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Barzin's second full-length album, entitled My Life In Rooms, walks a minimalist line between chamber pop, alt-country, and indie rock. While continuing the lush, introspective musical dialogue the band first created with its self-titled debut album of 2003, this collection of songs leans toward the melancholic writing of such bands as Tindersticks and Mojave 3. However, what sets this album apart is the way it blends sounds that have not normally been associated with this type of music. Barzin fuses instruments such as French horn, vibraphone, pedal steel, and a drum machine to create a unique, quiet music that is expansive and at times cinematic, while never losing its sense of intimacy or honesty. A confessional tone has always existed in Barzin's music, and this album focuses specifically on the subject of art, questioning how a meaningful life can be achieved through a devoting to making art. Recalling the dark romanticism of great lyricists such as Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave, Barzin weaves a personal narrative rich with poetic sensibility.
Barzin, Tony Dekker (Great Lake Swimmers) and Suzanne Hancock were the central musicians on the album, while Don Kerr, Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo), Tamara Williamson, Lewis Melville, and Matt Verta-Ray (Heavy Trash) all helped shape its remarkable sound. The lovely string arrangements were scored by Karen Graves (who also arranged Hayden's Skyscraper National Park). My Life In Rooms was recorded over two years at locations as varied as a Southern Ontario farm, a NYC studio, and assorted office spaces and basements; the end result is an album that is both haunting and mesmerizing.
UK-based label Monotreme Records will also release My Life In Rooms in 2006.
Word Magazine January 2008 ('Barzin')
Superior sundowner music from talented Toronto singer-songwriter
"This is a case study in powerful stillness, the musical equivalent of watching Robert Mitchum in close-up, every tiny tremor and twitch taking on a compelling resonance. Barzin fills the wide open spaces of his music with grace and care, mostly with the slow swish of brushes and fat notes of guitar reverb that hang in the air like raindrops from telephone wires. His soft whisper of a voice falls somewhere between a prayer and a threat, promising on Pale Blue Eyes that "you do not know how far you will fall.
The emphasis throughout is on texture rather than tunes, like a prolonged immersion in warm, salty water. Past All Concerns is Mazzy Star's Fade Into You taken to even more luxuriously melancholy heights, while elsewhere friends of American Music Club, Galaxie 500 and Talk Talk's Spirit Of Eden will find much that pleases."