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The Gold String

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, 24 Mar 2017
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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Mar. 2017)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tin Angel
  • ASIN: B01N14G1VM
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,174 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

"I was staying in a tiny house all by myself, on a windy island out in the North sea. My daily human contact was waving to a farmer while he trained his 9-month-old sheepdog, Jan, for a herding competition. I had a little map of the ruins in the area, but I never really felt like it. I was gravitating toward the more modest plants and birds, considering all the people in my life. Everything seemed hyper-connected. So I postponed dinner - which is always easy because I can't cook - & begin to write these long, long lines of lyrics. They were way less labored than usual, less chiseled into a meter. But I found that if I narrowed the melody to a few notes - almost like a chant - the ideas began to string themselves together. That song became 'The Gold String.' Devon Sproule's "Gold String" is North American music with weirdo roots. Recorded in three different Canadian provinces - Yukon, Ontario, and Nova Scotia - the short, lush LP features backing from Toronto dream-poppers Bernice. The deep, sparse "Drawing Circles" is a song by Sproule's Tin Angel labelmate Ed Askew. Two songs are co-written with Mike O'Neill (Inbreds) and mixed by Sandro Perri. Sproule's husband Paul Curreri sings, plays, mixes, and produces. 'More Together' is half-about reconciliation - no doubt about it. But it's also about the relief you feel when you stop needing to set yourself apart in the world. When we lived in Austin, we got this crazy cheap gym membership thanks to a friend's Costco card. Sometimes on the elliptical, I'd peek at the other folks around me. We were all so sweaty, leaning forward, our music in our headphones, just working. I was surprised how happy I was to be a part of the tribe. So I wrote that into the second verse, along with an image of the sweat lodge we had at Twin Oaks when I was growing up." "Sproule's lyrics glance off each other arrestingly, juxtaposing images" - (Financial Times). "Her quirky affectations bring to mind Bjork, and forays into the dark, Michelle Shocked." - (Village Voice) Devon Sproule is a Canadian/American musician living in rural Virginia, raised on eco-villages near Kingston, Ontario and Louisa, Virginia. The 34-year-old, in addition to being a musician, is a high school drop-out, a birder, doula, and a student of Deaf Culture and sign language. She has been married to producer Paul Curreri for 11 years.

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When Devon Sproule released ‘Colours’ in 2013, it seemed an odd sideways manoeuvre; co-written and recorded with fellow Canadian Mike O’Neill it didn’t feel quite like a Devon Sproule LP but then again, it couldn’t have been by anyone else. It’s poppier, more straightforward direction now makes perfect sense as the bridge to ‘The Gold String’. Working with O’Neill and largely ditching the intricate finger-picking tunes of old, Sproule was able to access a new lyrical depth that seemed to plumb her emotions even more profoundly than before.

She has always been a ‘confessional’ writer; one can plot her relationship with husband Paul Curreri pretty closely from ’Keep Your Silver Shined’ through ‘Don’t Hurry for Heaven’ to the darker, sparser agitation of ‘I Love You, Go Easy’. Her heart is firmly on her sleeve and the voice betrays every emotion and feeling as ever but this time, she seems more content, happier, more accepting.

‘The Gold String’ now makes perfect sense. Freed to play in musical styles that suit the songs, Sproule has produced her richest, most musically involving LP ever. At only 32 minutes, it’s comparatively short but because every moment is packed with melodic twists, head spinning harmonies and her trademark lyrical genius, it’s an absorbing half hour that rewards repeated plays.

Written largely in isolation and away from home, it casts a warm eye over the interconnectedness of everything (the gold string that binds us all). In recent live shows, she has confessed to the relief of letting go of an old idea that the artists should in some way, be separate from the rest of society in order to preserve their uniqueness.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Spunky poetics: Devon Sproule's finest album to date 27 Mar. 2017
By Nat Bourgon - Published on Amazon.com
"The Gold String" is what I call "spunky poetics." It is Devon Sproule's most fully realized culmination to date of her playful, spunky musical and lyrical persona, and her deep, poetic intensity. Her music and singing emits this committed, persistent flare. Vocally, she takes turns between utilizing a whimsical and frolicsome bounce in her singing step, and a graceful, earnest mist of tenderness. She has a way with words that leave me in awe. Sproule has this singular ability to take unrelated concepts and ideas and place them under the same roof so they end up as chummy and compatible as random roommates turned friends. "Trees at Your Mom's" is a career highlight, for how it tries to wrap life's quivers in a consoling bandage of light. The tune makes climbing over obstacles more feasible, by viewing her obstructions as an adventure to set out on, to rise to. The title track "The Gold String" is intimate, and dazzling like an all encompassing daydream, worth letting yourself partake fully in. The track is filled with a childlike wonder, and shows us the path to maintain a non cynical, faithful tone into adulthood's sometimes restrictive mural. "Jana" is a hard nosed, athletic tale that plays like a coming of age story for a late bloomer. Musically it is more rugged and unshaven than most of the album, offering contrast and balance. It gives the untamed some tough love, yet is also accepting and supportive. "More Together" is a bubbling ode to a longstanding relationship that is sparkling through time, honouring the relationship's ability to change and evolve to reflect the growth of the couple's members. When I listen to Devon’s music, I feel motivated to get out there proactively as an initiator in life, to make things happen. Her tunes leave me with a "go get er" mentality. Devon's music has tenacity and boldness, yet also patience and poise. "The Gold String" is the finest Devon Sproule album to date.
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