Skeleton Trees Structure 24 – Opus 1
4.0 out of 5
By Ted Rogen
Skeleton Trees is a self-described dark wave band hailing from Montreal, Canada. The band originally formed in 2007 and went through a number of lineup changes before getting settled. Currently the band consists of Alice Morrison on vocals, J. Bannon on electric guitar, keyboard and programming, Jean-David Brouillette on electric bass and Ian D’Amours on drums. Over a two-year period Skeleton Trees have been working on Structure 24. The project grew and grew and eventually they had 24 songs. They made a good logical decision to break the album in two pieces called Opus 1 and Opus 2. I had the pleasure of listening to Opus 1, which combines dark textures and tones not unlike that of a band like Portishead or even Massive Attack.
Over the course of the 12 songs they sometimes sound like a couple of people playing in a room together and other times sound like more than the sum of their parts. They utilize dark-sounding lead synths, distorted bass, organic drums and a variety of other elements to make music that sounds dark but not depressing. It’s a dark energy that feels like you can have fun observing it while not having to actually experience it. It’s kind of like the difference between someone watching a violent movie and enjoying it compared to actually being in a gunfight. What’s most unique about the album is that they chose to sing some of it in French and some in English. While they aren’t the first band to do this it adds some diversity to the album and it didn’t take away anything from the music that I don’t understand French.
The album starts off with the excellent “Ensorcelé,” which creates a vast circus of sounds that build but is ultimately carried by the vocal performance of Morrison. They go out of their way to make interesting textures such as combining ethereal background vocals with a mixture of synths that make a very tantalizing concoction of sounds. “Exhibition” constructs an industrial type electronic beat that drives a factory of sounds. The distorted tones are just dirty enough to give a dark tone but don’t overwhelm the music.
One of the highlights of the album is “L’épave des Songes,” which treats the vocals with additional saturation and combines complicated percussive pattern with heavily distorted bass.Despite their dark atmosphere some of the songs feel quite poppy, even peppy, such as the excellent “At Dawn” which sounds like a combination between Asobi Seksu and Portishead. Opus 1 offers a lot of sounds listeners can immerse themselves in, well-written songs and some very solid vocal performances. If you are a fan of Darkwave this should be a no brainer.
We will be performing a few songs for the launch party of Structure 24 – Opus 1 (the CD version), our 2nd album! This is next week; saturday 4th of may at Atomic Cafe (3606 Ontario est in Montréal). The lauch party start at 20h00 and will be playing around 22h30. The admission is free! Hope to see you there!
La Métamorphose (Part 1-3), a new digital EP created for the first art preview of Ramis Valente, a Montreal artist, is now available on Bandcamp! You can download it for free in MP3 320 or in lossless formats; FLAC format is the best and is available in 24-bits.
1. The CD version of Structure 24 – Opus 1 is coming probably later this month.
2. We just finished a new digital EP; the title is La Metamorphose (part 1-3) and it was composed for the first art preview of Ramis Valente, a Montreal artist. It will be available in the next 2 weeks.
3. Paper Moon, the digital EP for Valentine day is almost done! It will be available on…Valentine Day! :0)
4. The title of the 3rd album will be Between the Floor and the Downstairs Ceiling (Finally!). The recording is scheduled for next october and it will be done in the middle of the wood…really!
5. Our next video clip will be for the song A Dream of You.
Tonight, we released the first video from the upcoming 2nd album, Structure 24 – Opus 1. The video is for the song Exhibition.
The digital version of the album will be released on Bandcamp next week and the CD version should be ready for december. We’re also working on a digital EP for february. The title is “Paper Moon” and it will contain 5 new songs.
The 2nd album is finally done! It will be released next fall on CD and online! Meanwhile, you can hear a special preview right here! It’s a 6 minutes montage which contains a 30 seconds sample from each of the 12 songs. Enjoy!
01. Ensorcelé – 5:27
02. Exhibition – 4:27
03. La Mort – 2:32
04. Causality – 4:38
05. L’épave Des Songes – 3:35
06. A Dream of You – 4:01
07. At Dawn – 2:58
08. From A Distance – 3:47
09. L’orchidée Noire – 3:44
10. Poupée De Larmes – 3:17
11. Noises From A Static Dream – 2:13
12. Il Pleut – 4:32
Running Time: 45:42
– Alice Morrison: Vocals
– J. Bannon: Electric Guitars, Keyboards and Programming.
– Jean-David Brouillette: Electric Bass.
– Ian D’Amours: Drums.
Electronic Drums on tracks 02, 03 & 06 by William D’Agostino.
All music and Lyrics composed by J. Bannon except track 03 composed by J. Bannon and William D’Agostino.
Arrangements by J. Bannon, Alice Morrison & Jean-David Brouillette.
Engineered and mixed by J. Bannon at Moondawn Studio.
Produced by J. Bannon and Alice Morrison for Les Productions Kaivalya.
Executive producers: Alice Morrison, Jean-David Brouillette & J. Bannon.
We’ve decided to release Structure 24 as a real physical CD; so, this is actually the reason for the delay! :0) The mixes are done and ready for mastering and the graphics for the package are almost done! The videoclip is also pretty much done!