The Green Violinist lift their name and raison d’être from Marc Chagall’s cubist masterpiece, depicting the jaunty geometry of a Hulk-hued fiddler. You might expect their debut album to be a little more lively round the edges, in-keeping with the modernist’s dynamic aspect.
But when Vincent Dufresne, thirsty for stimulus, stumbled upon that artwork he also discovered the multi-layered ambiance of Silver Mount Zion, a band no less avant-garde but more placid in nature. This helped shape a record that effuses subtleties in tones and neo-prog nous.
Don’t let the opening burst of caustic post-rock derail you – later there come smooth, richly detailed compositions taking a leaf out of Anathema’s semi-acoustic, bi-vocal treatment. The string-soaked current of The Great Scapegoat Seeking is a strong start to the album, but it’s not the highlight – that could be the mournful electro folk of Velvet Road or the gothic Any Words You Say (which wouldn’t be incongruous on a Depeche Mode record) that floats your boat.
Gracefully depressive bar the Dylan-esque Shy People, this album is at peace with its folky ambience. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.