Barzin's fourth album is another unshowy affair. Songs are hushed and intimate meditations on relationships, slowly and evenly rolled out with few spikes or dips in emotion; the main mood is sensitive contemplation. Sometimes Barzin's singing is soft and serious, others times dreamy and wistful. Immaculately arranged, it's an album you settle into, then relax into.
Though the project goes by the Toronto musician's first name, it's a collective effort. Nick Zubeck (pedal steel, electric guitar), drummer Marshall Bureau, bassist Mark Macintyre and keyboardist Robbie Grunwald make up the band, while backup singers (Tamara Lindeman, Tony Dekker, Daniela Gesundheit) and string players, including Karen Graves, help bring the songs to life.
The flugelhorn, soft snare shuffling and Lindeman's backup vocals in slowly building In The Dark You Can Love This Place make the track stand out, while piano-driven orchestral pop tune Fake It 'Til You Make It exposes Barzin's (slightly) bolder side. For fans of the National, Mazzy Star and Low.
Top track: In The Dark You Can Love This Place