Stem Stem In Electro is a gorgeous collection of songs painted in psych-rock tones and timbres, minor-key progressions, and unsettling invocations of haunted transcendentalism. The opening track, with its trance-like group chorus of “we climb to the light”, conjures up a cultish hymn, with Moya’s guitar howls and washes underscoring the disquieting downwards chord structure. This sets the stage for “Blood On The Sun”, a chilling ballad delivered in Moya’s otherworldly voice, like a sedated Daniel Johnson or Wayne Coyne. The trip continues with a delicate instrumental and the tremulous swing of “Folkways Orange”. Side two starts with the album’s centrepiece, “Swallow’s Tail”, where a metallic pulse introduces a spooky, magickal romp, channeling the Canterbury spirit of bands like Caravan and Khan. This nod towards 70’s-era English prog carries through to the end of the album, terminating in the majestic closing instrumental, with more phantasmic group singing as a final send-off. Stem Stem In Electro casts its spell from the opening notes and paints a shadowy, saturated world surveyed alternately from ground level and from on high. Recorded at Montreal’s (original) Hotel2Tango by Howard Bilerman, Moya enlisted Eric Craven (Hangedup) and Harris Newman (solo, Sackville) as his rhythm section, along with Montreal string-playing stalwarts (and fellow Set Fire to Flame cohorts) Beckie Foon, Gen Heistek and Sophie Trudeau.
1. ...and we climb
2. Blood On The Sun
3. Une infinite de trous en forme d'homme
4. Folkways Orange
5. Swallow's Tail
6. Heaven Is Yours
7. Gently Gently
8. Quelque chose a propos des raquetteurs
Running time: 00:46:43
LP is pressed on 180g audiophile vinyl and comes in a thick printed jacket with 12"x12" artwork insert.
CD comes in a custom paperboard mini-gatefold jacket with a printed CD dust sleeve.
Mike Moya: guitar, piano, organ, voice
Eric Craven: drums, voice
Gen Heistek: viola, voice
Harris Newman: bass
Beckie Foon: cello, voice
Sophie Trudeau: violin
Recorded and mixed at the Hotel2Tango in Montreal by Howard Bilerman. Mastered by Harris Newman.