Impossible Spaces
CST085      CD 180gLP MP3 FLAC

Reviews
"Impossible Spaces truly synthesizes [Perri's] myriad musical interests and places equal emphasis on rhythm, texture, and melody. With Perri backed once again by a coterie of Toronto improv-scene all stars, the album strikes an uncanny balance between sounding ambitiously executed and completely off-the-cuff; an epic of both accident and design. Impossible Spaces isn't simply the most accessible and immediately rewarding album to bear Sandro Perri's name, it also serves as a handy musical roadmap to its maker's sinuous creative course."
PITCHFORK (8.3)

"While Perri pulls from some bright places like California and Brazil, there is still a dark bent to the record. Dissonant chords, truncated melodies and unresolved patterns make for surprise shifts in direction, but the heady notions are often balanced nicely by a relaxed, almost improvisatory delivery. Impossible Spaces is one of the more all-encompassing albums I’ve had the pleasure of taking this year. Even after a dozen listens, it’s evident that mysteries remain to be decoded, chief among them the way Perri spins anti-matter and intangibles into something undeniably real."
DUSTED

"Idiosyncratic visionary Sandro Perri strikes the dearest conflation of his eclectic interests with Impossible Spaces, an ambitiously bold statement, sure to stand as one of the finest records of the year. As he did on 2007's brilliant Tiny Mirrors, Perri finds a majestic meeting place for disparate sounds, but he's chosen a livelier home for his ideas here. Driven by synths, drums, guitars and various woodwinds and horns, the record is stirring, happily mired in a dreamy temporal confusion."
EXCLAIM!

"I’ve long been a believer in Sandro Perri’s immense musical talents, from his days blending dance music and lap steel as Polmo Polpo to his avant-folk work under his own name and his math-rock ethno-pop experiments with Craig Dunsmuir as Glissandro 70. Impossible Spaces is a big leap forward. Perri hasn’t turned his back on his experimental tendencies. He’s still jumping between genres with the nimbleness of a squirrel, but the leaps between electronic, pop, jazz, folk and experimental now seem completely natural rather than superhuman attempts to break new ground. All that brainy musician stuff offers something for music critics to sink their teeth into, but it’s the strikingly gorgeous songwriting and performances that are going to finally catapult Perri to the larger audience he deserves."
NOW MAGAZINE (5/5 STARS)

"It’s the sweetness of the voice and the liquid tone of the guitar that draw me in, but the subtle shifts in key, the clever instrumentation, the aching cello and odd flute, the broken lines and strangely abbreviated melodies that make me listen again, confuse and enchant, charm and intoxicate. This is rich, sumptuous, soulful music, intelligently composed and passionately performed."
STEREOPHILE

"Impossible Spaces sounds both instantly familiar and startlingly original, timeless but defiantly forward-facing, but to try and describe its wondrous charms in any great detail could not do it justice; suffice to say it’s a magical listen, and a very strong contender for 2011’s “album of the year” title."
FOAM HANDS (UK)

"I've had Impossible Spaces in the deck for weeks now. Yes, it has proved worth the wait."
AQUARIUM DRUNKARD

"Elements of electronica, jazz, bossa nova, lounge, soul and much more effortlessly evolve a pop-soaked, constantly shifting groove that melds perfectly with Perri's heartfelt songwriting, on this most wonderfully diverse and engaging of albums."
ROCK-A-ROLLA (UK)

"Isn’t this a tasty little record? From Toronto’s evolving wunderkind Sandro Perri, Impossible Spaces is an album of fluid, eclectic indie-rock and jazzed vibes, with uncharted subtleties, magical connections and sublime textures."
GLOBE AND MAIL

"There is no real criticism that can be thrown against Impossible Spaces with its abundance of skilful and stunning ideas, aural imagery, and unconventional spirit and intellectual composition. Impossible Spaces is a wondrous delight…a release that still pushes boundaries and will inspire many, listeners and musicians alike. It should also be on everyone’s to listen to list."
ALTERNATIVE MATTER (UK)

"The compositions that multi-instrumentalist and borderline musical genius Sandro Perri creates on his latest LP, Impossible Spaces, are more than simply jaw dropping and immensely enjoyable. The songs are a lifeboat in the middle of a seemingly endless ocean of music, trying to preserve not only what we love about music, but what we love about the individualism of art."
HeroHill

Tiny MirrorsSandro Perri   CD / 180gLP / DL
CST047
Warm Weather With Ryan DriverEric ChenauxCD / 180gLP / DL
CST068
Plays Polmo PolpoSandro Perri   CDEP / 180gEP / DL
CST042
Like Hearts SwellingPolmo Polpo   CD / 180gLP / DL
CST026

Longlisted for Polaris Music Prize 2012
Pitchfork #78 tracks of 2011 ("Changes"
Pitchfork #38 album of 2011
Exclaim #10 Pop & Rock album of 2011


Description
Ronen Givony is a New York City music curator and writer and wrote the following to accompany the release of Impossible Spaces:

By definition, every music lover is also, inevitably, an evangelist. That is to say: beyond the tiny group of artists that everyone more or less agrees on, there exists a perpetually overflowing pool of musicians who, for whatever reason, never quite manage to earn the audience and attention the evangelist believes them to deserve. Inescapably, the evangelist's is a personal and subjective project, and rightly so, as one listener's undiscovered gem is another's undistinguished detritus. Nevertheless, it remains an open question, this thorny subject of art as oligarchy or meritocracy: whether deserving artists, regardless of resources, eventually do reach the audience they "deserve" — whether it is in fact true, as the old saying goes, that the cream does ultimately rise to the top — or if certain artists are unjustly consigned by the fates to recognition only late in their careers, or posthumously, if at all.

