Siskiyou was formed by Colin Huebert and Erik Arnesen in the late 2000s while the two musicians were part of Great Lake Swimmers. Under the impetus of Huebert's hotel room and home recordings, the pair forged an approach to songwriting that was decidedly more stark and emotionally tense, marked by a minimal aesthetic, an economy of effects and arrangements, and an appreciation for the timbral and textural qualities of sparse elements. The band combines a back porch, moonlit looseness with a controlled, self-contained country gothic formalism that often finds the music circling within the cusp of restrained fury or frenzy.
It is difficult to say exactly how long it took Siskiyou to record their debut album. It was during downtime from the Great Lake Swimmers tour schedule that Colin Huebert began unofficially recording sketches, demos and fragments and it wasn’t until his final departure from GLS in the summer of 2008 that Huebert found the time necessary to finish crafting Siskiyou’s eponymous first record – an album aptly described as perfectly capturing the lush yet chilly landscape of the Pacific Northwest.
Even as this first record made its way to Constellation in early 2010 and was being prepped for release that fall, Colin remained holed up through the winter in Mara, BC (pop. 350) writing more songs and eventually being joined by his Siskiyou co-conspirator Erik Arnesen for a few weeks of intensive recording. Unlike the debut album, which was recorded in semi-nomadic fashion in literal nooks and crannies, the Mara, BC sessions found Colin and Eric settled and rooted, with keys in hand to the empty Mara Community Hall, a century-old timber structure nested in the Canadian Rockies.
With the addition of Shaunn Watt (drums, backing vocals) and Peter Carruthers (bass, keyboards, backing vocals) in 2010, Siskiyou coalesced into a superbly incisive four-piece band, honed through extensive touring in Europe and Canada. Coming off a season of live playing, the quartet hit Vancouver's JC/DC Studio (Destroyer, New Pornographers) in early 2011, adding to Colin and Erik's Mara sessions from the previous winter, cutting a few new tunes, and running a couple of mixes with Dave Carswell. Colin Huebert self-produced the remainder of the songs on Siskiyou's second album, Keep Away The Dead, released in fall 2011.
Behind the distinct shiver of Colin Huebert’s whisper/wail you’ll hear acoustic and slide guitars, banjo, and gently brushed drums. But there’s something quietly ominous and subtly disquieting in the band's sounds and words. Crackling of old AM radio tuners, distant squelching feedback of an electric guitar abandoned by its amplifier, small moments of complete musical deconstruction like the whole band has just collectively fallen down the stairs. Siskiyou's songs are often about death, or enmity, or some kind of immobility waiting to burst, tackled with varying shades of defiance and resignation, but never as odes of abject defeat (or defeatism), not as slacker hymns or high-gothic morbidity. Huebert is much more Neil Young than Nick Cave, finding poetry in simple meditations and in little twists of phrase that are sometimes twists of the knife but also sometimes just changes of heart, internal emotional shifts from anger to acceptance, from belligerence to peace.
ALL FULL-LENGTH ALBUMS FROM 2013-2015 ON SALE AT PARTICIPATING INDIE STORES IN NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE IN MARCH
Our February Leap Year Sale at the Constellation webshop is over – huge thanks to everyone that placed orders! – but throughout the month of March, independent retailers in North America and several European countries (UK, FR, DE, NL, BE, IT) can get in on sale pricing for all our full-length albums released in 2013-2015. You will find links on every eligible release page on our site, but here’s a roundup of the situation:
Support your local record store by asking them to order Constellation LPs or CDs at sale pricing.
Want to search for independent stores in your area?
Check out the Record Store Day store finder here:
USA • International
This is also a great opportunity for Europeans to order vinyl at sale prices and at local/domestic shipping rates from an indie mail-order shop in your region.
We fully support the shops listed below:
And here are the titles on sale:
CST116: Esmerine • Lost Voices
CST115: Ought • Sun Coming Down
CST114: Jerusalem In My Heart • If He Dies, If If If If If If
CST113: Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld • Never were the way she was
CST112: Eric Chenaux • Skullsplitter
CST111: Godspeed You! Black Emperor • ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’
CST110: Matana Roberts • Coin Coin Chapter Three: river run thee
CST109: Siskiyou • Nervous
CST107: Last Ex • Last Ex
CST106: Avec Le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche • Zubberdust!
CST104: Hiss Tracts • Shortwave Nights
CST103: Ought • More Than Any Other Day
CST102: Carla Bozulich • Boy
CST099: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra • Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
CST098: Matana Roberts • Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile
CST097: Land Of Kush • The Big Mango
CST096: Esmerine • Dalmak
CST095: Sarah Neufeld • Hero Brother
CST094: Saltland • I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us
CST093: Jerusalem In My Heart • Mo7it Al-Mo7it
CST092: Colin Stetson • New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
Following our February Leap Year Sale, you'll continue to see opportunities to get all our full-length albums released over the past three years at sale pricing during the month of March.
Alongside CDs and LPs on sale at participating indie stores in North America and Europe, we've also got album downloads via iTunes at $6.99 / €5.99 / £4.99 on all these titles.
You can find links covering all these angles on each eligible release page on our site, or read on for a line listing of all sale titles with direct links to iTunes for your convenience...
ESMERINE • Lost Voices
OUGHT • Sun Coming Down
JERUSALEM IN MY HEART • If He Dies, If If If If If If
COLIN STETSON AND SARAH NEUFELD • Never were the way she was
ERIC CHENAUX • Skullsplitter
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR • 'Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress
MATANA ROBERTS • Coin Coin Chapter Three: river run thee
SISKIYOU • Nervous
LAST EX • Last Ex
AVEC LE SOLEIL SORTANT DE SA BOUCHE • Zubberdust!
