Colin Stetson – “The Stars In His Head (Dark Lights Remix)”

Chances are you’ve probably already heard Colin Stetson many times without ever knowing it.  According to a press release: “Stetson has brought his talents to the stage and studio with dozens of artists over the past decade, including Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, Feist, Bon Iver, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, David Byrne, Jolie Holland, Sinead O’Connor, LCD Soundsystem, The National, Angelique Kidjo, and Anthony Braxton.  Colin is a regular member of the bands Sway Machinery and Bell Orchestre and will be a touring member of Bon Iver in support of their new record in 2011, on which he also appears.”  On yeah, and he’s also currently opening for Godspeed You! Black Emperor.  So yeah, he’s kind of a big deal – especially for an experimental saxophonist.  I won’t pretend to know what he’s doing on a technical level, but I can tell you that the music he is making is not jazz or classical, but really more murky, skronking pop than anything.  Obviously, it’s “pop” in the loosest sense, but his songs are typically 3-4 minutes in length, frequently sport sharp melodic figures and are mostly instrumental.  On several songs, Laurie Anderson and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) contribute vocals that form a narrative of sorts throughout the album.  Most impressively, his new album, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges, was recorded solo, live and in single takes.  As Mark Richardson already pointed out in his superb review of the album, it’s extremely rare to hear a record that feels unprecedented, but I assure you this album is unlike any you’ve heard before.

New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is out now via Constellation.

Download MP3: “The Stars in His Head (Dark Lights Remix)”


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