We love Esmerine. Their heartfelt, adventurous, and majestic compositions are filled with beauty. Their latest release, Dalmak, made it in our Album Picks 2013, so needless to say we're more than a little excited to present the mixtape they've put together for us this month. Pack your boots and get ready for a round-the-world musical trip. And for the first time on Cast the Dice, the mixtape includes special cameo appearances from a blue jay and a raven!
As the year draws to a close, we picked our favourite Albums of 2013.
Esmerine‘s glorious and wonderful fourth album, Dalmak, came out last September. In support of the album, the Canadian quartet are embarking on a two-week European tour, starting in Utrecht on November 29th at Le Guess Who? Festival. The UK leg of the tour includes shows in Bristol, Brighton, Sheffield, Colchester and London. Check all the tour dates and other info here.
This tour will see Esmerine’s core line-up expanded as they’ll be joined by 3 additional guest players on Turkish strings and percussion instruments, including Hakan Vreskala who had also helped to record Dalmak in Istambul.
To tease the upcoming tour, Esmerine have unveiled a trailer. Check it out below, and to entice you further, listen to ‘Barn Board Fire’ straight after, one of the magnificent cuts off Dalmak. Go to see them live if you can, they will shine.
Dalmak is out now via Constellation.
Esmerine have a new album coming out on September 3rd via Constellation. Dalmak, their fourth full-length album, takes its name from the Turkish verb meaning to dive into, to contemplate, to lose oneself in, to be absorbed in, to bathe in, to plummet. The Turkish presence and influence on the album goes beyond the name. Esmerine, now comprising co-founder and cellist Rebecca Foon (Saltland, Silver Mt. Zion, Set Fire To Flames), former Godspeed You! Black Emperor drummer Bruce Cawdron on marimba, percussionist Jamie Thompson (Unicorns, Islands) and multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson, recorded most of Dalmak in Istambul. After their European tour in 2011 and 2012 with stops in the city, the group was invited over for an artist residency, where they were joined by another four Turkish guest players, Hakan Vreskala, Baran Aşık, Ali Kazim Akdağ and James Hakan Dedeoğlu on various instruments, including some unknown to us like bendir, darbuka, erbane, meh, barama and saz.
The album’s press release describes Dalmak as “a tour-de-force of cross-cultural music-making, emotive but unsentimental, deeply textured and detailed but never precious, superbly guided throughout by a balance of DIY rock, new folk and modern classical/contemporary sensibilities.”
Barkin Engin and Metin Bozkurt initially recorded the album in Istanbul, and later in Montréal, Jace Lasek (Wolf Parade, The Besnard Lakes, Suuns) and Ian Ilavsky achieved “the album’s gorgeously saturated warmth, depth and pulsing grit”.
Esmerine have shared an edit of the outstanding ‘Translator’s Clos II’, the first taste from the album. Enjoy.
Montreal outfit Esmerine, who are currently on an European tour, are offering a digital single, ‘Front End Loader’, and it comes backed with b-side ‘Learning to Crawl’.
‘Front End Loader’ features guest Colin Stetson on horns and it was recorded and mixed by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire). The track was recorded during the sessions for Esmerine’s third album La Lechuza, released last year via Constellation Records.
The band thought the track “did not fit the arc of the album at the time”. It’s great news they’ve decided to make this gem available now.
B-side ‘Learning To Crawl’ is one of the two songs composed by Esmerine, under the leadership of percussionist Bruce Cawdron, as a commission for “Aarti”, a recent Indian modern dance piece by Sonia St-Michel.
Both tracks are free to grab, check them out below.