Esmerine is a post-rock quintet from Montréal. Very much a part of that Godspeed/Constellation Records/Montréal post-rock collective, they started in 2001 and have released five proper albums including a brand new one this month. The founding members were Rebecca Foon (cello, harmonium, piano, voice) and Bruce Cawdron (marimba, glockenspiel, vibraphone). Foon is a former member of A Silver Mt. Zion/Thee Silver Mt Zion Orchestra, etc. She also has her “solo” project Saltland. Cawdron is a former member of Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
The current lineup also includes Saltland collaborator Jamie Thompson (drums/marimba/glockenspiel), multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson (violin, cornet, french horn, others), and Jérémi Roy (contrabass, bass guitar). That last guy is not to be confused with defenceman Jérémy Roy, who was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the second round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
On this album, they also got some contributions from some Montréal post-rock all-stars such as Jace Lasek out of The Besnard Lakes (guitar), saxophone genius Colin Stetson (electronic valve instrument), and current Godspeed/Mt Zion member Sophie Trudeau (violin). In addition, the album was mixed and produced by Lasek.
Despite being somewhat of a Constellation Records junkie, I don’t have the first four Esmerine albums. This one just came out last week, and I love it. I’ll have to go back and get the back catalog now. They’re calling this new one “Esmerine’s ‘rock album’ ” Whatever.
I’ve only listened to the album once all the way through, and it’s pretty fantastic. There might be other songs on the album that I like more than this one, especially the ones that have more prominent tuned percussion. “My Mamma Pinned a Rose on Me”, for example. There’s nothing at all wrong with this song, though. It just happens to be the only one that I can share.
“The Neighbourhoods Rise” by Esmerine
I like the serenity of the first half of the song, and the heaviness of the second half. It’s not noisy or overly weird like some of the Godspeed side projects. It’s just about right.
You can buy Lost Voices in your choice of format directly from Constellation here. Also, if you live in Québec or Ontario, you can catch Esmerine on tour in November.