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"A bona fide stunner. Potentially one of the most beautiful records you’ll hear this year. It makes sweet misery out of melody while articulating a forlorn yet rousing sense of hope." –The Skinny ★★★★
"Quite honestly, one the year's best." –Soundblab 10/10
“Orchestral tones, shoegaze and drone conjure up vast, lonely terrains. Mountainous and haunting. With her cello bow as her chisel, Rebecca Foon sculpts her deepest ruminations into being, daring us to look away.” –Record Collector ★★★★
"Bountiful and expansive...[Foon] crafts a complex and dense soundscape so rich in detail that repeated listens always reveal further treasures. This is a quietly powerful, and intensely beautiful, record whose contemplations will bed themselves in your mind and hopefully move you towards caring about the issues raised as deeply as she clearly does." –MusicOhm ★★★★
"As this consistently satisfying follow-up to 2013's I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us shows, Foon's is a singular artistic voice." –Textura
"Cellist Rebecca Foon has crafted something with real emotional depth and scope. She takes cues from sources as diverse as drone and freak folk while hewing devotedly to her core instrument. No matter your tastes and inclinations, you may be surprised just how affecting the album proves to be." –Popmatters 8/10
"A Common Truth offers meditations on climate change, unfolding in spellbinding passages that entrance with deeply resonating, emotional dispatches. Foon's cello loops build stirring, densely populated worlds...a spiritually holistic, potent dose of manna fit to feed a weathered movement." –Exclaim 8/10
"It’s a peaceful protest, a lament, a war cry, an elegy and a statement of injured hope." –A Closer Listen
"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
DescriptionA 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 notesCD 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.
Deluxe vinyl is pressed on 180 gram audiophile LP 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.
Tracklist1 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
7 This Other Place
8 A Common Truth
9 Forward Eyes II
CreditsWritten 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
A Common Truth