This morning, Stephen Lyons of Vancouver-based septet, Fond of Tigers, lifts the fog and treats us to three unhurried and dreamy selections. In his own words…
I generally start my days pretty slowly. The longer I can put off speaking, the better. No sudden movements.
A lot of the music I tend to listen to in the morning blends nuanced melody with a mysterious, porous, and textured sense of space. Either that, or it’s 1970’s Country from Ray Price, Mel Tillis, or—especially—Kenny Rogers’ second solo album (1976), which is understated country gold!
Here are a few examples of a kind of slow morning transition out of sleep:
Fond of Tigers’ selection
Califone - Sunday Noises
Stephen Lyons: “No rush. A slowly built sonic landscape that brilliantly uses acoustic sounds and subtle touches of percussion to create a deep and somewhat dusty space.“
Zammuto - Twelve Fold Chain
Stephen Lyons: “The Books was a really inventive project that mixed sound design, field recordings and electronic processing with a really affecting sense of melody and, occasionally, humour. This is one of their mellower, slow-moving Sunday-morning-staying down tracks. Their use of little audio artifacts and field recordings go a long way to helping me come to terms with the world expanding from the darkness of sleep to whatever the day will be.
Nick from the Books now has a great band called Zammuto, from which I could have also picked various tracks.“
Efterklang - Hollow Mountain
Stephen Lyons: “With Efterklang, I start to feel the fog lifting. The ceiling dissolves and all these little details and ideas spread ever upwards and outwards. There’s a hopefulness and romanticism in Efterklang that I feel is good to top up on every now and then. “
Fond of Tigers - Vitamin Meathawk (feat. Sandro Perri)
Sanjay: “I first saw Fond of Tigers at 1067 in Vancouver back in 2008. Three albums and eight years later, they returned in late 2016 with Uninhabit. Lots more syncopated drums, contrapuntal melodies and carefree abandon…while keeping the groove firmly in the pocket. Vitamin Meathawk explored new territory for the group, on which Toronto’s Sandro Perri adds his brand of gentle, husky vocals.“
Martin Arnold - The Coo-Coo Bird
Sanjay: “I’m a newcomer to composer Martin Arnold and much of Arraymusic’s output. I love the strange friction between the open, plangent quality of the singing here, and the weblike instrumental work from Callum McSherry, the Quatuor Bozzini quartet and University of Bristol New Music Ensemble.“
Saltland - Magnolia
Sanjay: “The music of Saltland/Rebecca Foon/Esmerine is to me what Efterklang is to Stephen: music capabale of articulating a forlorn yet rousing sense of hope. Magnolia is from Saltland’s latest release (just last week), A Common Truth, on Montréal’s delightfully irrepresible Constellation Records.“
Esmerine - The Neighbourhoods Rise
Sanjay: “Ending with yet more hope. Most fans of Esmerine will be acquainted with the characteristically morose, sparse and tranquil violin sounds that give way to the rumble and swell of drums and bass and explosive guitar peaks. But it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable here.“