Evangelista : Hello, Voyager (Constellation)
We can call this a debut record of sorts, as it is the first album to be released under Carla Bozulich’s new band moniker, Evangelista. Carla’s 2006 Constellation release was widely celebrated as her strongest, most fearless and compelling record in years, and ended up on many year-end lists. The Evangelista band continues to comprise Carla and Tara as its nucleus and continues to build on its relationship with Montréal (where the last album was also made). The album includes contributions from over a dozen Montréal players, including most of Thee Silver Mt. Zion, chiefly on string arrangements. Raw, beautifully ravaged, semi-improvised soundscapes still underpin Carla’s incantatory sung and spoken lyrics on the album’s opening and closing tracks, but much of the rest of the record is more overtly composed. Blistering nuggets like the snarling « Smooth Jazz » and the desperate « Truth Is Dark Like Outer Space » are the most rocking tunes Carla has put to tape since the demise of The Geraldine Fibbers (the alt-country band founded in 1992 by Carla), while « The Blue Room » (one of Carla’s finest songs, and one she has been carrying around for many years) is finally captured in a stunning studio arrangement that includes organ, violin, cello and contrebasse.