A Common Truth is the second album by Saltland, the solo project of Montréal cellist and composer Rebecca Foon (Esmerine, Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Set Fire To Flames). Combining acoustic, amplified, processed and sampled cellos, Foon presents a new song cycle that features her instrument as source for almost all sounds on the record – with the notable exception of special guest Warren Ellis, who contributes violin, pump organ and loops to the album’s four instrumental tracks – and takes climate change as its theme (Foon is co-founder of Pathway to Paris, among other organizing and activist roles in the decarbonization movement).
A Common Truth is an album of meditative intensity that alternates between wordless instrumentals and lyric-driven pieces, balancing austere, organic intimacy and lush, layered expansiveness. The album was recorded and mixed by Jace Lasek (Suuns, Besnard Lakes, Wolf Parade, Land Of Talk).
A COMMON TRUTH
Release date: 31 March 2017
180gLP • CD • Digital
Listen to "I Only Wish This For You" from A Common Truth
A Common Truth deluxe vinyl package features a 180 gram audiophile LP pressing in a heavyweight jacket printed on 100% recycled 24pt Orford paperboard, with black polylined audiophile dust sleeve, a 12"x22" art print poster, 11"x11" art/credit insert, and a download code for a 320kbps MP3 copy of the album.
A Common Truth CD package features a custom mini-gatefold jacket printed on 100% recycled 24pt paperboard and a printed inner dust sleeve for the disc. Image shows the jacket cover, partial sleeve, and inside spread of the open gatefold jacket.
The compositional style may be classical, but the delivery is modern and mesmerizing . . . Foon turns out to be a surprisingly sweet singer, one whose voice itself is a lozenge."
–A Closer Listen
Cellist and composer Rebecca Foon has been a fixture of the Montréal music community for two decades. She co-founded the Juno Award-winning contemporary chamber group Esmerine in 2002 and was a core member of the celebrated cult post-punk band Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra from 2001-2008 and the experimental instrumental collective Set Fire To Flames. Foon was also a founding member of the instrumental trios The Mile End Ladies String Auxiliary and Fifths of Seven.
Alongside over a dozen albums as a composer and player with the aforementioned projects, Foon has a long list of recording and performing credits as a guest player, and several soundtrack projects under her belt (including the award-winning tar sands documentary H2Oil). Most recently, she has been a member of Colin Stetson’s acclaimed “Sorrow” orchestra (performing Gorecki's 3rd Symphony) and part of the band for the live documentary performances of filmmakers Sam Green and Brent Green.
PRAISE FOR A COMMON TRUTH
PRAISE FOR I THOUGHT IT WAS US BUT IT WAS ALL OF US
You may hear more immediate LPs this year, but few will likely surpass the beauty Foon and friends have created here. Blending lo-fi analog intimacy and judicious electronic elements, Saltland teems with lush textures that conjure all manner of dream states in an LP made for late-night listening. Foon’s cello plays a key role throughout via its adaptable sonority, one comprised of a commanding percussive presence as well as its better-known rich and melancholic indigo tone."
Crafted with immense care, Foon's recording eschews dramatic dynamic contrasts for a subtler brand of entrancement and features music of integrity refreshingly free of affectation or trendiness. The album's natural tone manages to feel both intimate and epic."
Foon's voice [is] an instrument of somnolent, gossamer allure which floats gracefully amid the eddying, amniotic music."
– MOJO ★★★★
An intricate and understated approach, blending soft, tender vocals with strings, drones and electronica. Foon’s hypnotic vocals are intoned against a backdrop of seamlessly-mixed droning strings; the whole merges dreamily into a single horizon…"
– THE SKINNY ★★★★
The successful combination of ghostly vocals and elaborate evokes a vastly unique natural world. Undeveloped, sparse, and somehow beautifully desolate, the album’s environment is nature uninhabited, mysteriously captivating in an unnerving and exciting way."