Leave it to internationally renowned, Juno Award winning, violinist, composer, long-time member of Arcade Fire and founding member of Bell Orchestre, Sarah Neufeld to helm her moving and emotional third solo album as, Detritus set for release on May 14, 2021 via Paper Bag Records. In fact, serving as the complete antithesis of ‘discardable’ or ‘throw away’ this inward focused and intimate, leaning in, new work is previewed by the delicate and deliberate lead track, “Stories” today, which compels us to face “the stories we’ve told ourselves that we can no longer believe.”
Detritus offers a patient, gorgeous evolution of Neufeld’s sound: a soft and open-hearted musical landscape, where instead of being filled with striving, the sound is abiding and reflective. Neufeld, who trained in various dance modalities throughout her youth – brings her customary kineticism to these pastorals, like the song of shapes in motion. Yet the movements are different than they have ever been: inward-turning and outward-facing, deliberate and generous, acknowledging the world with a love that will not flinch. And to face realness.
It all originated with a collaboration: in 2015, Neufeld was invited to appear on stage with the legendary dancer/choreographer Peggy Baker. Baker had prepared a solo piece based on work from Neufeld’s second album, The Ridge, to which Neufeld added an original lyrical prelude. The live result was an incendiary duet, almost a sort of faceoff, which left each artist unsatiated. They agreed to reunite for a more extended collaboration – a full-length show with Baker’s company, where Neufeld would write to (and perform music alongside) Baker’s choreography. It was from here, Detritus would be formed.
Neufeld worked throughout the album process with her Arcade Fire bandmate Jeremy Gara, whose drums, synths and ambient electronics co-anchored the Peggy Baker shows and helped shape the reimagined album versions. She would go on to add her signature foot pedal bass synth and ethereal vocalizations, bringing in Bell Orchestre compatriot Pietro Amato’s sonorous French Horn swells, and woodwind wizard Stuart Bogie as a one man flute ensemble, layering clusters of chords atop Neufeld’s luminous compositions.
Neufeld’s influences range from Bartok, to Arthur Russell, to Aphex Twin. Detritus will be Neufeld’s third solo album following acclaimed debut album Hero Brother which was produced by Nils Frahm. In 2015 Neufeld released Juno award winning Never Were The Way She Was with celebrated saxophonist and collaborator Colin Stetson, and in 2016 Neufeld released her second solo album, The Ridge.