HISS TRACTS • Shortwave Nights
OUGHT • More Than Any Other Day
CARLA BOZULICH • Boy
THEE SILVER MT. ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA • Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
MATANA ROBERTS • Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile
LAND OF KUSH • The Big Mango
ESMERINE • Dalmak
SARAH NEUFELD • Hero Brother
SALTLAND • I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us
JERUSALEM IN MY HEART • Mo7it Al-Mo7it
COLIN STETSON • New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
While of course you can purchase digital albums (MP3 or FLAC) directly from our own website, we also get that many people enjoy the convenience of the iTunes platform, and we also emphasise that purchasing digital album downloads – whether on our platform or via Apple – continues to be a strong way to support more obscure, challenging, long-attention-span-demanding and/or non-commercial indie artists/labels in an age of streaming.
In any case, thanks for listening!
While our recently announced Leap Year Sale includes all our full-length albums from 2013 to 2015, we’d like to take this opportunity to draw a little attention to the year just past in particular, which we feel was a real special one for Constellation, marked by one superb album after another by musicians who’d released at least one or more records previously on the label. It's incredibly gratifying to see artists and bands with whom the label has already established a relationship, making consistently challenging, deeply engaged, restlessly creative, thoroughly substantial and uncompromising new albums – whether their second, third... or fifth/sixth! (here's looking at you Eric Chenaux and Godspeed). We’re humbled, awed and proud. Here’s a round up of our 2015 releases – all of which are available in our webshop at a 20% discount through the end of February – in order of appearance:
Released 20 January 2015
LONG-LISTED FOR THE 2015 2015 POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE
ALL MUSIC GUIDE: "A brooding, nervy, and darkly satisfying slab of overcast alt-pop that flirts with dissonance, yet remains ultimately committed to harmonic agreement. Those melodies are solemn, however, and the aptly named Nervous serves them up repeatedly encased in barbed wire."
CBC MUSIC: "Siskiyou’s Nervous is needles, bees, blood, voices in your head, a spider crawling up your neck — and then just as quickly, the album's awash in a sunny glow, becomes a slow-burning kiss, a walk in the woods, a heated blanket on a winter’s night. Whatever you’re most afraid of and whatever brings you tiny respites of joy, 'Nervous' is a conjuror one minute, a soothsayer the next... With every arch lyric and whispered confession, every crashing chorus and shimmery hook, Siskiyou has crafted a visceral and vibrant, risky and rewarding experience."
Released 03 February 2015
Coin Coin Chapter Three:
river run thee
THE WIRE: #2 Album of 2015
A CLOSER LISTEN: #2 Album of 2015
THE QUIETUS: #5 Album of 2015
TINY MIX TAPES: #25 Favorite Album of 2015
PITCHFORK: #6 Experimental Album of 2015
SPIN: #4 Avant Album of 2015
ROLLING STONE: #15 Avant Album of 2015
THE QUIETUS: "An astonishing work of history, memory and sensed experience, river run thee confirms Roberts' place as one of the most important living artists in any field."
PITCHFORK: "Three albums into Coin Coin, it’s now clear that Roberts isn’t just a storyteller, musician, ethnographer, historian, bandleader, arranger, improviser, or activist. She plays all of those roles, yes; collectively, they power one of the most provocative ongoing bodies of work by any American musician."
THE WIRE: "Part three of Matana Roberts' ongoing Coin Coin series sees her reaching new heights of troubling majesty. Or rather, new depths, given the churning, oceanic feel that underlies these multilayered tales of slavery, courage, tradition, history and counter-history. The first two chapters in the series fell somewhere between, above and below free jazz. Her 'panoramic sound quilting', as she describes her method, created historical narratives with multiple instrumentalists, operatic incursions and the persistent reminder of musical and historical debts. This third chapter sees Roberts in solitary, vocal-heavy mode, without an ensemble but producing looped music such sustained complexity it's like a host of angels (or demons) attempting to express the entire history of everything all at once."
Released 17 February 2015
EXCLAIM: "Chenaux's combination of hacked music box guitar experimentation and lonely lounge crooning conjures a spell simply too enchanting to break... Skullsplitter dispatches the listener on a mission to crack the mysteries of time and space, and without offering much in the way of answers, its potential for repeat listens is enough of a reward. Skullsplitter is a triumph of post-modern songwriting."
UNCUT (8/10): "Genuinely distinctive...recalls John Martyn, Marc Ribot and Arthur Russell as it weaves between improv, electronica, folk-drone and lounge."
TINY MIX TAPES: “Whereas Guitar & Voice was prominently a deconstruction of traditional form into textures, Skullsplitter is a unification of divergent strands that Chenaux has found structural commonalities between. Although it is exploratory in terms of space and texture, Skullsplitter is anything but incidental; it unfolds like an epic poem, in all its boundary-dissolving creativity and intentional patterning. A breathtaking feat of balladry and engineering.”
Released 31 March 2015
'Asunder, Sweet And
MAGNET: #19 Album of 2015
DROWNED IN SOUND: #36 Album of 2015
A CLOSER LISTEN: #11 Album of 2015
CRACK MAGAZINE: #48 Album of 2015
THE SKINNY: #24 Album of 2015
A.V. CLUB: A- POPMATTERS: 9/10 PASTE: 9.3
THE GUARDIAN: “This relatively curt 40-minute set...ranks among their most immediate. Fist-pumps accompany the sawing crescendo on “Piss Crowns Are Trebled.” The journey back from the abyss on “Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!” begins halfway through, when major chords come chorusing in like a cavalry of the just. Obsessive God’s Pee watchers may recognize these four tracks from the 45-minute live suite known as 'Behemoth' – not a bad summation of this album’s threat and grandeur.” ★★★★
STEREOGUM: “Things sound bigger and bolder and more emotionally loaded, for whatever reason, when Godspeed’s music is playing. A lonely pigeon flying past your window can look like an ominous harbinger of doom, or like a symbol for collective hope, depending on what part of the album you’re at. With Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress, they’ve cut out some of the more atmospheric elements of their sound — the scratchy foundsound samples, the faraway ambient crackles. But they haven’t lost any of the primal force that makes them some thing more than a band. If it catches you at the right moment, this is music that can make you glad to be alive.”
