eMusic Review 0
Animator is a wide-ranging, huge-sounding album with a tiny, insistent voice at its center. That would be lead singer Jessie Stein, whose voice is similar to that Broadcast’s late chanteuse, Trish Keenan, but elevated to a more pinched and pixie-ish register. The Luyas, a Montreal-based band with connections to a host of aughts-wave Canadian indie artists (Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett, Bell Orchestre) don’t seem to suffer in the slightest from the relative smallness of Stein’s vocals; in fact, they work with her short, sharp expressions to create drama: At times set against a plush curtain of strings, horns, electronics and a 12-string electric zither dubbed the Moodswinger, Stein is always still the first thing you notice in the floodlights.
Just as the Luyas commenced writing Animator, the band received word that a close friend had died, and certain lyrics, repeated like depressive mantras, seem to reflect the grieving process: “Dreams die, dreams die”; “I get bad, bad feelings/ I get by for days.” But Animator is open-ended enough not to be read solely as epitaph, and album is far from a funeral march. (For one, sci-fi laser-gun sounds populate “Earth Turner” to awesome and geeky effect.) The album is, however,… read more »