Label: Bella Union Release date: 01/05/09 Website: Ohbijou Myspace Buy: Amazon Ohbijou are my new favourite band. Unashamedly a position they held even before I heard a single song; not only have the septet recently signed to the fantastic Bella Union label (home to Fleet Foxes, Beach House, etc etc) but they also originate from the ‘Shangri-La’ of Canadian Indie-pop that is Ontario, Canada. It is lucky then, that Ohbijou manage to create sweet orchestral pop of the highest order that is both distinctive and accessible. Their sound is a beautiful lush blend of acoustic euphoric baroque pop and wispy folk, lying somewhere nearby a melancholy ‘Broken Social Scene’. Ohbijou began originally as a solo project of singer/songwriter Casey Mecija. She soon took her songs out of her bedroom, recruited her sister and 5 of her friends and released the band’s first LP “Swift Feet For Troubling Times”. Astonishingly, the band have had little publicity or mention on the (...ahem) blogosphere, a position most likely to change following their signing to Bella Union and release of their forthcoming title “Beacons”. Their new release is fantastic; yet it is difficult to identify what exactly is so great about ‘Beacons’. Casey Mecija’s songs have been transformed into a rich meticulous blend of sumptuous instrumentation, intense crescendo’s (seen particularly in “Memoriam”) and intertwining melodies; all of which perfectly compliment the purity and innocence of Mecija’s idiosyncratic voice. The accompanying music is made up of a wide array of instruments and proficient musicianship. This said, at no point does this backing obscure or cloud her soft voice and sombre, delicate lyrics. It is these strong dynamics that elevate Ohbijou from similar bands; in particular the standout song (if that’s possible) ‘Black Ice’ displays a vivid contrast between the loud intense cymbal hits and string sections of the intro, with the mellow acoustic guitar of the verses, elevating Mecija’s vocals to the fore. Ohbijou are a band like no other. They create beautiful music that is pure and mesmerizing. Their new release, perhaps enhanced by their lack of exposure and reverb-soaked production, possesses an enchanting ethereal ambience that is genuinely beautiful. Rating: 9/10 MP3: Ohbijou - Black Ice