ELFIN SADDLE at the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina, 416-763-9139), Saturday (June 14), 11 pm. $12, free w/ NXNE wristband (see page 62). Rating: NNNNN
They may have grown up half a world apart, but if you take one listen to the bizarre, haunting music created by the duo of Emi Honda and Jordan Mckenzie, it’s hard not to think it was meant to be.
Consider their partnership a story of musical fate. Honda moved from her native southern Japan to Vancouver Island, where she focused on the art that would eventually connect her with Vancouver artist and musician Mckenzie. It wasn’t all that long before their similar artistic influences and interests lent themselves to making music together as well, with results that were as unexpected as they are fascinating.
After starting out busking in Victoria, they attempted several projects, then moved to Montreal, where they fully developed their sound, a kind of avant-??folk influenced by everything from outsider art to field recordings and nursery rhymes. Named after their favourite wild mushroom, Elfin Saddle’s sound is as organic as they come, and on their debut, Gigantic Mother/Wounded Child, they create an imaginary world full of spirits while accommodating traditional Japanese folk melodies and dark, strange moments worthy of Tom Waits. Still relatively new to the scene, Elfin Saddle’s music is as hard to pin down as it is weird and beautiful.