Azeda Booth - In Flesh Tones
Azeda Booth is sexier than you are, and they prove it on their debut album, In Flesh Tones
While there haven't really been too many standouts in the rock 'n' roll category so far this year, there have been a number of great electronic releases to brag about. From the Prefuse 73-inspired Eliot Lipp to the shoegazey-electro melodies of Atlas Sound and to the very last disco-beat of Hercules and Love Affair, electronic music has seen a great transition in 2008. I'm dubbing it (hell yes pun intended), "The Year of Electro," and Azeda Booth's In Flesh Tones is a definite highlight.
At first listen, I was convinced the vocalist in Azeda Booth was a female. Even after reading that there are in fact, no females in the group and the singer indeed, is a man, I'm still a little unsure. Although I really have no choice to believe it since the first statement on the band's bio on their website states "There are no women in Azeda Booth." Apparently it's a common misconception (*smirk*).
Azeda Booth's debut album came out this month on Absolutely Kosher Records, a Northern California based record label. Although forming in 2004, In Flesh Tones is the five-piece Calgary, Alberta band's debut album, following-up 2007's Mysterious Body EP. After the first couple listens the band most calls to mind the hushed sounds of Icelandic darlings Mum, crossed with a little Album Leaf. In fact, singer Jordan Hossack, sounds like a duet of former Mum singer Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir and Air's Jean-Benoît Dunckel doing a Prince cover. (Listen to "First Little Britches" or even "John Cleese" for evidence of the Prince reference.)
The opening track, "Ran" is a glitchy but fluid firecracker of an opener, the perfect start to showcase the different styles musically and vocally the album features from beginning to end. "Ran", while in itself a great track, really sets the stage for one of the album's highlights, "In Red". The song allows Hossack's vocals to standout in the background, laying way for moody guitars and crashing drums to take center stage. There really are no dull moments on the album as the band lays out beautifully composed atmospheric pop songs one after another. Additional highlights on the album are "Well", "Kensington" and the closing track, "Be It".
While Azeda Booth might not be incredibly groundbreaking or innovative to some, they have produced one incredible debut album. Watch out for In Flesh Tones to be a sleeper-hit on many Best of 2008 year-end lists. Don't make me say I told you so, check out the album for yourself.
- Nicole Coxe