Simple and elegant in design, Snowblink‘s debut album titled Long Live never strays from the less-is-more approach. The album purposefully slows the immediacy of life down to a meditative state leaving the listener feeling almost tranquilized from the experience; liken to a barbiturate induced sleep. Daniela Gesundheit’s distinct soft soprano blends seamlessly with a dreamy folk soundscape producing a soothing listening experience liable to put anyone at ease
Daniela’s band members, Dan Goldman and Caley Monahon-Ward, along with a host of other contributors demonstrate a predilection towards musical subtlety accomplished by introducing a variety of instrumentation deliberately and discreetly. While the folky guitar is a consistent foundation, the album features the use of various xylophones, mandolins, strings, and a host of percussion instruments, all appearing with the delicacy of freshly fallen snow. The musical arrangement is a poetry of sound often uncomplicated yet beautifully textured. In ‘Membrillo’ and “Divining Rod’, two brief interludes, Daniela’s voice is used as an instrument in itself sampled numerous times with a reverb quality and melted together in polyphonic perfection.
The standout tracks appear back to back to open the album; ‘Rut & Nuzzle’ and ‘Ambergris’ both feature a full complement of unique musical elements and a delicate tune worthy of a hum or two. ‘Green to Gone’ showcases the poetic underpinnings of the lyrics which permeate the rest of the album. A slight deviation form the softness can be found in ‘Heckling the Afterglow’ featuring more of an abrupt thump which drives the melody. There is somewhat of a disappointing issue related to length of the album. Timed at 34 minutes including an awkward 28 second final track, the album leaves you with a feeling of being incomplete. The track ‘None’ for instance, is a minute in length featuring a beautiful melody with soft guitar play. It has the potential to be a gorgeous epic and perhaps the perfect finisher. Instead, like the album, the song just ends without warning.
Long Live is a soft and sweet folk album blending early elements of Enya with the voice and poetry of Feist. Nothing ever seems rushed on Long Live and every sound is given ample time fully resonate before moving to the next note. It is a stellar debut from the Toronto based dreamy folk-pop outfit, but it plays more like an EP than a long player.