Thursday, November 26, 2009

Reviews:: Trevor Tchir Sky Locked Land

There is a unique sadness that most Canadian’s eventually succumb to. Distance and industry drive a wedge between towns, friends, families, and lovers; one that feels even vaster than the 7500 kilometers that one must travel to reach the coast. Over fishing, clear cutting, and our society’s dependence on oil have made steady jobs and prospering towns a distant memory and forced people to follow the paycheck, no matter how hard that reality is for all involved.

For Alberta’s Trevor Tchir, the distance is documented in the subtle observations and stories that make up his new record, Sky Locked Land. Trevor’s songs have always touched on the state of the country, whether it be sustainability or just the people he’s met, but this time around he’s speaking softer, letting his eye and tongue tell everyone’s story. Instead of pushing a message of sadness, Tchir creates characters and relives moments that could apply to any of us, and with a fleshed out folk/rootsy backdrop, it’s hard not to give in to the swells of emotion.

The 11-song LP is laced with full band affairs. The songs emit the energy of a room full of friends playing music – the arrangements feature strings, horns, banjo, steel, harmonica, accordion and countless other instruments – but Trevor also knows when to pull back. The simple folk picking of Beneath the Mountain Ash gives an honesty to the tale that would have been lost by a heavy handed mix of sounds. The same can be said about the gut wrenching Stones in the Ground.

The amount of maturation Tchir offers up this time around is remarkable, so much so that the undoubted comparisons to other artists sort of seem hollow. Trevor does his best Eric Bachmann impression on the delightful (albeit sad) The Sweeter Air, and I’d be hard pressed not to mention the distinct Calexico feel of the record, but the songs reveal too much of Tchir’s life to be considered knock off.

Whether it’s a touching road trip (Are We There Yet?) or simply a political analysis masked by an every day event (Tearing Down the Garden), this collection of songs is carefully penned to let you into Trevor’s world - the little details and emotion that runs through songs like Stones in the Ground make you wonder is these seemingly fictional tales are actually a part of Tchir’s life that he offers up to anyone that takes the time to listen - but also show that we are all here together. Say what you will, but there's comfort in that, no matter how bleak things may seem.

MP3:: Trevor Tchir - The Sweeter Air

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Posted at 8:22 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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