Ilsa Drown (feat. Jónsi)
Death Vessel is the stage name of singer/songwriter Joel Thibodeau. The name suggests heavy metal, but the music is far from it. Thibodeau's clear and clean falsetto is feminine in timbre and gives his songs a delicate and distinctive sound. Inventive touches are found throughout Island Intervals: the found object percussion of the opener, "Ejecta," the velvety production on "Triangulated Heart," and the lushly layered dreamscape of "Loom" are just a few of the more inspired ideas. Thibodeau's enigmatic lyrics are intriguing even when impenetrable. His imagery and wordplay verge on the Elizabethan at times, yet they shine brightly in the context of these gossamer arrangements. Even at just more than 30 minutes in length, this album is substantial and cohesive. Somehow fittingly, it was recorded in Iceland with Samuli Kosminen (Múm) and Alex Somers (Sigur Rós). You can feel the interplay of fire and ice in the production. Yet no matter how dark the textures, the sweetness and light of Thibodeau's vocals cut through. Ornate without being precious, Island Intervals has a depth and gentle beauty that will enthrall fans of thoughtful, off-kilter folk.