot wait for her next album bearing in mind the events of the past 12 months, but for now, this is an inspirational album. •→√•→ http://louderthanwar.com/
|Dear Reader — Day Fever (Feb. 24th, 2017)|