Published Oct 21, 2019After debuting in 2013 with a solid self-titled album, Brad Weber's Pick a Piper project has developed into a steady gig alongside the Toronto musician's day job drumming for long-standing Canadian electronic act Caribou.
Sight, his third album, continues in the style of 2017's Distance, which made room for a handful of well-deployed guest performances alongside principal collaborators Angus Fraser and Dan Roberts. The result is another likable, collab-heavy collection of organic, down-to-earth electronica full of sweeping textures and well-judged dynamics meant to grow on you after multiple listens, and while not every track rewards your time equally, there are enough notable moments throughout to make Sight worth coming back to.
The first of these arrives in "Fragments," with Weber holding the main melody back until the halfway mark, before letting its minimalist descent arrive amidst haunting flute embellishments from Rozalind MacPhail. It's a mysterious and memorable track that surely wasn't difficult to choose as the album's first single. The effervescent "Hope" is another collaborative highlight, featuring lilting Spanish vocal work from Mexico City-based musician Mabe Fratti, and a bubbling bass line that sounds straight out of some glorious, long-lost uplifting trance tune from the early 2000s. It's the only proper dance track on Sight, so those looking for more club-oriented cuts should adjust their expectations.
Those who do are in for some very pretty, mid-tempo moments, however. "Pavesa" features another gorgeous vocal and ends with an almost Vangelis-like synth and piano moment; mournful strings sweep into the mix on the Portishead-esque "Stumbled Upon"; and ambient closer "Trust" features a striking combination of saxophone and yearning, processed vocals alongside its massive synth washes.
In terms of similar acts, fans of the Field will likely find much to like on this very organic-sounding electronic album, and on this side of the Atlantic, Canadian artists like Vancouver's Segue and Toronto's Graham Van Pelt would be good playlist-mates as well. A little Caribou in there probably wouldn't hurt either, but Sight confirms Weber can guide a project on his own. (Tin Angel)