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Friday, 30 March 2012

Record Review - Doug Tielli


Swan Sky Sea Squirrel

Tin Angel CD

‘Woozy’ is the word that best describes this debut album by Canadian avant garde musician Doug Tielli, a well-known face on Toronto’s underground scene. The multi-instrumentalist spent three months at an artist retreat centre on Toronto Island putting Swan Sky Sea Squirrel together, writing and recording whenever he felt like it. The resulting music, which features Tielli on everything from guitars to trombone, is strongly impressionistic.

On the opening ‘Yes I Am Lonely’ you can see him sharing a late evening camp fire with mates, as they embellish Doug’s folky croon (imagine Bon Iver on acid!) with their making-it-up-as-we-go-along background vocals. It sets the scene for a more focused meander through Tielli’s minimalist tunes, some jazzy, some trippy. A highlight is ‘Riversea’, which sounds like an lost Os Mutantes nugget that’s begging to be used in an arty stoner movie.

Chris Twomey

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