Under Review

Sarah Davachi

All My Circles Run

Students of Decay; 10/03/2017

Nathan Pike

Simplicity may be your first impression upon listening to Sarah Davachi’s new full length album All My Circles Run. But don’t be fooled at first blush, as this Vancouver / Montreal, and soon to be L.A, based musician has so much more than drone and ambience up her sleeve.

Stepping out of her usual use of electronics and synth, Davachi chooses instead to utilize musical instruments like the cello, organ and piano as the focus for each of the five selections on All My Circles Run. And, for the most part, she has constructed something heavenly.

Davachi has a knack for creating tunes that dig into the heart muscle. Her music is more than just twisting and turning organ drawls or the sound of one tone clapping. It is music from the heart and it is divinity in layers. Her songs are beautiful and complex: deep as the ocean but light as a feather. How can these forces co-exist? Well, Sarah Davachi has put theory and form together, creating some of the most delicious sounds these tired old ears have heard in a long while.

Each song opens slowly, unfolding over time until the listener is awash in the warm splendour of sustained notes and harmonization. “For Strings” sets the scene. A weathered sounding drone, like a hurdy gurdy gone to seed, gets fed clean violin and a hungry hum of buzzy feedback. About a minute in, your mind lets go and suddenly you are floating out to sea. Bobbing up and down amongst water, “For Voice” begins with woven layers of Davachi’s sustained voice. Sometimes, she wavers ever so slightly around a note, building like a fierce gloomy fire. Unsettling and lovely, this track is one of my favourites.

While each song boasts a simple flow that builds into a gentle crescendo, the tones and how they entwine are what make it so beautiful. This is the kind of ambient / drone music I adore. Davachi has a talent for creating an incredibly meditative space, and one that is easy to get completely lost in. And with that I hold my breath and dive into the sandy sea depths once again.