Sandro Perri returns with his new full-length, Impossible Spaces, four years after his previous (and criminally overlooked) album Tiny Mirrors. The new record is a work of adventurous, progressive, playful and thoughtful songcraft – expertly recorded, wonderfully fluid in its complexity, continually oscillating between catchy and elusive, and guided throughout by Perri's golden voice.
Ronen Givony, the NYC-based music writer and curator (Wordless Music Series, Le Poisson Rouge) offered to contribute an essay about Impossible Spaces and we were happy to oblige. Excerpts below (full text available on our website):
By definition, every music lover is also, inevitably, an evangelist. That is to say: beyond the tiny group of artists that everyone more or less agrees on, there exists a perpetually overflowing pool of musicians who, for whatever reason, never quite manage to earn the audience and attention the evangelist believes them to deserve. It remains an open question, this thorny subject of art as oligarchy or meritocracy: whether deserving artists, regardless of resources, eventually do reach the audience they deservewhether it is in fact true, as the old saying goes, that the cream does ultimately rise to the top or if certain artists are unjustly consigned by the fates to recognition only late in their careers, or posthumously, if at all.
The very top of my own personal evangelical list is the Toronto songwriter Sandro Perri. Happily, Sandro's new album, Impossible Spaces — his first release since 2007, and, not coincidentally, his most accomplished to date — will, with any justice, achieve the work of proselytizing far better than me.
Among the lively artistic community of Toronto, Sandro Perri, whose other musical projects include Polmo Polpo and Glissandro 70, is all but universally beloved as a musical treasure. Indeed, unprompted, many Toronto musicians will tell you that Sandro is the true best exemplar of that unique intersection that characterizes the city's omnivorous musical scene: partly improvised, partly composed, and roughly equal parts acoustic, electronic, melodic, noisy, rock, jazz, folk, classical, psychedelic, and experimental.
After four years of writing, recording, and self-production, Impossible Spaces has delivered on the promise so abundantly present in Sandro's earlier work; and with it, a synthesis of the experimental, electronic and singer-songwriter modes that have marked his evolution as an artist. On first listen, Impossible Spaces seems to position itself self-consciously as a collection of music about other music. In this sense, we can think of the album as one listener's personal map of music history, with various voices, phrases, and personalities materializing to guide a song for an instant before disappearing again. Upon further listening, however, and true to its title, the album reveals itself as something more conflicted, and seemingly contradictory: a six-part meditation on the binaries of absence and presence, the possible and impossible, with a symmetrical internal structure reflecting this back-and-forth dialogue from one song to the next, and an emotional push-and-pull within the personality of the singer and songwriter himself...
– Ronen Givony, New York, 2011
Thanks for listening.
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