Saturday, 10 March 2012

Review: Doug Tielli

Doug Tielli – Swan Sky Sea Squirrel (Tin Angel Records)
Being a member of The Silt, having been involved in a number of musical projects – with the likes of People From Earth, Snailhouse, Tamara Williamson, CLARK the band, Everybody Get Sick, Lenin I Shumov, The Draperies, Metal Kites and The Reveries – and being sibling to John (Rock Plaza Central) and Martin (Rheostatics) means that Doug Tielli is an established fixture in Toronto’s underground music scene.

Doug recorded and produced “Swan Sky Sea Squirrel” himself at an artist retreat centre on Toronto Island in an old school mobile and played pretty much all of it too, bar drums from Nick Fraser on two tracks, and Jennifer Castle’s vocal and a choir on another couple. His relocation beyond the shadows of the skyscrapers, away from the trappings of the big city, and the lack of imposed time frame and company, allowed him to immerse himself in a relaxed and natural environment which informs both the subject matter and tone.

“Swan Sky Sea Squirrel” is overtly tranquil and tends toward timeless acoustic folkiness, which is both drowsy and soulful. Doug sings in a yearning falsetto and his subtle string pickings are swathed in restrained synthetics and interjected with occasional traditional jazz brass, barbershop backing and saw.

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