Saturday, April 30, 2011

What the hell is a Snowtorch? or Another Phideaux album that takes up all of my time

This blog is called Hanging Sounds referring to music being stuck in my head and I feature here many albums that cause this phenomena.
One such album that fits this title more than others lately is the third such album to do so from the same group.
It started with Doomsday Afternoon, continued on Number Seven and is very much the same case with Snowtorch (you can stream all three on the band's bandcamp). I simply can't get enough of this album and keep listening to it each day...

The group is, of course, Phideaux, named after its leader and music writer, Phideaux Xavier.
Here is a multi-faceted individual who has a very unusual day job (I'll let you find out) and yet whenever he can (I think), he writes music and when his schedule permits it, he gathers the 10 or so band members (long time childhood friends amongst them) and records stunning sonic stories. When I listen to his music, it makes me wish I had written it. I wish I could be able to write such a captivating collection of notes, that when played together, spellbinds my mind and turns me into an musical addict who can't get enough of it. There is something in the music that is very special to me, a combination of invigorating elements and soothing agents that together with the music's beauty achieve an addictive effect. Which is why I keep on listening again and again to these three albums I mentioned. I wonder if I could declare this as an illness and get some benefits :-)
Snowtorch has several main themes running through it, with the piano playing a crucial role in it. It's an (almost) uninterrupted piece of music that needs to be heard as a whole. The musicianship is superb, the sound exquisite, the melodies bewitching and the vocals, particularly the female vocals make me want to cuddle in them and not ever get out of their hold.
One could not ask for more.
Just don't ask me what the lyrics deal with, it never was my strong side.

You can stream the album here
You can read more about the group here

Line-up / Musicians:
- Phideaux Xavier / acoustic guitar, piano, vocals
- Ariel Farber / vocals, violin
- Valerie Gracious / vocals
- 'Bloody' Rich Hutchins / drums
- Mathew Kennedy / bass guitar
- Gabriel Moffat / electric guitar
- Linda Ruttan Moldawsky / vocals, metal percussion
- Molly Ruttan / vocals
- Mark Sherkus / keyboards, piano
- Johnny Unicorn / keyboards, saxophone, vocals

Special assistance from
Stefanie Fife - cello
Chris Bleth - flute, soprano saxaphone

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