Vic Chesnutt is one of the finest songsmiths we know. His words knock us out, his voice is like no other, and the two combined can deliver lyrical phrases that echo in your brain for weeks, months, years...that you find yourself adding to your quotidian vocabulary of sardonic asides, devastating metaphors, witty rhymes. Words that are never clever for their own sake, but smart and substantive as all get out.
The songs on North Star Deserter are some of the most bracing and intense we've ever heard from him: macabre and fearless, playful and funny, at times deeply personal and at others, incongruously hopeful. Stripped-down songs like "Warm", "Rustic City Fathers", "Over" and "Marathon" are juxtaposed with explosive rockers like "Everything I Say" and "Debriefing", while "Glossolalia" and "You Are Never Alone" feature wonderful arrangements and group singing.
The broad cast of players - all seven members of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, along with Guy Picciotto (Fugazi), Chad Jones & Nadia Moss (Frankie Sparo), Eric Craven & Genevieve Heistek (Hangedup), Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Esmerine) and T. Griffin (The Quavers) - offered influences and approaches to Vic's music that yielded a record unlike any other in his substantial discography.
Band: VIC CHESNUTT
Title: North Star Deserter
Formats: 2x180gLP / CD
Release Date: 27 August 2007 (Europe), 11 September 2007 (Rest of World)
3. Everything I Say
4. Wallace Stevens
5. You Are Never Alone
6. Fodder On Her Wings
8. Rustic City Fathers
Vic Chesnutt: guitar, casio, lyrics, voice
Thierry Amar: contrabasse, electric bass, singing
Howard Bilerman: drums
Bruce Cawdron: bowed vibraphone and glockenspiel
Jem Cohen: field recordings
Eric Craven: skateboardthing
Beckie Foon: cello, singing
Scott Gilmore: drums
T. Griffin: guitar, field recordings
Genevieve Heistek: viola
Ian Ilavsky: singing
Chad Jones: guitar, singing
Efrim Menuck: guitar, piano, harmonium, casio, singing
Jessica Moss: violin, singing
Nadia Moss: organ, piano, singing
Guy Picciotto: guitar, field recordings
Sophie Trudeau: violin
Recorded and mixed at Thee Mighty Hotel2Tango in Montreal by Howard Bilerman with Efrim and Thierry, winter 2006-2007.
Produced by Jem Cohen with Efrim, Thierry and Guy.
Mastered at Greymarket in Montreal by Harris Newman.