Also check out Monique Barry's debut album 'moody'. 'Tripping' The Light Fantastic Singer-songwriter Monique Barry takes her artistry to new levels with the release of Tripping, her atmospheric new CD in which escapism meets the ambient. A song-and-soundscape meditation on the themes of freedom, imprisonment, and escape, Tripping brings together an eclectic mix of musical approaches, audio layerings, and seductive vocalizing. Hailed for her 'hypnotic mystique' (eye magazine) and 'a dynamic vocal range' (The Independent Weekly), Monique steps past the intriguing minimalism of her debut CD, the 1998 campus airplay favorite 'moody'. This time she gathers up an ambitious range of styles, including folk, lounge, rock, classical, ambient soundscaping, and techno pop. The result: a work of musical diversity and emotional directness not quite like anything else. A major contributor to Tripping's mood and richness is ambient maestro Terry O'Brien (aka Anomalous Disturbances), who drifts into the mix with a series of electronically modified guitar improvisations and floating sonics, adding an otherworldly framework to this 13-track collection. Also on hand are some of Canada's most dynamic musicians, including vibrant folk rocker Lindy Vopnfjord; bassist Maury Lafoy of The Supers, renown for his edgy pop smarts; and Daniel Barnes and Mark Mariash, drum wizards extraordinaire. Exploring the dangers that loom when affection and alienation occupy the same reality, Tripping dramatizes a wealth of cumulative emotions. And each song offers it's own distinctive vision that confirms and contradicts in the same moment. In the title tune, the safe retreat of 'your vacation away' becomes an inviting trap, with beachside whitecaps transforming into ambient waves. In 'Blue', a lament on the certainty of failure, delicate strings and piano work give way to crashing guitars and fatalistic harmonies. With 'A Passing Affair', Monique joins the great ladies of cocktail culture and flirts her way through an invocation of vintage Hollywood romance, assured and yearning, slinky and childlike. And there's her salute to family history 'Hi, It's Mom', a combo of sound collage and time capsule knick-knacks in which even an answering machine becomes a musical collaborator. Monique also pays tribute to Randy Newman, her favorite composer, in a rendition of his gentle 1981 gem 'One More Hour', from the film Ragtime, with Monique's Dad in charge of piano. A vacation away from the constrained and conventional, Tripping is a new creative journey by one of the most innovative artists in today's independent music scene.
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