Released 28 April 2015:
AND SARAH NEUFELD
Never were the way she was
NORMAN RECORDS: #1 Album of 2015
ROLLING STONE: #6 Avant Album of 2015
POP MATTERS: #5 Avant-Garde/Experimental Album of 2015
A CLOSER LISTEN: Top Ten Modern Composition Albums of 2015
JUNO NOMINEE: INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
DROWNED IN SOUND: “A triumph for instrumental music...more than genre-hopping, it’s genre-reviving.”
THE WIRE: "Pugilistic and pointilistic...exhibits two players of formidable range and ability."
EXCLAIM: "From the lightness of "The sun roars into view," as the tenor sax and violin timbres oscillate alongside each other, to the grimy dirge of "With the dark hug of time," as the violin simmers pensively and contrabass clarinet chugs along in a grim march while a tortured howl emotes through the texture, Never were the way she was feels like it was destined to be."
PITCHFORK: "The eight pieces on the album feel simultaneously contemplative and busy—the sound of active minds idling in a lower gear. The record is fantastic morning music, its tone and pace mirroring the moment in the day when your thoughts are murmuring, not yet speaking, and all you sense are their shades. It is too eventful, its surface too agitated, to be ambient, but it might help you think more clearly anyway... It’s an anxious sound, and listening to the jagged little peaks and valleys it hits is its own perversely pleasurable discomfort... Never were the way she was has a bracing air, an implicit reminder of the things that can be done with two instruments and two hands."
Released 04 September 2015
JERUSALEM IN MY HEART
If He Dies, If If If If If If
THE QUIETUS: #24 Album of 2015
THE WIRE: #39 Album of 2015
A CLOSER LISTEN: Top 10 Rock/Post-Rock/Folk/Jazz Albums 2015
TEXTURA: "In this bold and emotionally charged collection, the eight settings alternate between vocal pieces featuring his melismatic Arabic singing and instrumentals rooted in expressive buzuk playing... The listener new to the project might expect such an unusual Arabic-electronic fusion to pose something of a challenge, but the forty-one-minute album's uncluttered arrangements, strong vocal melodies, and concision help make it eminently approachable."
AD-HOC: "If He Dies, If If If If If If is a stunning, of-the-moment record that speaks to the intersection of the personal and political with supreme confidence."
THE SKINNY: "Riveting... a sombre and haunting work. Moumneh's voice (a beautiful, limitless instrument) and his buzuk (the lute-type instrument similar to the Greek bouzouki) playing underpin his flexing of Arab traditions. Delivers a heady and oddly plaintive euphoria."
Released 18 September 2015
Sun Coming Down
STEREOGUM: #29 Album of 2015
SPIN: #8 Song of 2015 ("Beautiful Blue Sky")
LOUD AND QUIET: #13 Album of 2015
EXCLAIM: #13 Rock & Pop Album of 2015
THE SKINNY: #42 Album of 2015
PITCHFORK: “Ought make indie rock that sounds like how urbanity makes you feel: nervous, antsy, sometimes hostile, yet intoxicatingly vibrant. And [singer] Tim Darcy, likewise, gesticulates like a dutiful office drone who’s played by the rules his whole life but just can’t take it anymore. Ought’s 2014 debut More Than Any Other Day, was an album of slowly unfurled epiphanies, stoking simmering tension into fiery, exultant release. Those sort of affirming moments are a little harder to come by on the more chaotic and caustic Sun Coming Down, but the album’s relentless drive and uncompromising attitude constitute their own special kind of thrill. If More Than Any Other Day was about the hard-fought, triumphant ascent, Sun Coming Down is the giddy, daredevil "wheeeeee!" down the other side of the peak.”
STEREOGUM: “There’s an overwhelming, all-pervading anxiety to Ought...a deeply impressive second album. Play this music loud enough, and it can have an almost physical effect, making jaws clench and tendons go taut. That stress-ball intensity was also there on the band’s debut, last year’s More Than Any Other Day. But Sun Coming Down builds on that feeling, showing us a band refining its attack in ways that bands ideally should do on their sophomore albums. Sun Coming Down isn’t some great leap beyond the last album — an album that, after all, is still less than a year and a half old. But it’s sharper and more focused, and also grander and more expansive.”
Released 16 October 2015
A CLOSER LISTEN: #4 Album of 2015
JUNO NOMINEE: INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
JUNO NOMINEE: RECORDING PACKAGE OF THE YEAR
EXCLAIM: "A dynamic nine-song collection that ranges from dark and brooding to uplifting and celebratory... Soaring, dramatic and entirely engaging."
POP MATTERS:"An immediate and arresting expedition into new wilds for Esmerine...Lost Voices is a burning lament, a hopeful swing at the void, bright moments of clarity wrenched from the impenetrable."
QUICK BEFORE IT MELTS: "Timeless, contemporary, and at the same time rooted in Western tradition – but not without questioning and challenging it."
