Birds Of Paradise – Sentimental Mood

• “Sentimental Mood” original music video. Thanks to Hannah Lewis.

8.3 “Fantastic Moodcore from Canada”

Opening track on their mini album “Love Hotel” released in October, 2017.

Mention of ‘the great American songbook’ would normally have me running for the hills; this is a reminder that it sometimes pays not to be blindly dismissive.

The Montreal, Québec core two of Hannah Lewis and Roy Vucino had been playing together in Red Mass, and formed Birds of Paradise in 2015. From what I can gather, Him the Maji (another from the Red Mass days) seems like a third member, and Jeff Louch guests on piano here on “Sentimental Mood”, an intriguing re-imagining of Duke Ellington’s 1935 original.

The end results are tense, unexpected and compelling for the near 10 minutes duration, twisting the old melody so strangely and sweetly, effectively modernizing film-noir cinematics in the 21st century.

Aside from Hannah’s vocals and Jeff Louch’s piano, I can’t be certain who plays what on this particular track, but the mini-album credits read: Roy (drum machine, guitar, effects, percussions), Hannah (vocals, digital synth), Him the Maji (analog synths, bass, field recordings, oscillations, loops, guitar) and Jeff Louch (piano).

Their Facebook tells:

Birds of Paradise embrace new sounds yet hold on to the romanticism of a past era. In doing so, the duo captures the dreamy atmosphere of 50’s/60’s era pop, folk music and 40s jazz, in a contemporary setting. It is as if there is a ghost in the machine, and the ghost is love. Sometimes, to create, art needs to juxtapose. The band melts elements of experimental music, pop rock and folk based songs, then layers and envelops these textures with electro-acoustic soundscapes and electronics.

On one hand BOP evokes such bands as Beach House, Fleetwood Mac and Future Islands. They strive to play soulful music, while keeping a finger on the pulse of what is going on in the evolution of pop. On the other hand, homage is paid to the greats; the melancholic music of Lee Hazelwood, Patsy Cline, Jason Molina and Townes Van Zandt. It is a conquest to explore new ways of expressing roots based music.

Heard on Pete Jackson’s November 2017 show on Dandelion Radio.

Get it at Bandcamp.

2019-10-27

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