Montreal’s Bell Orchestre – the group whose members include Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld and Richard Reed Parry – have announced their first full-length album in over a decade. House Music, a 10-track improvisational album billed as “one long piece”, arrives March 19 via Erased Tapes. Today, the band have also unveiled the first single, ‘V: Movement’, alongside an accompanying visual directed by band member Kaveh Nabatian. Watch it below, and check out the album’s tracklist and cover artwork.
House Music was created almost entirely from a single improvisational session that took place in Sarah Neufeld’s multi-story Vermont home, with each member assigned to a different room to record. This included Neufeld on lead vocals and violin, Richard Reed Parry on bass and vocals, Pietro Amato on the French horn, keyboards and electronics, Michael Feuerstack on pedal steel guitar, keyboards and vocals, Kaveh Nabatian on trumpet, gongoma, keyboards and vocals, and Stefan Schneider on drums.
“If you sliced away the front wall of the house and looked in, you’d see the horn section—with so many different things going on—down on the first floor of what would normally be the living/dining room, and it was full chaos with tables and tables of kalimbas and harmonicas and synthesizers and horns,” Neufeld explained in a press release. “Then you travel up a floor, and there’s me and Richie in an empty, warm sounding wooden bedroom. Mike was on pedal steel in the bathroom, on the same floor as us. And then up the stairs, through the ceiling and in the attic, was Stefan, alone on drums. It’s a big piece of land, and if you went outside to take a break, you’d look over and hear all of this crazy shit coming out of all the different floors, and it filled this valley, and there were lots of rocks so the sound would bounce around. It was spooky and glorious.”
Parry further elaborated on the band’s process: “Most of my favourite recordings have some element of an explorative and accidental feeling within the music, a feeling which reflects the truth of musical minds which are partially super focused on specific musical ideas and partially wandering, exploring the musical world surrounding those ideas. I think it’s really satisfying as a listener when you can hear a musical mind exploring an idea — not just a musician who has pre-formed an idea and rehearsed it 100 times until it’s totally perfect and ironed out. In this recording, every one of the six of us is simultaneously exploring our own ideas, deeply listening to each others’ wide open minds and also totally immersed in our own strange and beautiful little internal musical worlds.”
Bell Orchestre’s previous studio album was 2009’s Who Designs Nature’s How.
House Music Cover Artwork:
House Music Tracklist:
III: Dark Steel
IV: What You’re Thinking
VI: All the Time
VII: Colour Fields
VIII: Making Time
IX: Nature That’s It That’s All