THE SKINNY: "The fifth album from the Montreal chamber rock collective is a beguiling mass of dialed-down post-rock, classical figures and exploratory soundscapes...At its most muscular (the driving electric guitars of '19/14') or its most tender (the delicate 'A Trick of the Light'), Lost Voices manages mood and melody with a deft and hypnotic grace. 'My Mama Pinned a Rose On Me' introduces marimba and even here, where texture takes precedence over melody, the whole remains dynamic and taut. Lost Voices takes time, on occasion, to breathe and relax but it steadfastly avoids the indulgence of 'ambient' or wanton noodling. Beyond words, beyond beautiful."
We've just learned that Siskiyou's Nervous (released in January) and Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld's Never were the way she was(released in April) have both been long-listed for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize.
The prize – for which Mr. Stetson has been short-listed twice before and which GY!BE were awarded in 2013 for 'ALLELUJAH! DON'T BEND! ASCEND! – is meant to honour "artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history." The 40-album long list will be pared down to 10 in July, followed by handing out of the award itself in September. Congratulations Siskiyou, Colin and Sarah!
We'll keep you posted as things unfold. In the meantime, revisit the stunning videos for Siskiyou's "Jesus In The 70's" or Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld's "The rest of us":
With a few months since the release of Nervous, their stunning third LP, Siskiyou have let another new track out into the world. "Thief" comes from the same recording sessions as the songs comprising Nervous, recorded and mixed by Leon Taheny, and features vocals from Tamara Lindeman (of The Weather Station) and horns by Colin Stetson.
NOW Toronto premiered the track on Tuesday, calling Siskiyou "one of the year's best artists". Exclaim chimed in as well, saying: "The track plays extra fragile, with Colin Huebert's heartbreakingly shaky singing voice tapping into a somewhat money-minded narrative as he quivers lines like "employers, employ me" and "destroyers, destroy me." While the song starts off as a subtly plucked folk number, the moody moan of Colin Stetson's sax ushers itself in mid-way through the track. Later, it goes full brass for a French Quarter-styled outro."
Nervous released January 20. Click here for the full run-down, including ordering info, and to hear music from the album.
Nervous, the third full-length LP from Vancouver quartet Siskiyou, was released in January to widespread acclaim. Hailed for its taut, nervy songwriting and masterfully textured arrangements, the album is a welcome return to form following the group's long absence since 2011's Keep Away the Dead.
Upon its release CBC Music called the album a "visceral and vibrant, risky and rewarding experience...Challenging, breathtaking, bewildering", while Quick Before It Melts observed: "Nervous is resplendent in moments of beautiful melody and a clarity of sound that cuts through the record’s more chaotic elements (or do the chaotic elements cut through the clarity?) like flashes of solace through suffering... [Siskiyou] have fashioned an immersive, dramatic experience of sounds both internal and external with Nervous; once it gets into your head, it’ll never come out." NOW Magazine called it "a thing of quiet beauty".
Today we're thrilled to let a new visual interpretation of music from the album out into the world: a long-gestating and painstakingly-constructed animation video for "Jesus In The 70's", assembled from hundreds of stark black and white ink drawings by Vancouver artist April-Lee Johnson. Exclaim, who describe Nervous as "a lush, stunning baroque rock album", have premiered the video today. Head over there to watch it now:
WATCH: SISKIYOU - "Jesus In The 70's" (via Exclaim!)
Nervous was released on January 20. Click here for the full run-down on the record, to hear more music, and for ordering info.
We're thrilled to say that Nervous, the much anticipated third LP from Vancouver's Siskiyou and Constellation's first new release of the year, is now available. Exclaim call Nervous "a lush, stunning baroque rock album", while CBC Music call it "a visceral and vibrant, risky and rewarding experience," and we couldn't agree more.
Head over to the release page now for the full run-down and ordering info, or see below to watch a new video for album track "Jesus In The 70's."
The video was put together by bandleader Colin Huebert, who has this to say: "I don't often find myself at the superstore. Generally speaking, I go there to purchase diapers only. They sell them in large quantities and cheaply and so therefore help me in avoiding the otherwise nightmarish experience of patronizing this establishment. As it happened, I found myself there last spring on a particularly busy day... trolling the parking lot... searching for a space. I was listening to an early rough mix of our song Jesus in the 70's when it suddenly struck me that this otherwise banal experience had taken on a cinematic quality all its own. I decided i would come back and document it with my super 8 camera. Here's the proof..."
Siskiyou's long-awaited third full-length is now a week from release. So far you've heard the thrilling album opener "Deserter", the smoldering "Violent Motion Pictures" ("at once expansive and claustrophobic, discordant and melodic," according to Line of Best Fit) and the mournful organ waves of "Wasted Genius", premiered by Consequence of Sound. We're thrilled to now unveil the complete work: until its release date on January 20, Nervous will be streaming in its entirety via CBC Music and Pandora Radio concurrently.
Exclaim, hailing the "authoritative blend of chamber rock grandeur and unsettling folk spookiness" on "Deserter", have listed Nervous as one of their 'Top 20 Most Anticipated Releases of 2015". Meanwhile, Quick Before It Melts named the album their Disc of the Week, saying "Nervous is resplendent in moments of beautiful melody and a clarity of sound that cuts through the record’s more chaotic elements (or do the chaotic elements cut through the clarity?) like flashes of solace through suffering."
Listen to Nervous now, via the following links:
FULL STREAM: SISKIYOU - Nervous via CBC Music or Pandora
Nervous releases January 20 and is available for preorder now. Click here for the full run-down.
With the release date for Nervous fast approaching, Siskiyou have let another track from the album out into the world. "Wasted Genius" was premiered this morning by Consequence of Sound, who describe "an unshakable air of anxiousness and forlorn throughout as Huebert whispers lines like, 'I am a wasted genius/ I never go down town'. It all leads to one truly frantic bridge, a wellspring of poignant emotions that finds Huebert bemoaning 'all the stupid shit that people do/ and all the ghosts running around this room.' Head over there to listen now:
LISTEN: SISKIYOU - "Wasted Genius" (via Consequence of Sound)
Nervous releases January 20. Click here for the full run-down, including pre-order info, and to hear the album opener, "Deserter."
