(08 July 2007) Fauxliage is the first full length collaboration between former Sixpence None the Richer singer, Leigh Nash, and Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber of Canadian ambient pop outfit Delerium. Nash's voice will be instantly recognizable to Delerium fans, having sung on their hit single "Innocente (Falling In Love)" from the album Poem (review) and contributed two songs, "Run For It" and "Orbit of Me" to the band's subsequent Chimera (review).
"Safety" was recorded in Vancouver while Nash contributed ideas and vocals from her home in Nashville, and also features multi-instrumentalist Roy Salmond, bassist Leah Randi and Sarah McLachlan drummer Ash Sood. "It was a project created to always have female singers," says Bill Leeb. "And Leigh has always been a personal favorite of mine."
The fusion of Nash's evocative vocal style, which harks back to classic country heroines Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline, and Leeb and Fulber's organically created electronic soundscapes, isn't an obvious one but somehow fits perfectly.
"The first time I wrote for a Delerium track (Innocente) I was very nervous and intimidated," says Nash. "I had never done anything like that before with this kind of music. I found it to be such an enjoyable challenge."
Opening with the upfront pop and restless hooks of "All the World" and "Someday The Wind", Nash gives the album its emotional depth, from the celestial harmonies of "Draw My Life" to the simmering anger of "All Alone". Nash's lyrics touch on universal themes of love and loss but often have a basis in personal experience, most notably "Rafe" the first single to be taken from the album. "Rafe is about my cousin who was very ill at the time and needed comfort," she explains. "He used to be a very successful ballet dancer, that's why there are references to him dancing under light. The song was written to be a hand for him to hold in what I thought might be his last moments. Thankfully he is now doing well."
Leeb and Fulber also conjure the ornate, almost baroque instrumental "Magic" and the lush lounge-influenced "Vibing" with it's Rhodes piano recalling the classically constructed ambience of William Orbit. Yet despite Fauxliage's unabashed pop stylings the album still retains a melancholic if seductive air.
"Music always reflects the artist's state of mind otherwise it's not realistic," says Leeb. "At this particular moment in my life I am feeling very introspective and this album became part of that persona and that is why the album has a very moody ambience to it. And the lyrics add to this mood by "taking of stock of one's personal life."
Fauxliage (Nettwerk Music Group (USA), 0 6700 30566 2 5, 2007) is comprised of nine individual songs that run about 40 minutes. As one might imagine for a release involving the people behind Delerium, the album also contains remixes; there are two of the track "Rafe." With many enthusiasts in eager anticipation since the project was conceived well over a year ago, a longer album would have been appreciated. Perhaps some of the tracks didn't meet the artists' standards or are being held back for b-sides on future EPs. Indeed Leigh Nash's vocals work perfectly with Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb's compositions.
"Let It Go" is the first internet track provided to listeners on the group's MySpace and Bebo pages. Nash's vocal work is exquisite and rides atop the dreamy electronica passeges effortlessly. Surprisingly for a collaboration amongst the three primary artists, there are two instrumental-only tracks on the album, one entitled "Magic" and the other named "Vibing."
The album's last original track is Leigh Nash's evocatively delivered "All Alone." Harmonizing vocals add great texture to the glistening instrumental arrangements to the track. The album concludes with the two remixes of "Rafe." The very different "Gabin Remix" blends a range of styles; the percussive and brassy arrangement is half tropical and half big band. The "Pacha Remix" is even more percussive mixing reggae with other ethnic treatments.
We agree with Richard Adams at Nettwerk. Fauxliage is a subtle slice of dream pop that's far removed from Delerium's darker root. Like their esoteric name suggests, Fauxliage are a hidden gem, waiting to be discovered.