Barzin – To Live Alone in That Long Summer

Monotreme Records

If you haven’t heard Barzin’s name in a while you’re not alone. The last time the Toronto songwriter graced us with an album was way back in 2009 with Notes to an Absent Lover making To Live Alone in That Long Summer a bit of a memory jog. But it doesn’t take long to feel right back at home with Barzin’s plaintive brand of hushed songcraft.

As you could tell from the title To Live Alone in That Long Summer isn’t exactly full of peppy feel-good anthems but rather an elegant blend of downcast slowcore-tinted ballads complete with brushed drums glacial pedal steels and of course Barzin’s whispered vocals. In other words it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Barzin album but in the best way possible.

Led off by the stunning slow-mover “All the While” the album sticks to a sombre tone throughout but still throws some ear-drawing twists often via guests like Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker Snowblink’s Daniela Gesundheit and the Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman. There’s also Bryden Baird’s reserved but effective flugel horn peppering the album to great effect.

Radiating graceful subtlety touching lyricism and a certain sense of class To Live Alone in That Long Summer remains a humble record but sometimes that’s just what you need.