Nervous, the long-awaited third full-length from Vancouver's Siskiyou and our first new release of 2015, hits stores in January. To help tide us all over through the new year, this morning The Line of Best Fit launch a new video for album track "Violent Motion Pictures", put together by experimental video artist Crystal Dorval. Of "Violent Motion Pictures" they say: "Slow burning and hypnotic, the track unfolds in phases, at once expansive and claustrophobic, discordant and melodic." Watch it now:
WATCH: SISKIYOU - "Violent Motion Pictures" (via TLOBF)
Nervous releases January 20. Click here for the full run-down, including pre-order info, and to hear the album opener, "Deserter."
SISKIYOU - Nervous
CST109 180gLP/ CD / DL
Out 20 January 2015
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW.
Today we're pleased to announce our first new release of 2015: Nervous, the third album from Vancouver-based folk-tinged rock ensemble Siskiyou. After a long hiatus owed to the onset of a serious inner-ear condition, we're thrilled to have the group back in action, and we're honored to be offering this elegant and arresting collection of songs to open the year.
The LP will be available in stores January 20. See below for more info and to hear album opener "Deserter", or head over to its release page for the full run-down, including pre-order info.
Siskiyou returns with Nervous, a majestic album of carefully constructed art rock built around songwriter and lead singer Colin Huebert's stacked acoustic guitars and intimate, whispery vocals. Siskiyou’s sound has been previously dubbed a sort of ‘Northern Gothic’, conjuring cold winds and the life-saving warmth of temporary shelters and tiny hearth fires. With Nervous, the band continues to push beyond the crisp lo-fi intimacy of its early work, and has forged its most confident and finely-crafted recording to date, moving fully into auteur and chamber-pop territory with a song cycle that brings to mind the meticulousness of mood and sonics found in recent work by PJ Harvey, Nick Cave and Tindersticks. Inflected by an anxious, sussurant restraint, Huebert's voice is supported by the falsetto backing vocal counterpoint and economical instrumentation of bandmates Erik Arnesen, Peter Carruther, Shaunn Watt and Andrew Lee. Fans of the understated and underrated 1990s group Swell may also hear a welcome evocation of that group's acoustic guitar-driven simplicity and austere deployment of adornments.
Following Siskiyou's excellent sophomore release Keep Away The Dead in 2011, Huebert became afflicted with a serious inner ear condition that eluded conventional diagnosis. While honouring a previously scheduled songwriting residency in Dawson City, Yukon in winter 2012, Huebert found himself grappling with severe anxiety and an unwelcome interiority, engendered by hyperacusis and a house that felt utterly haunted. Intense chronic ear-ringing and panic attacks continued throughout the year, for which conventional medicine was unable to find any cause or effective treatment; Huebert began focusing on meditation, retreated to silence for a period, and then began rehearsing his new songs with the band at extremely low volumes. The songs on Nervous are shot through with the entirety of this experience: the literal feeling of being trapped in one's head and the physical-psychological feedback loop of debilitating anxiety; the lyrical themes and tense, whispered singing amidst tightly-wrought compositions and arrangements.
Huebert found solace in new working methods within the controlled environment of studio-based production and composition, developing new sonic palettes and pursuing new avenues of instrumental arrangement and recording fidelity. Working with producer/engineer Leon Taheny (Owen Pallett/Final Fantasy, Dusted, Austra) on most of Nervous, Siskiyou has emerged with by far its most assured, ambitious and authoritative recordings, while preserving the economy of elements, deft structures, and assiduous melodic deliberation for which the band has been rightly celebrated over its two previous albums. In charting escape paths from his disquieting cranial confinement, Huebert has very much succeeded in setting his songs out on an expansive canvas, while preserving a palpable sense of nervous interiority and quiet desperation at their heart.
Nervous includes contributions from guest musicians Colin Stetson, Owen Pallett, JP Carter, Ryan Driver and the St. James Music Academy Senior Choir, among others. The album features original artwork by Michael Drebert; the Deluxe LP edition includes a series of 12"x12" prints of Drebert's india ink drawings inspired by the album.
Thanks for listening.
A message from the band:
"We are extremely sad to announce that due to health complications within the group, siskiyou will be cancelling all of their upcoming scheduled performances. Until this situation is resolved the group will be on hiatus. Thanks to everyone who has supported us along the way. Hopefully we'll see you again soon."
Of course we extend our best wishes to the band for a speedy recovery and return to live appearances. In the meantime, here they are playing a cover of "Bad Days" by the Flaming Lips:
We're very pleased to announce a series of 15th Anniversary concerts that will take place in Europe this fall.
We'll be partnering with some of our favourite venues and arts organisations to present multiple-night mini-festival events featuring a diverse cross-section of artists, including newer groups like Sisksiyou and Elfin Saddle, long-standing roster acts like Sandro Perri, Eric Chenaux and Hangedup, and two of the label's best-known bands: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Do Make Say Think.
Thee Silver Mt Zion will be returning to Europe for the first time since touring behind their acclaimed Kollaps Tradixionales album in early 2010, and premiering new material including pieces released as a tour-only 2x7" in the USA earlier this year. Do Make Say Think, one of the most consistently acclaimed and long-standing instrumental rock groups of the past decade-and-a-half, will be performing their classic sophomore album, Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead, in its entirety.
At each of the two-night events, Do Make Say Think will close one show and Thee Silver Mt Zion will close the other. Exact line-ups for each night in each town will be confirmed and announced later this summer, but every concert will feature at least 4 bands and sets by at least 8 different artists across the two nights.
