Carla Bozulich is a raw and visionary singer and one of contemporary song's most distinctive voices. She has been a regular performer at OTO playing here is a variety of configurations. For this show, the full Evangelista band will be playing following the release in September of their incredible new record 'In Animal Tongue' on Montreal's Constellation Records. AZITA will open the evening at the piano, making this an exemplary double bill with two unique voices and unparalleled approaches to song.
Beginning with her first Constellation release in 2006, Carla Bozulich's Evangelista project has steadily been gaining recognition for its complex beauty and fierce, raging appeals. Bozulich has been knocking these and other ideas in art, writing and conceptual performance into form for two decades (Neon Veins, Ethyl Meatplow, The Geraldine Fibbers, Scarnella, Red Headed Stranger). Evangelista is the best and the brightest, a brash and dandy band of adventurous risk takers. Music/sound that sometimes whispers and licks, sometimes pulls the listener so close that it is hard to breathe, sometimes screams in ritual satisfaction. A consistent bucking of categorization ensues. When pressed, Carla calls it Gospel Noise.
Evangelista landed on the cover of UK music magazine The Wire in June 2008, following the release of the group's second album, Hello Voyager (which also made The Wire and several other mags' year-end lists). Bozulich/Evangelista has also recently appeared at numerous prestigious music festivals, including FIMAV (Musique Actuelle) in Canada, Le Weekend in Scotland and the Ruhrtriennale in Germany.
The 2009 Evangelista album, Prince Of Truth, stayed true to the band's uncompromising and compelling combination of delicate coaxing love and wicked cathartic awakening sonic voyage. Not so much confessional as ritual/processional and invitational says Bozulich: "inviting the listener to come clean, to defy or just be near people you believe in, to sit down, all of us together and make sense of the fact that there is no logic and perhaps no Truth at the base of anything, that we must open up and up and up because if we do not we are just fish gone belly-up in the stream - there is a Prince inside us that will grow into nothing more or less than an everyday person moving free, armed with the salvation of sound and love."
"The seven bleak songs contained herein tiptoe around the fringes of melody. They constantly focus and refocus, leaving listeners with a feeling that something unknown is always going on in the background. They are like huge wall paintings lit only with a tiny candle: you are aware of their grandiose beauty even if you can't quite make it out through the darkness."
Drowned In Sound, 8/10
"...it’s a challenging album, both in form and content. But if you sit tight and accept the album as a conflicted and meticulous collection of songs, you’ll see Prince of Truth for what it is: a hugely current, almost perfectly flawed record."
Tiny Mix Tapes
Seeing AZITA play live is a unique experience everytime - her history stretches back to Chicago's legendary agit-punk group Scissor Girls and collaborations with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Silver Jews, Weird War and more. She has just released her 5th (!) solo album. This will be only her second London show (the first was over 6 years ago!).
"With the closing “Keep Hymn,” Azita returns to coupling, “In a room’s hazy half-light / Where in mud-mounds we lay,” ultimately to release the themes of together and apart that define Disturbing The Air, and after the sign-off – “All the ways we hate will be gone / And we’ll see through the you and I” – she locks into pre-verbal vocalizations that glide along with an intricately played, spun-glass melody. It’s a breathtaking ending that reminds of similarly draining, personally resonant song cycles: I’m thinking particularly of Mark Hollis’s self-titled album, or Plush’s More You Becomes You. Much like those records, Azita uses the strange consort between the piano and the voice, what she refers to as the “specific resonances... which are central to the sound environment of the record,” to
enfold the listener, cocoon them in the dream-logic of the lyrical forms, to the point where the songs are so enrapturing, you have to make Houdini moves to escape their clutch." - Jon Dale