Slow and melancholic, introspective and confessional: These words in some ways describe the sound of Barzin. A project that began sometime in 1995, Barzin was a solo endeavor at its inception. But somewhere along the way it shed its solitary skin allowing a wide array of characters into it's sound. From amongst a rotating cast of musicians, who occasionally made appearances on recordings and at performances, three individuals slowly became a fixture of this project. The three characters in question are Mike Findlay, Suzanne Hancock, and Tony Dekker (Great Lake Swimmers). On 2003, Barzin released its self-titled debut album through the Montreal based label, Where Are My Records. The following year an E.P. titled Songs for Hinah, was released through the French based label, Hinah. And in 2006, the second full-length album titled "My Life in Rooms" was released in Canada through Weewerk Records and in Europe and U.S. through Monotreme Records
Barzin's second album, entitled My Life In Rooms, walks a minimalist line between chamber pop, alt-country, and indie rock. This collection of songs leans toward the melancholic writing of such bands as Tindersticks and Mojave 3. Barzin fuses instruments such as French horn, vibraphone, pedal steel, and a drum machine to create a unique, quiet music that is expansive and at times cinematic, while never losing its sense of intimacy or honesty. Barzin, Tony Dekker (Great Lake Swimmers) and Suzanne Hancock were the central musicians on the album, while Don Kerr, Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo), Tamara Williamson, Lewis Melville, and Matt Verta-Ray (Heavy Trash) all helped shape its remarkable sound. The lovely string arrangements were scored by Karen Graves (who also arranged Hayden's Skyscraper National Park)
On his new and latest album, "Notes to an Absent Lover" (Monotreme Records)Barzin leaves behind the sonic experimentation that played such a central role in "My life in Rooms." He brings together a new cast of musicians (Nick Zubeck, Marshal Bureau, Darren Wall, Robbie Grunwald) for this album. With the addition of these new musicians, a new range is introduced to the songs as well as to the overall sound of the album.
"Notes to an Absent Lover" brings new textures and colors to the Barzin palette. The album balances the introspection of his earlier work with up-tempo orchestral arrangements that provide a richly melodic heartbeat to these glowing confessionals. Personal but never indulgent, the raw honesty of the lyrics details universal themes of sorrow, regret and anger, evoking all the vulnerability and shifting emotions confronted in the wake of a shattered relationship.
"Notes to an Absent Lover" was recorded by Don Kerr (Ron Sexsmith) and Jeremy Darby (Pink Floyd, Lou Reed), and mixed by Chad Irschick and Darryl Neudorf (Neko Case, The New Pornographers).
The album is available for purchase through Monotreme Records.