The event at Bern's Reitschule is unique in that it runs for a full three days, starting on Friday 16 November with the final European date of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's fall 2012 tour (a golden opportunity to see the group in a smaller, grittier venue with some truly awesome natural room compression).
Here's the plan:
NOV 16-18 • Bern, CH • Dachstock Reitschule
Presented by Heartland Festival and Dachstock
3-night passes available now HERE and HERE
The Constellation event in Bern is a full label takeover and collaboration with Heartland Festival, in conjunction with the Dachstock collective who administer an awesome 700 capacity live room at the Reitschule complex - where many a fine Constellation memory has been forged over the years (and often then half-obliterated in the ensuing post-show massacre of brain cells at the bar).
NOV 17-18 • Paris, FR • La Maroquinerie
Presented by Volume
Running concurrently with the Bern weekend, these two nights at La Maroquinnerie will be anchored by Do Make Say Think and Thee Silver Mt ZIon respectively, with three other bands each night. La Maroq has been a favourite venue of Constellation artists over the years, and the site of beautifully raucous yet wonderfully attentive packed houses for several of the label's artists. Despite the club's literally subterranean and cave-like setting, the full range of Constellation sounds have always gone down perfectly there, from the quietest and most fragile moments to galloping punk-rock explosions. La Maroq brings out the passion and devotion of music-hungry Parisians who don't mind getting a little down and dirty to achieve sustained experiences of musical immersion, levitation and physicality. This will be good times!
NOV 21-22 • Vienna, AT • Porgy & Bess
Presented by Viennale and Blue Bird Festival
Constellation has had a very special and heartfelt relationship with the Viennale (Vienna International Film Festival) in recent years, beginning with their production of filmmaker Jem Cohen's "Empires Of Tin" project. We are very proud to be celebrating its 15th Anniversary in conjunction with Viennale's 50th Anniversary this year, and excited to be partnering with the Blue Bird Songwriter Festival as well, which will be expanding to a four-day event with the first two days devoted to Constellation.
NOV 23-24 • Leipzig, DE • UT Connewitz
Presented by UT Connewitz and Southern DE
Another venue and local promoter collective that is close to Constellation's heart, UT Connewitz is a glorious old theatre space that has hosted countless of the label's artists over the years. Like Paris, this will be 4-band bills anchored by Do Make Say Think and Thee Silver Mt Zion each night, in one of our favourite settings, booked by some of the very best people. Simple as that.
Stay tuned for more information and finalized lineups in the coming months. There will be also be special collaborations and other little surprises at various events, for which we will supply more information down the road (or, regarding the surprises, maybe not, so that they in fact remain surprises). In the meantime, here's an assortment of MP3s to tide you over:
Do Make Say Think • The Landlord is Dead
A Silver Mt Zion • Thee Dirty Olde Flag
Hangedup • Klang Klang
Siskiyou • This Land
Elfin Saddle • The Wind Come Carry
Sandro Perri • Love & Light
Eric Chenaux • Dull Lights (White or Grey)
With Europeans eagerly awaiting their arrival in the old country this May (more info and dates here), Siskiyou have let loose a gorgeous new video for Keep Away The Dead stunner "Twigs and Stones", shot all in Super8 by Toronto-based filmmaker and steadfast CST ally Brett Story.
Get more info on Keep Away the Dead, including streaming audio of the entire album, right here. Watch "Twigs and Stones" below.
This coming May the fine gentlemen of Siskiyou will head once again across the pond for a month of shows. They'll take in ATP's I'll Be Your Mirror festival in London and both Primavera Festival iterations in Barcelona and Porto, in addition to about a dozen more appearances in Western Europe.
See below for dates and a live recording of "Dead Right Now," filmed last summer in Montreal. If you haven't yet given a listen to Keep Away the Dead, Siskiyou's latest, check out our release page for the full run-down (including streaming audio of the whole album).
|19.05.12||Brussels, BE||Les Nuits de Botanique|
|21.05.12||Hamburg, DE||Astra Stube|
|24.05.12||Copenhagen, DK||Nørrebro Bryghus|
|26.05.12||Brugge, BE||Cactus Club|
|27.05.12||London, UK||Alexandra Palace|
ATP's I'll Be Your Mirror
|30.05.12||Tourcoing, FR||Le Grand Mix|
|31.05.12||Lyon, FR||Le Sonic|
|01.06.12||Barcelona, ES||Primavera Sound Festival|
|02.06.12||Limoges, FR||La Fourmi|
|06.06.12||Marseille, FR||La Poste à Galene|
|07.06.12||Bordeaux, FR||Les Vivres de l'art|
|09.06.12||Porto, PT||Primavera Sound Festival|
We're pleased to announced that Siskiyou's Colin Huebert will be spending the month of February in Dawson City, Yukon, taking part in the Dawson City Music Festival's artist in residence program (in conjunction with the Klondike Institute for Arts and Culture). He'll spend the month working on new songs and playing music with students from the local high school. More info here.
We're also thrilled to let you know that Siskiyou will be heading over to Europe once more in May to play All Tomorrow Parties' I'll Be Your Mirror 2012 festival in London, and the Primavera Sound festivals in Barcelona, Spain and Porto, Portugal. Full live dates to follow soon.
In the meantime, check out Keep Away the Dead, Siskyou's latest, and see below for a beautiful video recording of the band performing "Where Does That Leave Me?" during their last visit to the UK, courtesy of Line of Best Fit...
Earlier this year, Siskiyou were approached to take part in a project initiated by the Groninger Museum in Groningen, NL. Several musicians were asked to create music that would accompany individual paintings on an audio tour of the museum's upcoming exhibition on the Group of Seven.
