TRAVELER’S REQUIEM – Traveler’s Requiem
This is one of the most interesting and musically diverse rock recordings to ever come into the Café. Traveler’s Requiem is the product of DNA Studios and consists of Sasha Mercedes on vocals and acoustic guitar, Peter Fee on guitars and violin and Scott Beardsley on drums. Several players contribute bass tracks. DNA engineers Brian Daly, Paul Heenan and Matt Kramer are credited as if they were members of the band, which might lead one to think that this is an exercise in production tricks. Not so. The music is by turns stately Americana, all gorgeous melodies and organic instrumentation and then suddenly becomes sinister, full of cone-shredding electric guitars. This analogy perfectly describes the first track, “Waltz,” with Mercedes melodically intoning about waltzing with a ghost to an imaginary orchestra before Fee blows it into the stratosphere. “20 Years” is more straight-ahead, while “Nothing Held Weight” sounds like an outtake from the Police’s Ghost in the Machine, a cool darkness pervading. “Brave Young Man” rocks hard from start to end.
Mercedes is spectacular throughout, bringing Neko Case to mind both in timbre and the sheer clarity and power of her voice. Fee adds his multi-instrumentalist talents and plays some freakishly great solos, while Beardsley turns in some of his best playing.
It’s hard to know at this point whether this is a one-off or a serious new band formulating. Either way, the only problem with Traveler’s Requiem is that, at four tracks, it’s just not enough.