Premier: Esmerine – “Translator’s Clos II”
Although Esmerine isn’t as high-profile, cacophonous or widely lauded as many of their peers, the group’s ethno-chamber rock is a vibrant and vital component to the Montreal DIY scene its members helped form. Through each member’s time, both past and present, in aesthetic-defining groups like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Set Fire to Flames, A Silver Mt. Zion, Hrsta and Land of Kush, Esmerine’s players cultivate the largely orchestral piece of the scene’s string-heavy postrock. Dalmak, Esmerine’s upcoming fourth LP, continues to eschew guitars for moody, often unsettling fits of dramatic movements through cello, marimba, and tenor banjo as well as imported tools that include bendir, darbuka, erbane, meh, barama and saz. The group is also joined this time around by new full-time members (multi-nstrumentalist Brian Sandersonand and percussionist Jamie Thompson from Unicorns and Islands) and a visiting troupe of Turkish players, adding a genuine element of traditional modes and auras to the scene. The decidedly upbeat “Translator’s Clos II,” a colorful tune that falls midway through the LP, best showcases this updated lineup with a flurry of hurried hand percussion, swooping strings, arching melodies, and hushed vocals. After the initial blast of furious rhythm and soaring intensity, the tune seems to float in the air for a sustained moment before floating back down to terra firma. It’s a welcome and fitting return for Montreal’s unsung heroes. Dalmak is set to release 9/3 via Constellation.
Stream: Esmerine – “Translator’s Clos II”