All of which is a circuitous preamble to a more modest thesis, that being: for this writer, the very top of my own personal evangelical list — the artist I most wish I could strap to a van and send out on the road with a guitar and a self-replenishing supply of CDs, so that his music might be better known to the world — is the Toronto songwriter Sandro Perri. Happily, Sandro's new album, Impossible Spaces — his first release since 2007, and, not coincidentally, his most accomplished to date — will, with any justice, achieve the work of that proselytizing far better than me.

Among the lively artistic community of Toronto, Sandro Perri, whose other musical projects include Polmo Polpo and Glissandro 70, is all but universally beloved as a local and national musical treasure. Indeed, unprompted, many Toronto musicians will tell you that Sandro is the true best exemplar of that unique intersection that characterizes the city's omnivorous musical scene: partly improvised, partly composed, and roughly equal parts acoustic, electronic, melodic, noisy, rock, jazz, folk, classical, psychedelic, and experimental.

After four years of writing, recording, and self-production, Impossible Spaces has delivered on the promise so abundantly present in Sandro's earlier work; and with it, a synthesis of the experimental, electronic and singer-songwriter modes that have marked his evolution as an artist. On first listen, Impossible Spaces seems to position itself self-consciously as a collection of music about other music. In this sense, we can think of the album as one listener's personal map of music history, with various voices, phrases, and personalities materializing to guide a song for an instant before disappearing again. Upon further listening, however, and true to its title, the album reveals itself as something more conflicted, and seemingly contradictory: a six-part meditation on the binaries of absence and presence, the possible and impossible, with a symmetrical internal structure reflecting this back-and-forth dialogue from one song to the next, and an emotional push-and-pull within the personality of the singer and songwriter himself.

Revealingly, the album's opening track, "Changes," not only swipes a title from the catalog of music's most famous chameleon, David Bowie, but also playfully revises the original's "ch-ch-ch-changes" to the more percussive and yet ambivalent "could-could-be changes....maybe we change." Suddenly, three and a half minutes in, as though finally making up its own mind, the song changes very much indeed, blossoming into an extended rhythmic groove that is punctuated by subtle shifts in tempo and instrumentation, and in which not a single word is heard during the song's final four minutes. After the call of "Changes" comes the response and companion piece of "Love & Light," which combines breath samples from the singer Zaki Ibrahim with an instrumental homage to 1960s bossa nova and tropicalia as a strategy for confronting the impossible burden of the past, and of forging one's own voice — what William Faulkner once described with the epigram, "The past is never dead; it's not even past."

The middle section of Impossible Spaces continues in this pattern of serpentine and self-referential allusion, reflection, and revision. The lyrics to "How Will I?" are haunted by the absence of Perri's close friend and collaborator Jordan Somers, who died tragically from complications of leukemia at the age of 30. The result is a deeply moving, bittersweet, and yet surprisingly joyful elegy to a departed friend — a reminder of all that remains in love and companionship — that crests with the redemptive chorus of "Hand in my hand, shoulder to shoulder / Today, it looks like love is bolder." Further on in the album, parts one and two of "Futureactive Kid" comprise a thematic dialogue between the competing ideals of openness and solitude, or expression and silence, which in turn are revived by the spectral quotations dotting the verses of "Wolfman": both an apologue and a song about songs, which nods to Will Oldham's "Wolf Among Wolves," Neil Young's "Walk On," and Bad Brains' "I Against I," among others.

Appropriately, Impossible Spaces terminates at a kind of resolution and summing-up point in the closing title track, whose plaintive lyrics were co-written with Perri's deceased friend Jordan Somers. The song asks: "Why would I save it for the morning after / some kind of anti-matter / how could I save that for the morning after / encased in glass un-shattered." Arriving as it does, after an unsentimental journey of questioning and self-doubt, the implied answer can only be in favor of life, connection, and imagination; in favor of stubbornness, engaging the past, and exploding the limits of the possible; or, as Emily Dickinson herself answered the question:

I dwell in Possibility—
A fairer House than Prose—
More numerous of Windows—
Superior—for Doors—

—Ronen Givony, Wordless Music, NYC 2011

Thanks for listening.

Release date: 18 October 2011
Running time: 38:33


Packaging notes
CD comes in a custom gatefold jacket printed on reverse 100% recycled Orford paperboard in full colour. LP is pressed on 180g vinyl and comes in a jacket printed in full colour on thick 24pt board and includes a colour insert sheet. First pressing of LP also includes a limited edition art print poster and a download code.

All artwork by Sandro Perri.


Tracklist
1. Changes
2. Love & Light
3. How Will I?
4. Futureactive Kid (Part I)
5. Futureactive Kid (Part II)
6. Wolfman
7. Impossible Spaces


Credits
PERSONNEL
Sandro Perri - voice, guitar, synth, drums, percussion
 
GUESTS
Dan Gaucher - drums, percussion (tracks 1, 3, 4, 5)
Mike Smith - bass (tracks 1, 3, 4, 5), string and horn arrangement (track 6)
Blake Howard - drums (track 2)
Ryan Driver - flute (tracks 3, 4, 5, 6)
Marcus Quinn - bass clarinet (tracks 4, 5)
Julia Collins - violin (track 6)
Mike Olsen - cello (track 6)
Jeremy Strachan - saxophones (track 6)
John Jowett - euphonium (track 7)
Brandon Valdivia - drums (track 7)

All songs written and arranged by Sandro Perri. "Impossible Spaces" lyrics co-written by Jordan Somers.

Recorded by Jeff McMurrich at 6 Nassau. Additional recording by Nick Zubeck, James Anderson and Sandro Perri. Production and mix by Sandro Perri. Additional mixing by Drew Brown.

Mastered by Harris Newman and Sandro Perri.