A Common Truth
CST123      CD 180gLP MP3 FLAC
 
Reviews
“With a voice equally suited to opening petals and opening wounds, Foon sings to the earth like a mother to a newborn, beaming with hope while gripped with fear. But she also offers an alternate form of resistance: transformation.”
NPR ("I Only Wish This For You" track premiere)

“A gorgeous, cinematic cut.”
The Quietus (“Light Of Mercy” track premiere)

"We’re over a decade on from the documentary An Inconvenient Truth and Rebecca Foon seems to have found a better term to describe the phenomenon. The semantic shift from An Inconvenient to A Common Truth attests to the added sense of urgency the cause today enjoins as well as a sense of impending doom. Besides the first Saltland album in 2013 and her ongoing duties co-helming the consistently brilliant chamber group Esmerine, Foon has devoted much of her recent years to conservation causes and charities, notably co-founding Pathway To Paris, a concert series aimed at supporting the international climate agreement...
So it’s no surprise that Foon’s second solo album as Saltland should address the complex emotions around tackling climate change. While the first was a varied mixture of lush dream pop, chamber music and spiraling post-rock littered with guests, A Common Truth is far more intimate, focusing on arrangements and whispered songs erupting around Foon’s distinctly emotive cello. Due to the shifting blend of fear, despair, togetherness, hope and anger that characterizes the battle for climate change awareness, her song cycle aptly seeps its way into all nooks and crannies of the emotional spectrum.
The one major guest contribution comes from old friend and Bad Seed Warren Ellis, who fleshes out four tracks on the album with pump organ, loops and violin. “To Allow Us All To Breathe” has Foon’s wordless vocals and aching cello yearning to life over Ellis’s pump organ drones, lamenting the loss of breathable air, only to jump straight to a lullaby-esque piano ballad titled “Under My Skin”. Both the title track and lead single “I Only Wish This For You” seem to have Foon at her angriest, coaxing the cello strings into heavy distorted riffing behind a choir of multitracked Foons. A Common Truth closes with another instrumental duet with Ellis, this time blossoming with some convincing beauty and hope. Its sweetness however fails to quell the feeling of anger pervading this call to arms.
The Wire

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Description
A Common Truth is the second album by Saltland, the solo project of veteran Montréal cellist and composer Rebecca Foon. Following the acclaimed 2013 debut I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us, Foon performed Saltland live in various successful configurations, but as the concept and compositions for a new album began to materialize, she wished to further expand on an approach with her cello as primary source for all sounds on the record. Combining unadulterated, processed and sampled cellos, A Common Truth largely reflects this commitment and results in an album of gorgeous integrity, restraint, and meditative intensity. The one notable exception: longtime friend and prior collaborator Warren Ellis (Nick Cave, Dirty Three) is the album's special guest player, contributing violin, pump organ and loops to the album's four instrumental tracks.
 
Working with engineer Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes), Foon has produced a song cycle that alternates between wordless instrumentals and lyric-driven pieces, balancing austere, organic intimacy and lush, multi-layered expansiveness. The analog warmth of Lasek’s naturalistic rock production anchors Saltland’s juxtaposition of dry and processed strings, with the placement of Foon's voice very much within the mix but never veiled or concealed; a voice described as "an instrument of somnolent, gossamer allure which floats gracefully amid the eddying, amniotic music" (Mojo, 2013). Electronic music strategies, via signal processing and re-sampling, are deployed minimally and judiciously – and all the more powerfully as such.
 
A Common Truth also importantly channels other strands from Rebecca's life: the record is about climate change and marks an attempt to musically translate a complex mix of emotional, social and political resonances in this regard. The album's atmosphere and pace is guided by the coexistence of optimism and despair, resolve and resignation, the intimacy of the local/personal and the hope of the global/collective. Foon has devoted much of her life in recent years to working for decarbonization, land conservation and renewable energy – as a member of Sustainability Solutions Group cooperative, as founder of the conservation charity Junglekeepers, and as co-founder of Pathway to Paris, an international concert series bringing together musicians, writers and activists to help raise consciousness toward implementation of a robust international climate agreement.
 
Rebecca Foon's new Saltland album A Common Truth is a compelling coalescence and fullest musical expression of the inspiring trajectories charted by this committed and renowned artist, activist and organizer. Thanks for listening.
 
Release date: 31 March 2017
Running time: 40:53
 
Packaging notes
CD comes in a custom mini-gatefold jacket printed on thick 24pt. paperboard with matte UV varnish and a printed inner dust sleeve for the disc. LP is pressed on 180 gram audiophile vinyl at Optimal (Germany) and comes in a heavyweight jacket printed on 100% recycled 24pt Orford paperboard with black poly-lined audiophile dust sleeve, with a 12"x22" art print poster and 11"x11" art/credit insert, and a download code for a 320kbps MP3 copy of the album.
 
Tracklist
1 To Allow Us All To Breathe
2 Under My Skin
3 I Only Wish This For You
4 Light Of Mercy
5 Forward Eyes I
6 Magnolia
7 This Other Place
8 A Common Truth
9 Forward Eyes II
 
Credits
Written and performed by Rebecca Foon
 
Except 1, 4, 5, 9 co-written and featuring violin, pump organ & loops by Warren Ellis
Guitar & MS-20 on 3, 7, 8 by Jace Lasek
Backing vocal on 4 by Ian Ilavsky
 
Recorded by Jace Lasek at Breakglass, Montréal
Mixed by Jace Lasek, Ian Ilavsky & Rebecca Foon at Breakglass
Mastered by Ryan Morey