Where Night Holds Light

Where Night Holds Light

by Buttless Chaps


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Where Night Holds Light

With Where Night Holds Light, the Buttless Chaps continue their musical evolution from offbeat alt-country to more expansive, yet still offbeat, orchestral pop. Their music projects an open, pastoral quality that is forged by both acoustic and electric instrumentation. One of the band's intriguing aspects is how twangy and rock elements coexist with all of the synthesized whirls and blips. Nothing the Chaps do is straightforward. Their songs are stuffed with a variety of musical ideas, time signatures, and melodies. The one constant component, however, comes in the singing. Dave Gowans possesses a resonant, dramatic voice that is akin to the Tindersticks' Stuart Staples, while Ida Nilsen's lithe harmonizing serves an appealing counterpoint to Gowans' resonant singing. Songs like "Caboose," "The Poacher," and "Master and Commander" showcase what this western Canadian ensemble does best: create entrancing aural pieces that radiate an alluring, twilight tranquility. They also shine on a couple tunes with a rockier edge, the title cut and "Migratory Birds," both of which use the arty new wave groups like Simple Minds and Echo & the Bunnymen as their jumping-off point. Even when the songs turn more meandering, the efforts have interesting moments. In the overly long "Movements," a cascading piano part captures one's attention, as does a banjo solo. The penchant for elaborate arrangements and elliptical lyrics does make it somewhat hard to warm up to the band. Lyrics touch upon the natural world (insects, birds, river, snow, soil, etc.), but an otherworldly inscrutability exists in them. As a result, the songs often wind up being fascinating, although not totally captivating. Even their most emotionally direct number, the simply done set closer "Occupation of Freedom," feels slightly remote. Full of beauty, the music on Where Night Holds Light holds an unsettling undercurrent that seems part of the band's design. A beguiling, if not quite totally successful, musical adventure.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/11/2006
Label: Mint Records
UPC: 0773871009327
catalogNumber: 91

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Buttless Chaps   Primary Artist
Morgan McDonald   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards
Tim Vesley   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Vocals
J.P. Carter   Trumpet
Jesse Gander   Vibraslap
Dave Gowans   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Vocals
Lasse Lutick   Synthesizer,Electric Guitar
Torben Wilson   Percussion,Drums
Ida Nilsen   Accordion,Autoharp,Vocals
Roger Dean Young   Vocals
Martin   Electric Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Tim Vesley   Engineer
Jesse Gander   Engineer
Martin   Engineer

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