Album Review

O Paon – “Fleuve” – [Self Released]

Thurston Hunger   5/7/2015   12-inch, A Library

Genevieve Castree, from Washington by way of Quebec,
dons the robes of O Paon and steps out into the river.
“Fleuve” moves slow and unsteady, it is often icy
cold; and yet we follow behind in her wake, step
by step, until we are submerged in it. While it’s her
world, she does have a few friends with lifelines and
power cello. She sings in French, and we sink in our
American souls. Slow pop not far from a morphine drip,
but if I die, the double tracked hypno-seduction
siren call on “Fleuve II” what a way to go. Yeah,
I should translate the lyrics (they are re-scrawled
inside) apparently there’s a story about the St.
Lawrence River from the fountain of her Canadian
youth. Or is it from the Fontaine (Bridget) of my
imagined youth (listen to Genevieve on “Alunissage”).
She’s less whisper peppy than her fine work in Woelv,
listening to K Records “Tout Seul Dans La Foret En Plein
Jour” Woelv shares that slow and intimate vibe, torn
between love of melody and drone, producing a healthy
mixe result. If Woelv feels like a teenage audio diary
then this is maybe the soundtrack to her first art
show? And it turns out she’s involved in a graphic novel,
“Anacortes” (sharing a name with the Washington town
where she lives…and apparently Mr. Microphones, Phil
Elverum not only helped mix this record but mixes up
her life on a daily basis. Viva amor!) Feel the Phil
on the lonely bass drum thump to end Side A. Anyways,
while it’s all beautifully recorded/mixed, it’s her
message, her artistry and her voice that permeate it.
Possibly even an alternate version of her youth, but
one person crossing a river twice is like two people
crossing two different rivers. This is a gentle but
steely record, her voice doubled and tripled for
strength at times, guitars sparse as winter branches,
although on some cuts she busts out the distortion
box like on “Grand Sec” then it morphs into the
feedback and ice-pick chiseled cell of “Alunissage”
She’s an army of voice on “Transcanadienne.” As
excellent as a crepuscular croissant. Seconds for moi.
-Thurston Hunger

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