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Album review: Snowblink “Inner Circle”


Interview with Dean Marino from Papermapstext: Nick Laugher

Warming up in a Wistful Winter Wonderland

A quivering, glistening hat trick of glockenspiel, dreamily fingerpicked guitars and angelic harmonies, Toronto based songstress Daniela Gesundheit and multi-instrumentalist Dan Goldman sing quiet hymns of solitude, love and crashing waves as Snowblink. With their new album, Inner Circle, the duo even further embodies their namesake; a gossamer reflection of blue and white on a speckled sky, a cascade of mirror-like wonder and deceit.

“The bones of the sea,” she sings on the ocean cold opening track, ‘Pray For Surf’, whispering melodically in hushed tones, as if letting us in on a secret. “You are dark, deep dark / Three parts to one / Don’t forget to pray for surf,” she prods gently, a subtle reminder of humanity and humility.

This is Gesundheit’s first album written on Canadian soil and it groans, creaks and shivers with the  ice and snow of acclimatizing to Canadian winters. Her demure, yet sensual voice floats by in a cold breath like snow swept hills; it hearkens back to a hovering, meditative starkness.

Gesundheit moved to Toronto from the golden glow of San Francisco in 2008, leaving behind her then back-up band of four male vocalists, two of which happened to be the masterminds behind electronic psych rockers, MGMT. Since then, Gesundheit and her polymathic collaborator Goldman have crafted tiny, immaculate snowflake melodies and tinkering music box symphonies, becoming critically lauded for their 2010 effort, Long Live.

Gesundheit lets fly a wispy, trickling wash of chiming falsetto on Inner Circle. Her soft, molasses-like acoustic guitar  darts syncopated dashes around Goldman’s haunted, echoing percussion and starry eyed glockenspiel on the dreadfully beautiful Goodbye Eyes. Culminating in a static roar of auxiliary percussion and plunked strings, the track begins quietly and stays subdued and languid until the end, where it starts churning up like whitecaps as Gesundheit’s tender voice finally breaks through the track in a crinkling, frail and seething serenity. “I’ve got my goodbye eyes on / Everything here’s good as gone. Gone,” she admits, solemnly and beautifully before the song dissipates quickly into vapour as quickly as it swelled.

With heartbreaking melodies and glittering, glacial production, Snowblink paint elegies for frosty windows and frozen skies. A whimsical wanderlust, Inner Circle drops just in time to soundtrack our Winter snuggles under down-filled blankets, kisses on cold noses and steaming hot wood stove cocoa.

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