We're sorry to say the project has since dissolved, though not before the stark, haunting "Always Awake", composed by Colin Huebert to accompany Tom Thomson's "Burnt Country, Evening" (pictured below), was committed to tape. We're thrilled to pass it along here.
MP3: "Always Awake"
Siskiyou's Keep Away the Dead was released on October 4th. Get more info on the album, including streaming audio of the whole thing, on our release page, and check out the video for "Dead Right Now" here. In early November Siskiyou will head to Europe for a month of shows - check out those dates on our tours page.
There's still a week to go until the release of Siskiyou's Keep Away the Dead, and a month until they head off to Europe (see dates here). This morning our friends at Muzzle of Bees posted a new video of a live performance of "Dead Right Now", the album's closer, made by dear comrade Brett Story while Siskiyou were in Montreal last June.
WATCH VIDEO HERE.
You can download the audio as an MP3, too (that's here). This week Keep Away the Dead is streaming in full over at Exclaim.ca.
Get the full run-down on the album at our release page, or pre-order it here.
With a week remaining until the release of Siskiyou's Keep Away the Dead, a full stream of the entire album has been posted by our friends at Exclaim.ca. Keep Away the Dead is the band's second full-length, following the release of self-titled debut about a year ago. They're heading to Europe for a month of shows in November.
Listen to the album here.
Get the full run-down on the album at our release page, or pre-order it here.
With Keep Away the Dead set for release October 4, Siskiyou are finalizing plans for tour in Europe and Canada in October, November and December. See the first batch of European dates below; we'll have Canadian dates up next week, as well as more in the UK and continental Europe.
If we haven't made it clear enough, we're terribly excited about the release of Keep Away the Dead. Ryan at Muzzle of Bees said it's "easily one of the most exciting new discoveries I've found this year". Check out "Twigs and Stones" below, and stayed tuned for more from Siskiyou in the next couple of weeks.
MP3: "Twigs and Stones"
|06.11.11||London, UK||The Lexington|
|11.11.11||Middlesbrough, UK||Westgarth SC|
|17.11.11||Hannover, Germany||Feinkost Lampe|
|18.11.11||Dresden, Germany||Thalia Cinema|
|20.11.11||Prague, Czech Republic||Studio Rubin|
|27.11.11||Groningen, Netherlands||Groninger Museum|
|28.11.11||Hamburg, Germany||Astra Stube|
|30.11.11||Strasbourg, France||La Laiterie|
|01.12.11||Paris, France||Point FMR|
We're thrilled to announce our fall release schedule - magnificent new records from Siskiyou, Evangelista, Colin Stetson and Sandro Perri. All are available now for pre-order. See below for release page links and audio samples.
CST082 - EVANGELISTA, In Animal Tongue
180g LP / CD / DL • release date: 20 September 2011
MP3: "Artificial Lamb"
CST083 - SISKIYOU, Keep Away the Dead
180g LP / CD / DL • release date: 4 October 2011
MP3: "Twigs and Stones"
CST084 - COLIN STETSON, Those Who Didn't Run
10" / DL • release date: 4 October 2011
Visit release page for streaming audio sample.
CST085 - SANDRO PERRI, Impossible Spaces
180g LP / CD / DL • release date: 18 October 2011
MP3: "Love and Light"
The nice folks over at Exclaim.ca have premiered a beautiful new video for Siskiyou's "Never Ever Ever Ever Again", by filmmaker Jamie Dagg.
WATCH VIDEO NOW
The song is from Siskiyou's debut album, released last year, which can be listened to in its entirety here. Stayed tuned in the coming months for more news on Siskiyou, as they finish up their second LP and firm up plans for touring this fall.
We've remodeled our website a bit (perhaps you've noticed). Among the changes is a new video interface on our Audio/Video page, onto which we've loaded a few (mostly) new videos of Eric Chenaux, Esmerine, Siskiyou, Khora and Colin Stetson.
We highly recommend you check them all out here, starting with Eric Cazdyn's gorgeous treatment of "Warm Charleston" by Eric Chenaux, also below:
SATURDAY • JUNE 4 • 20:30
This weekend, Esmerine will celebrate the release of La Lechuza at the Ukrainian Federation, with help from Robbie Kuster, Sarah Neufeld, Mishka Stein, Colin Stetson, and Patrick Watson, with projections by Clea Minaker.
Stream some songs from the album on our release page here, read an interview just published in Exclaim!, or grab "A Dog River" as an MP3 below.
Esmerine will be also be joined by Siskiyou, who are in town from Vancouver for a few days to play a handful of shows. Stream their entire album here or download "This Land" as an MP3 below.
It's really going to be a special night.
We encourage you to pick up tickets beforehand, which can be done here.
Or drop by your local record store: L'Oblique and Phonopolis definitely still have some.
MP3: Esmerine, "A Dog River"
MP3: Siskiyou, "This Land"
There's also a Facebook event here, if you're the type.
Siskiyou return to Québec this week to play three shows:
06/02 - Chicoutimi - Le Sous-Bois
06/03 - Trois-Rivières - Le Zénob (w/ Nick Kuepfer)
06/04 - Montréal - Ukrainian Federation (w/ Esmerine)
To pass the time between now and then, you can listen to their self-titled album, released last year, on our release page, grab an MP3 of "This Land" here, and watch a gorgeous video produced last year by Southern Souls below...
This week our friends in Siskiyou continue their brave trek Eastward and into the Canadian Shield, with shows in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston. Locals will want to come out on Thursday to see the boys play Under the Snow Festival at Sala Rossa (check out the rest of the festival schedule here). We're really excited to see them again.
