Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Time to Right an Oversight ...
For a year now, I've been thinking I really should do a profile on Christine Fellows, and then something else comes up and ... well, here it is, a year after I saw her at the Calgary Folk Festival and I still haven't told you about this original and wonderfully idiosyncratic musician.
I still remember when I first heard her music. It was actually her third album, Paper Anniversary. I was immediately floored by her pure and unpretentious voice and by her very unique brand of lush orchestral chamber pop meets delicate homespun poetry.
Around about that time, Matthew Good was collecting urls of Canadian musicians. He was posting a list on his blog so that people could access musicians they might not otherwise be familiar with.
So I sent Christine's url to Matt and he replied in an email stating simply:
"god damn that's good!"
He quickly published a post on his blog about Christine Fellows, urging everyone to listen to her, that's how good she is! And I, of course, went around telling everyone that I was Matt Good's music advisor.

The story of the recording of Paper Anniversary is vintage Fellows. It was recorded and produced in Winnipeg, at the home she shares with her husband, the lovely and talented John K Samson of the Weakerthans, with friends and family lending their talents, visiting from Texas and Montreal, or recording their parts in Vancouver and Toronto.

If you have the inclination to visit her website, you can see the video for Migrations, from which this still is taken. It's one of the most original videos I've seen in a while. It's very stylish - a performance video, but set against the backdrop of the audience being shown, via an old-fashioned lantern and paper show, the story behind the song. It's utterly charming, as is her music, which is filled with intricate details interspersed with soundscapes and made lush with cello and other orchestral instruments.
You owe it to yourself to listen to Christine Fellows, and if you get a chance to see her perform as she tours with John K Samson this summer, DO IT.
In the meantime, please enjoy these songs:
Phantom Pains

Upload music at Bolt.

Upload music at Bolt.


Will said...

I need to check her out for sure. He should hire you as his adviser for sure...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

haha, May I use you as a reference then, Will?

I think I may have put one of her songs on one of your cds...

Will said...

That sounds right ... often I listen to your mixes on my iPod without track names. Speaking of which, that Cons track, "and as long as we're dying/we want the death of rock and roll" ... that is, like, my go-to track when I need inspiration.

mellowlee said...

Oooh Nice! Thanks for sharing Barbara!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Ah yes, Arizona. That's a killer song, Will. I almost discombobulated myself, dancing in the kitchen when I first heard it.
I've been listening to your #1 cd a lot the last couple of days. You know how you have to put something away for a little while and then you discover all sorts of new sounds on it on the next round of listening? I still am blown away by "Feeling Oblivion" - I can never hear that one enough. And lately I've been just loving "New English". I've got years of enjoyment coming out of these cds still.

I'm glad you liked those songs, Mellowlee. I think Christine Fellows is astounding. And her husband is no slouch, either!

Kellee said...

I still love my Christine F. on my Barbarella music sampler! Yay!!
PS: Look at you, little miss supa-star!!! ;)

Ben said...

I like it Barbara, especially Phantom Pains.

Poor Charlie's missing fingers were itching. My Dad lost a finger in the army, and he always used to say it itched annoyingly.

Good stuff.

kees said...

Like it like it, her voice is so clear it's really cool.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm glad you still like it, Kellee! I had forgotten about her for some time and am getting back into her music again now and it sounds so fresh.

So that's a real phenomenon, Ben? About phantom pains? I never knew that. You poor dad - that must have been maddening.

I love the clarity of her voice too, Kees. And her husband, who fronts the Weakerthans, has an equally clear voice - different timbre obviously. They are the best enunciators in rock!

Will said...

Oh man, "Feeling Oblivion" still gives me some chills ... as does much of that album. Sadly, there other too have some good tunes, but nothing chill-worthy. Yeah, Ambulance LTD kinda remind me of Turin Brakes in some way. I went and saw I'm Your Man, Leonard Cohen last weekend and saw Rufus sing "Chelsea Hotel." He also sang "Everybody Knows" and "Hallejuah" with Martha.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Martha and Rufus sing together in the film, Will? I am so going to see that! (Well, I planned to anyway) But Rufus does the best version of Chelsea Hotel, in my view.