To Live Alone In That Long Summer
Formats: Ltd Edition Vinyl/CD/Digital (Mono 82)
Release Date: 24 February 2014
- All The While
- Without Your Light
- In The Dark You Can Love This Place
- Stealing Beauty
- Fake It ‘Til You Make It
- In The Morning
- You Were Made For All Of This
- Lazy Summer
- It’s Hard To Love Blindly
Canadian songwriter Barzin will release his fourth full-length album, To Live Alone In That Long Summer, on February 25th, 2014 on Monotreme Records. His past work has won acclaim from NPR Music “Song of The Day”, Salon.com, Stereogum, Uncut, Exclaim!, and La Blogotheque among others. To Live Alone… follows his well-received 2009 album Notes To An Absent Lover, praised by Mojo Magazine as “Americana Album of The Month”.
In the not insignificant stretch of time since his last release, Barzin has pursued projects outside his own songwriting, including assisting in producing his compatriots Memoryhouse’s recent album, The Slideshow Effect (Subpop Records). He has also written a book of poems entitled, “Something I Have Not Done Is Following Me.”
When he began work on To Live Alone… 3 years ago, Barzin originally envisioned a stripped down affair, but has since traveled in a different direction. While still embracing a relatively minimalist aesthetic, songs that alternate between up and down-tempo are replete with arrangements that envelope the listener like the warm glow of fading daylight.
“All the While”, one of the highlights of the album, is at once both elegiac and hopeful, with its bright guitar and brisk tempo underpinned by mournful strings and Barzin’s soft, melancholy vocals. The dark, percussive “In The Dark You Can Love This Place” lends an exotic nocturnal feel with its winding woodwinds. Another standout track, “Fake It ‘til You Make It”, is a lush, sweeping cinematic pop number.
To Live Alone In That Long Summer explores such themes as loneliness, intimacy, and connection between strangers. Modern life provides the backdrop to the narrative that run along these songs. Everywhere you look, the city, with its distractions, is present. Fast cars and cheap thrills make an appearance. Dylan sings on the radio while lovers dream of their great escape. Modern life hurries along taking everyone with it, and Barzin goes along for the ride, documenting everything along the way. At the core of the album lies the yearning to become whole again, and to regain the ability to experience genuine intimacy with another human being in the fast paced environment of the city.
The new album features some of Toronto’s finest musicians. Sandro Perri lends a hand as a producer. Tony Dekker (Great Lake Swimmers) and Daniela Gesendheit (Snowblink) appear on backing vocals on several tracks. Karen Graves (Hayden) provides a lovely, understated string arrangement The time taken, and the help received from a cast of stellar musicians, has resulted in his strongest record to date. “I feel I’ve been trying to make this album since I first started making records,” says Barzin.