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Angela Desveaux - Wandering Eyes

  by Geraint Jones

published: 20 / 8 / 2006

Angela Desveaux - Wandering Eyes
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Understated, occasionally upbeat rootsy Americana from the Montreal-born Angela Desveaux, which, while impressive, in an overcrowded market of female singer-songwriters may not be strong enough to stand out from the pack

Having honed her craft on the live circuit for some years with numerous folk, bluegrass and rockabilly acts, most recently with the Montréal-based country outfit the Sonny Best Band, Angela Desveaux now in her late 20s makes her opening solo statement with ‘Wandering Eyes’. Born in Montréal, though spending her early childhood growing up in Cape Breton, a small fishing town in Nova Scotia, Desveaux returned to Montréal aged 10 to begin her high school education. Coming from a musical family though never formally trained, until now Desveaux’s own musical background has primarily been acoustically inclined. For her debut she has, however, made a deliberate decision to go electric and incorporate more rock inspired references into her material. That decision seems to have evolved from the reception she received from Howard Bilerman, to whom she'd passed some demos for his appraisal. Recording engineer, owner of Hotel2Tango Studios as well as the former drummer with the Arcade Fire, Bilerman was so impressed he immediately offered to record her and the album was indeed recorded at his studio with Bilerman also manning the drum kit alongside a host of other musicians to whom he’d introduced Desveaux. To produce the album Desveaux asked Brian Paulson (Slint, Superchunk, Wilco, Archers Of Loaf etc.) who duly obliged. Surprisingly, the resulting album stylistically rarely hints at Paulson’s earlier résumé apart from perhaps early Wilco, instead offering a set of often understated, occasionally upbeat rootsy Americana. Though impressively played, and Desveaux’s voice possesses an appealing quality, I’m not entirely sure that in a crowded field of strong distinctive women vocalists in the current Alt. Country/Americana arena that it's quite strong enough to really stand out from the crowd. Only time will tell. That said she certainly displays versatility here, both vocally and in the songwriting departments - ‘All The Talk’ is a strong up-tempo cut with good hook and an obvious choice for radio. And she wraps her voice around the more soulful ‘Make Up Your Mind’ and the darker-hued, almost European flavoured ballad, ‘If Only’, with gusto. Imbued with a slightly dry, almost smoky quality to her voice, which is beginning to grow on me; whether or not it’s deliberate I’m not sure – as she’s a confessed fan, but at times she does sound remarkably similar to Lucinda Williams, most evidently on ‘Feel Alright’ and ‘Bury Me Deeper’. Overall I’d rate ‘Wandering Eyes’ as a good, sometimes very good set, not yet fully realised perhaps but certainly promising there’s even better things to come. A little less understatement and a little more vibrancy next time out could really see Angela Desveaux make sparks.

Track Listing:-
1 Heartbeat
2 Familiar Times
3 Wandering Eyes
4 If Only
5 Bury Me Deeper
6 Sick of Fools
7 Make Up Your Mind
8 All the Talk
9 Feel Alright
10 Good Intentions

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