We released Siskiyou's gorgeous debut LP last fall; you can hear the whole thing here.
Siskiyou will open for Jim Bryson & The Weakerthans on a week of Canadian dates starting with the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver on 26 February and ending in Winnipeg at the West End Cultural Centre on 5 March.
This is going to make for a fine night of music. Siskiyou will perform with the same 4-piece lineup that recently wound up a terrific month of dates in Europe.
The band will continue eastward after Winnipeg for additional Canadian dates in early March, to be announced soon.
Siskiyou frontman Colin Huebert is also mixing down a couple of tracks taken from sessions for the next album and will be making those available for free in the weeks to come. Watch this space.
Siskiyou (opening for Jim Bryson & The Weakerthans Band)
02/26 Vancouver - Biltmore Cabaret
02/27 Victoria - Sugar Nightclub
03/01 Edmonton - Myer Horowitz Theatre
03/02 Canmore - Communitea Cafe
03/03 Calgary - SAIT's Gateway
03/04 Saskatoon - Amigo's
03/05 Winnipeg - West End Cultural Centre
Siskiyou will soon hit the European continent for a month of shows to celebrate the release of their debut record. Co-founded by Colin Huebert and Erik Arnesen – former and current members of Great Lake Swimmers respectively – Siskiyou has added two other Vancouver-based musicians to form an excellent and sublime quartet that are brilliantly translating Huebert and Arnesen's original bedroom recordings.
See all the dates after the jump.
Stream the whole record.
Watch the 8mm video for the haunting, distorted-piano driven "This Land".
SISKIYOU - EUROPE 2010
|10.11.2010||Toulouse||FR||Le Lieu Commun|
|11.11.2010||Bordeaux||FR||Le Saint Ex|
|13.11.2010||Leiria||PT||Teatro Miguel Franco|
|15.11.2010||Bueu (Vigo)||ES||Bar Labranza|
|22.11.2010||Ariano nel Polesine||IT||Porcupine|
|03.12.2010||Gottingen||DE||The Living Room Society|
OFFICIAL TOUR POSTER
Sandro Perri plays his first show with a full band in over a year, premiering a bunch of great new material that he is currently recording for a projected 2011 release.
Co-headlining with Vancouver-based Siskiyou, who rendez-vous with their lone Toronto band member (co-founder and Great Lake Swimmers banjo-picker Erik Arnesen) for what will be their debut Toronto performance.
Should be a terrific night of music, perfectly suited to the focused environment of The Music Gallery.
Doors at 8pm, Siskiyou at 9pm, Perri at 10pm.
Tickets are $10 in advance at Rotate This and Soundscapes, or $12 at the door ($7 for Music Gallery members).
Colin Stetson plays his first proper and official solo show in his adopted home of Montréal, on the heels of a 10-day stand erforming with Laurien Anderson in NYC and a week of dates opening for The Arcade Fire on the USA west coast and Mexico. Colin is an incredible and incomporable horn player and we will be releasing a new solo album of his stellar music in February 2011.
Siskiyou swing through Ontario and Quebec prior to embarking on a month-long European tour – this Montréal show is their debut performance in the city and their final Canadian date before Europe. Celebrating the release of their debut album and performing as a 4-piece band, this promises to be a gripping set of dark, direct, exuberantly modern roots music.
North, My Love is an accordion-driven big band from Montréal whose self-released cassette from summer 2010 is a stunner – longform, slowburn drones and melodic weaves with reeds, string and vocals adding lovely accents along the way.
This show is a economically stimulating $7.00 in advance ($10.00 at the door).
Get all the info HERE - including audio previews!
Shot on 8mm at a slowed-down frame rate while band founder Colin Huebert takes a bike ride through his hometown of Vancouver. This is a direct digital transfer of the raw footage with no additional editing, effects, etc. Very nice...
Siskiyou's debut has just come out on CD and lovely Deluxe 180gLP with multiple inserts and a 3-colour screenprinted poster - see below for pictures of what you get...
3-colour screenprinted poster on textured olive green paper with white, brown and gold inks, 11" x 22".
11"x11" print of the album cover art on Proterra Chalk uncoated 80lb text paper.
7"x14" art/credit fold-out printed on Proterra Chalk uncoated 80lb text paper.
Siskiyou Deluxe 180gLP in the STORE. Edition limited to 777 copies.
The debut album by Siskiyou and the latest from Eric Chenaux are hitting the streets this week (13 September in Europe, 7 September everywhere else). They are both extremely sublime and lovely records.
We have now uploaded all tracks for both albums in streaming audio players on the release pages for each title. We also still have some posters left for each release as part of a mail-order exclusive: order the CD + Poster for $14.00 (or $12.00 for the CD alone). The deluxe LP editions naturally include the poster as a matter of course...
Check the store for more.
The release date for Siskiyou's debut album approaches (7 September; 13 September in Europe) and we've been adding a new track to the streaming audio player each week since mid-summer to preview the release. You can now hear 9 of 12 tracks from the album – this week two songs were added at once, "Inside Of The Ocean" and "We All Fall Down", each of which clock in at just a little over a minute and appear one after the other on Side Two of the record.
Check out the album preview player on the band's site or on our RELEASE page.
Go HERE for full descriptions and illustrations of the very lovely packaging for this release.
NPR's All Songs Considered for August 17 includes the song "Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Again" from the upcoming self-titled Siskiyou record.
"An intimate and entirely unaffected new album..." - NPR
Check out the track (and the episode) here.
Also a reminder that we are uploading a new album track every Wednesday as part of a cumulative album preview leading up to the release date in early September. Six tracks are up there already, a 7th on its way tomorrow: www.siskiyouband.com
No shows scheduled.
DIGITAL SINGLES / EPs