Montreal’s Bell Orchestre—the group including Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld and Richard Reed Parry—have announced their first studio album in over a decade. House Music arrives March 19 via Erased Tapes. Today, Bell Orchestre have shared the lead single, “V: Movement,” along with a music video directed by band member Kaveh Nabatian. Watch them perform in the forest in the clip below, and scroll down for the tracklist and album art.
House Music was created almost entirely from a single improvisational session in Sarah Neufeld’s Vermont home. The album features Neufeld on violin and vocals, and a number of other multi-instrumentalists such as Pietro Amato, Michael Feuerstack, Kaveh Nabatian, Richard Reed Parry, and Stefan Schneider. The musicians recorded in separate rooms with help from engineer Hans Bernhard.
“If you sliced away the front wall of the house and looked in, you’d see the horn section—with so many different things going on—down on the first floor of what would normally be the living/dining room, and it was full chaos with tables and tables of kalimbas and harmonicas and synthesizers and horns” Neufeld said in a press release. She continued:
Then you travel up a floor, and there’s me and Richie in an empty, warm sounding wooden bedroom. Mike was on pedal steel in the bathroom, on the same floor as us. And then up the stairs, through the ceiling and in the attic, was Stefan, alone on drums. It’s a big piece of land, and if you went outside to take a break, you’d look over and hear all of this crazy shit coming out of all the different floors, and it filled this valley, and there were lots of rocks so the sound would bounce around. It was spooky and glorious.
Most of my favorite recordings have some element of an explorative and accidental feeling within the music, a feeling which reflects the truth of musical minds which are partially super focused on specific musical ideas and partially wandering, exploring the musical world surrounding those ideas. I think it’s really satisfying as a listener when you can hear a musical mind exploring an idea—not just a musician who has pre-formed an idea and rehearsed it 100 times until it’s totally perfect and ironed out. In this recording, every one of the six of us is simultaneously exploring our own ideas, deeply listening to each others’ wide open minds and also totally immersed in our own strange and beautiful little internal musical worlds.
Bell Orchestre’s last full-length was 2009’s Who Designs Nature’s How.
III: Dark Steel
IV: What You’re Thinking
VI: All the Time
VII: Colour Fields
VIII: Making Time
IX: Nature That’s It That’s All