Via Tania's first release since 2009 takes a left turn toward orchestral pop | Bleader

Via Tania's first release since 2009 takes a left turn toward orchestral pop

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Via Tania
  • Courtesy of Noisy Ghost PR
  • Via Tania
Tania Bowers, the voice behind the long-running Via Tania, moved back to her native Australia four years ago after an 11-year run in Chicago. Before she split town she told Gossip Wolf that her project would continue "in some form," but she hasn't released anything since 2009, when she dropped Moon Sweet Moon. That silence ends tomorrow when Via Tania and the Tomorrow Music Orchestra (Narooma) finally sees release. The album was made in protracted fashion over four years, with the original sessions done in Chicago before Bowers left town. She wrote ten songs for the project, which resumed in 2013 when Matthew Golombisky created orchestral arrangements, recorded with a superb group of players spanning the Chicago jazz, experimental, and classical worlds—the 18-strong ensemble included guitarist Jeff Parker, reedist Caroline Davis, Eighth Blackbird clarinetist Michael Maccaferri, violist Whitney Johnson, French horn player Matthew Oliphant, and drummer Charles Rumback.

The results stand in stark contrast to the sort of electronics-kissed art-pop Bowers had been producing with an eclectic cast of collaborators—including Prefuse 73, Tim Kinsella, and Howe Gelb, among others. On the new album her melodies are typically dreamy and ethereal, and the lush arrangements draw out drifty qualities. On first listen the songs reflect Joanna Newsom's work with Van Dyke Parks as well as the more delicate, idiosyncratic phrasing of Bjork; but on closer inspection Golombisky's work teases out bit of Steve Reich-style minimalism and the early, hovering grandeur of Sigur Ros. Below you can get a taste of it yourself by checking out the video for "I See You Tiger," today's 12 O'Clock Track.

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