By Carris Boast
December 28, 2012
With a whimsical voice like no other and the ghostly cadence of this beautifully crafted record, one is left wondering why any of Rachel Zeffira‘s projects have not been constantly refashioned like an over animated Adele cover. Released independently via RAF records – her new record label founded with her sometime collaborator Faris Badwan of The Horrors, The Deserters is the debut solo album from the raw talent that is Rachel Zeffira. The rarity of Rachel’s voice is cradled through a cloud of string filled symphonies and modest piano melodies that bring a strange serenity to a somewhat gloomy record.
The honest charm exuded by songs such as ‘Front Door’ highlight the calming purity of Rachel’s vocals; accompanied by an array of simple piano parts and brushes of flutes and strings, it gently creates a wash of relaxation that provides a welcome warmth to a cold winter soundtrack. The subtle nod to Debussy in the title track points up the classical background of the Canadian singer. The song embodies a dreamy journey that takes you to and through a world filled with strings and pianos and into a spellbound yearning for a lost love. The captivatingly unblemished and distinguished quality of ‘The Deserters’ gives it stand-out status, making it an appropriate choice for the album’s title.
‘Break the Spell’ and ‘Letters From Tokyo (Sayonara)’ are both aflutter with the sounds of enchanted harps and Rachel’s frankly rather spooky howls, luring listeners into an amorous delusion like a siren to a sailor on the edge of a rocky shore. The album is etched with a delicate airiness that takes you through a river of harmonious, classical instrumentals which are accompanied by ethereal, modern storytelling that is so bewitching it clouds reality.The Deserters differs from Rachel’s prior project, Cat’s Eyes, because it sets its own intense and familiar sound that bears witness to a timeless, romantic sentiment, infused with an aroma of unheard poetry and distilled with haunting undertones, ultimately making it a strange but beautiful album to listen to.