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memoryhouse formed some five years ago in the depths of southern ontario, canada, in a mid-size town called guelph as a collaborative project meant to serve as an artistic outlet for composer evan abeele and photographer denise nouvion. evan, a dedicated student of classical music and a pop-music encyclopedist, intended memoryhouse to be a multimedia art project, pairing his instrumental compositions with denise's photographs and short films. testing ways to blur the boundaries between genres, to weave a synthesis of music and photography, they experimented with themes, lyrics and multiple layers of instrumentation. nouvion's soft, ethereal voice anchored the frozen textures of abeele's compositions with frank sentimentality - a unique approach towards humanizing the electro-pop compositions they were creating. the results, at once timeless and new, were impressive and in september 2011 sub pop released a fully re-recorded, remixed and re-mastered version of the band's 2010 self-released, digital-only ep, 'the years'. the new album is called 'the slideshow effect' and its title speaks to what hasn't changed for memoryhouse: their continuing interest in the synthesis of the aural and the visual. it refers to the photographic / cinematic technique of zooming and panning to animate still images, often used in documentary film making to give movement to archival photographs. the 10-track album, produced by abeele, with assistance from friend, collaborator, and occasional memoryhouse bassist barzin hassani rad, finds memoryhouse heading toward a new clarity in composition as well as sound; a more organic direction for artists who are, in their own words, transitioning from a 'bedroom recording project' into a fully realized band. nouvion's voice has never been more present than on the new album, which finds her stepping away from memoryhouse's past reverbed sound in favour of a more upfront, and intimate vocal approach. they half-seriously refer to their new sound as 'taylor swift with built to spill as her backing band.' however 'the slideshow effect' might be described, we fully-seriously love it.
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