Published Feb 18, 2020After releasing two albums under her Saltland moniker, Rebecca Foon, who has also long been a contributing member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion and Esmerine, steps out from behind group names to present a personal and environmentally motivated collection of songs.
On Waxing Moon, Foon also steps out from behind her cello and takes a seat at the piano for many of the album's compositions. "New World," which opens and closes the album, has the delicate feel of Peter Broderick's film works, taking a stark and patient theme and opening it up into a rushing flow of instruments before returning to a fragile and resonant place. A return to the cello on "Another Realm" also marks a return to Constellation roots, featuring violin from Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Sophie Trudeau, for a piece that wields the heart and assorted viscera-tugging gravity of home. Side one closes out with "Wide Open Eyes," upping the tempo and pulse, resembling a Saltland piece, but with an added acoustic muscularity courtesy of producer/musician Jace Lasek (Besnard Lakes) on drums and guitar.
Side two stalls a little, with three back-to-back tracks that meander over very similar territory, consisting of simple repeated piano chords and Foon's breathy lyrics. The last of the three, "Vessels," eventually breaks the doldrums with glittering loops and echo applied to the piano and guest vocals by Patrick Watson. Trudeau returns on violin for "This Is Our Lives," a track that serves as a kind of skyward-looking summation of the album before the reprise of the main theme is played quietly towards an exit.
Waxing Moon presents a kind of transition in Foon's career, possessing full helpings of the despair and hope that is baked into the DNA of her earlier work, but with a further articulation of those emotions, becoming a visible and dimly spotlighted person standing in front of the monolith. Foon is also putting her money where her music is, donating all profits to the Pathway to Paris and 1000 Cities projects addressing the climate crisis and carbon elimination. (Constellation)