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Album review: 'Trobairitz'


The Archive Ravens



Rochester's enigmatic art-folk quartet The Archive Ravens delivers a distinctive blend of world folk, neo-Renaissance, and classical chamber music in its impressive debut album of original music, "Trobairitz." There's the deep, bellowing cello, accented by lead vocalist Ava Sauer's interwoven vocal harmonies in the Japanese-influenced "Kintsugi," or the cathedral-level expansiveness and heavy organ sounds in "Ave Eva." "Delicate" is a romantic vocal duet, with harmonies whirling around piano-heavy lullabies with fawning fragility. Songs like "Catalogue of Eyes" and "Marble Street" take on a mythic quality, with poetic metaphors for life and death, while "Strings of Pearl" and "Sandcastle Samba" offer more upbeat swing and Brazilian dance styles, respectively. Interestingly, "Trobairitz" caps off with two versions of the song, "Collapsed": one, a dense and jazzy orchestral arrangement; the other, a raw, acoustic rendition for piano and voice only.