So the presser says “FYEAR interrogates our present and future post-capitalist polycrisis“. Any creative project aiming to probe into that vortex would require scale, focus, finesse and integrity, which are exactly the qualities that this Montreal convened collective possess. Led by composer/ saxophonist Jason Sharp and poet/novelist Kaie Kellough, FYEAR have been sculpting their resonant word-sound statements over time through live sessions and performance, that is until now. On 5th April the nine-piece ensemble’s self-titled debut album ‘FYEAR’ will be released on Constellation Records, the first documentation of their expansive electro-acoustic story telling.
Their narration is necessarily arresting, clawing at the outer reaches of improv jazz, avant rock, ambient electronic and post-classical territories in order to frame Kellough’s incisive poetry. For such exploration, alongside Sharp’s elemental saxophony, FYEAR features: dual drummers, Stefan Schneider (Bell Orchestre) and Tommy Crane (The Mingus Big Band, Aaron Parks); twin violins from brothers Josh and Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq, Darius Jones); and the atmospheric pedal steel of Joe Grass (Tim Hecker, Patrick Watson). Plus, to sharpen these instrumental conversations, FYEAR’s music is fused with the twin voices of Kellough and another renowned poet/writer/activist Tawhida Tanya Evanson.
Make no mistake FYEAR intend to ask serious questions with the same directness and honesty as Constellation colleague Matana Roberts in her ground breaking ‘Coin Coin’ series. First preview from the album,‘Pt.1 Trajectory’, glimpses at the full release’s future significance. It unfolds from gut punching vocal jabs with scarifying string hyperactivity to a sound and word crescendo of glimmering hopes (“Remember ways of being” is one of the snatched phrases). Finally there’s some resolution as Jason Sharp’s fluttering then sombre saxophone drifts with the gathering volcanic plumes. ‘Pt. 1 Trajectory’ is a drama in itself, visualised tellingly in the accompanying video by Kevin Yuen-Kit Lo, the band’s ninth member.
You’re left seeking more, which will come. Subsequent tracks from ‘FYEAR’ are due to be shared weekly from 1st March until the full album’s release in April.
Pre- order your copy of FYEAR’s self titled debut from your local record store or direct from Constellation HERE