It’s time: Emily Haines is back with Choir of the Mind, the Metric singer’s first release as her Soft Skeleton solo project in a decade.
That interval has particular resonance for Haines: Choir of the Mind, due out September 15 on Last Gang Records, comes 10 years after her Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton EP What Is Free to a Good Home?, which in turn stemmed from her 2006 LP Knives Don’t Have Your Back. Ten years before that, she released Cut in Half and Also Double under her own name.
Haines’ vocals are definitely the focal point of Choir of the Mind. She used her voice to create spellbinding orchestrations for an effect that is subtle and ghostly on “Wounded,” lush on “Fatal Gift” and deeply powerful on “Legend of the Wild Horse,” which she calls her “soft anthem.” Haines’ voice is the only audible instrument on “Strangle All Romance,” and she creates mesmerizing layers that drift and swirl through the title track, which includes a spoken-word part adapted from a poem by the Indian mystic Sri Aurobindo.
Haines recorded Choir of the Mind over several weeks in September and October of 2016, more or less alone in Metric’s Toronto studio with a borrowed 18-foot grand piano built in 1850. Her longtime musical partner/Metric bandmate, James Shaw, helped flesh out the sonics with various instruments and rhythmic elements. (Shaw also mixed the album.) Sparklehorse drummer Scott Minor, a member of The Soft Skeleton's first incarnation, returned to perform on “Legend of the Wild Horse.” Haines says, “The writing and recording process was heightened and intensive, the two became one thing.”
This show is presented by Live @ Benaroya Hall.
EMILY HAINES & THE SOFT SKELETON TOUR PACKAGE
Emily has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket will go to supporting women and girls through Planned Parenthood Foundation (www.plannedparenthood.org).