Iris Dement wrote a song called Let the Mystery Be which was about acceding to unknowable forces. In her case it was religion, but she could equally be describing this music. A seven-man aggregation with two drummers, Fond of Tigers wind tightly from abstraction to bedlam. They describe their music as “the beast, something outside and beyond the seven humans that serve its strange needs.” This is their fourth studio album since 2006 and their lineup has remained unchanged since then. Their third album, Continent & Western, was released in 2010 and it won a Juno Award in the Instrumental Category in 2011. Founded by guitarist and occasional vocalist Stephen Lyons we asked him why there are no songwriting credits on the music.
“So, I do intentionally leave the songwriting credits off of the albums because I prefer to focus on the impact of the overall picture as opposed to the components that it is made up of. I leave the info off in the hope that the listener won’t be distracted by information (“oh, this is the one that the keyboardist co-wrote…” etc.) and will instead just take it in as an entire entity. That is my hope, anyway.
The album cover image points to the same notion. It’s a blend of all of our faces, but it doesn’t really look like any of us. It’s made of us, but is different than any of us. When making that cover, small changes in the level of transparency of each layer made huge changes in the overall image.”
The musicians are: Stephen Lyons guitar and voice; Morgan McDonald keyboards; JP Carter trumpet and electronics; Dan Gaucher drums; Skye Brooks drums; Shanto Acharia bass; and Jesse Zubot violin, electronics and mixing. They are all known for multiple projects and their names will be familiar to our readers through their affiliations with Tanya Tagaq, Dan Mangan and Blacksmith, Copilots and Destroyer.
There are several videos of live performances of earlier material posted to YouTube.
All the albums are on Vancouver-based creative-music label Drip Audio, operated by Jesse Zubot. This album and Continent & Western were both co-releases with Offseason Records.
reviewed by R. Doull
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