The sounds of Azeda Booth are full and lush, exploratory and eclectic, and perfect for listening on headphones. In Flesh Tones, the Canadian rock quintet's first full-length album, is a beautiful foray into dreamy, hypnotic electro-rock, full of vast atmospheric soundscapes and introverted laptop music. The disc's most rock-intensive moments recall the experimental music of Portishead, while the album's slower, more brooding pieces echo Sigur Ros or Kid A-era Radiohead.
"In Red" and "John Cleese" find Azeda Booth mimicking its fellow Canadians in Broken Social Scene, infusing the sound with its own electronic digressions. The songs often feel aimless, but that's almost the beauty of it. With a lack of clear structure or direction, the tracks are allowed to swirl around a few simple musical ideas, and the orchestrations that result are at times breathtaking. "East Village" and "Brown Sun" are gorgeous ambient electronic pieces, full of swelling synth waves and ambling melodies.
Much of the album seems to stand simultaneously as awkward and graceful. Perhaps the perfect example of this is "Big Fists," in which the band lays a backdrop of airy melodic guitars behind Jordan Hossack's falsetto vocals, eerily reminiscent of a 13-year-old boy or many a female indie-rock vocalist. In the band's bio, the first line appropriately reads, "There are no women in Azeda Booth." Between the gawky childish voice and the warm guitar and synth tones, the resulting sound is innocent and beautiful.
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