The Luyas - Animator
When The Luyas stepped into their Montreal studio with the aim of recording some drum beats to start writing songs for a new album on a cold February morning their plans were soon changed when they received a phone call explaining that one of their very close friends had passed away. This terrible news, however, redirected the path of the album in question and has now given birth to the ethereal, hypnotic and, at times, painfully melancholic Animator which is being released through Dead Oceans on October 15th.
The Montreal based experimental indie quartet who are renowned for their eccentric sound and use of an uncommon selection of instruments, including the French horn and, more recently, the violin which is caressed by friend and colleague Owen Pallett, have succeeded in producing an immensely thoughtful, seductive, moody and textural record which is as melodically entrancing as it is artistically rich. It deals with the complex emotions and existential, introspective ideas that come with the life changing situation of losing a close friend, with the haunting, yet soothing voice of Jessie Stein reflecting the melancholic air that inhabits the content of Animator.
The album opens with 'Montuno' a 9 minute account of the split second moments that can make, break or define us and discusses the strangeness and certainty of death. It swells with weeping violins whirling soundscapes and a backbone of clicking percussions which are all topped off by the whispy, yet commanding vocals of Stein which glaze the song, and the whole album, with a ghostly quality. 'Fifty Fifty' offers another highlight of the album, it is trademark Luyers material with the juxtaposition of unorthodox rock instrumentation and more conventional drum and guitar sequences, the content also keeps with the themes of death and introspective ideas, with the chorus "dreams die" squeaking from Steins vocal chords and caressing the eerie and fragile texture of the music.
The introspective, textural and achingly emotive air to the album was explained by Jessie Stein, "Animator is supposed to be some weird resuscitation. The animator's job is to create the semblance of movement in things that cannot move themselves." This synopsis of The Luyas' third studio album shows the intelligence that inhabits the music of the Montreal band and does exactly what Stein says a music should, it creates a mood and texture that reflects ideas and emotions with sound.