Post rock infused with classical music is hardly revolutionary nowadays. Yet Quebec-based chamber group Esmerine’s fifth album Lost Voices brings a fresh perspective to this combination, where rock instrumentation, for the most part, sits on the back burner. Lost Voices flaunts strings and marimbas to create an album with an oh-so-charming grace and elements of the oriental – setting itself out from the rest of the post rock genre, if ever so slightly.
Yet where the elegance of the weeping strings, especially in ‘Our Love We Sing’, lull us into a slumber. Esmerine throws a jarring curveball or two to remind us that our attention should not drift away with their music. The sinister hypnotism of ‘Funambule’ displays addictive repetitions similar to the likes of Swans, creating unsettling atmospheres but gracious nonetheless. Although Lost Voices relies more upon classical elements than rock, rolling drum beats hammer away in ’19/14′ and ‘A River Runs Through This City’ to bring a substantial presence to the otherwise fragile album, preventing Lost Voices from evaporating from memory.
Whilst Lost Voices will not change the face of post rock, it provides a sanctuary from the harshness often found in the genre, even if there is some scattered within the album itself. There are veins of shining optimism and sombreness that flows throughout Esmerine’s music, and this combination has to move you in one way or another.