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Christine Fellows


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Indie-feeling slightly folky evocative/eclectic alternative pop

Status:

Most recent release, Burning Daylight (CD and poetry book, 2014)

See also:

Christine Fellows' site

Comparisons:

Kristin Hersh, Lisa Germano, Veda Hille, Cat Power, Robin Holcomb, rachel's

Covers/own material:

Own and covers and cowritten songs

General comments:

Christine Fellows is like a cross between Kristin Hersh and Lisa Germano with more art-folk-pop-darkness and a definite Veda Hille edge. (stone@pangea.ca)

Kind of like Cat Power or Kristin Hersh with a touch of the quieter side of Veda Hille. Very stripped-down indie feeling with quirky, evocative vocals and lyrics. (Neile)

Her music leaves me breathless and it always is such a strange journey listening to it. It's really great. (RocketsTail@aol.com)

Comments about live performance:

Christine Fellows is as lively and engaging in person as she is on album. I've only seen her once but would love to see her again (and again). Her combination of artful artlessness is a part of her personality and her music and makes for a delightful live show. (6/02, Neile)

I never thought I'd see Christine Fellows play live, and certainly didn't think I would go to NC to do it. But there we both were, at the Cat's Cradle, Christine beginning the show with just herself on keyboards and a cellist. Later two guys from The Weakerthans (the band she's touring with) came out on guitar and drums, and she played ukulele on a song or two (including "Not Wanted on the Voyage." She played for about 40 minutes, mostly stuff from the new album Nevertheless (tracks 1-4,7, 8,10,11,12) and "Souvenirs" and "Double Takes" from Paper Anniversary. It was all really good. As rich as the album even though less orchestrated. I felt like I really paid attention to and appreciated the lyrics, more so than when listening to the albums at home, which is strange, because in most concerts I find I notice the lyrics less. She didn't talk much between songs, though she made mention of enjoying North Carolina's spring and how Winnipeg probably had 2 or so more weeks to go until spring arrived. The crowd seemed to really enjoy her, and there were quite a few people who obviously knew the record which seemed to surprise and amuse her a bit. (4/9/08, JoAnn Whetsell)

Recommended first album:

They're all great, but Paper Anniversary is the greatest

Recordings:


2 little birds

Release info:

2000—Endearing Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Christine Fellows & the red letter day:
     C. Fellows—singing, guitars, piano
     Monica Guenter—viola, backups
     Stephen Carroll—guitars, guitars
     Leanne Zacharias—cello, backups

Guest artists:

Chang—drums
Paul James—bass
Greg MacPherson—vocals
John K. Samson—spoken word
Jason Tait—saw

Comments:

This is a haunting album. In my early listening, I thought some of the songs faded a bit in comparison to the best ones, but as I've listened more I've grown to appreciate the consistent tone throughout. It is subtly brilliant, understated, and emotionally affecting. Extremely promising. (Neile)

Take Veda Hille and cross her with Robin Holcomb and add just a touch of something along the lines of Rachel's, and you've got Christine Fellows' first CD. This disc is so good, I was inspired to offer to set up christinefellows.com and maintain her official web site. If that's not enough of a recommendation, check this out for yourself. If you like minimalist piano-and-strings arrangements with rather morbid lyrics, this is definitely one for you! (meth@smoe.org)

One of my favourite albums of the year. (gordoja@optonline.net)

2 little birds is a very good record and likely to be high up on my year-end list. slow, strings, piano, gorgeous. (woj@smoe.org)

It's ace throughout in my opinion. Very minimalistic and haunting. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

I was just listening to Two Little Birds a week or two ago and thinking again about how utterly cool it is. (burka@jeffrey.net)


the last one standing

Release info:

2002—Six Shooter Records—SIX04

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Christine Fellows—songs, vocals, piano, accordion, samples, guitar, organ polaroids

Guest artists:

Leanne Zacharias—cello, vocals, rhodes, bowed glockenspiel
Jason Tait—drums, percussion, tuning forks, thumb piano, saw, bowed glockenspiel
Monica Guenter—viola
Keith MacLeod—mandolin John K. Samson—vocals, bass, guitar solo, "grrr"

Produced by:

Neil Cameron and Christine Fellows

Comments:

It's really wonderful. This is a stronger album than 2 Little Birds, but no less charming. Christine Fellows has a simple yet very effective way of singing. Recommended! (Neile)

Started listening to Christine Fellows' new album on the way to work. Of course, several songs I knew from mp3 downloads from her site. The main thing that strikes me so far is the difference in the percussion on the album—there's a lot more of it, particularly drum-kit type stuff. This is not a bad thing, just a different thing. (burka@jeffrey.net)


Paper Anniversary

Release info:

2005—Six Shooter Records—SIX022

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Christine Fellows—vocals, piano, glockenspiels, loops and samples, field recordings, accordion, Casion SK-1, Casiotone MT-20, bells, prepared piano, music boxes, rhodes

Guest artists:

Leanne Zacharias—cello, vocals, cello arrangement (14), chorus vocal (8)
Jason Tait—drums (1, 4), wineglasses, tuning forks, vibraphone, glockenspiel, programmed drums (2)
Barry Mirochnick—drums (2, 5, 11), vocals
Keith McLeod—mandola, mandolin
Monica Guenter—violin
John K. Samson—electric guitar, vocals
Slap—throat singing (6)

Produced by:

Christine Fellows

Comments:

One of the great albums of 2005. Go. Buy. Now. It's unbelievably good. (meth@smoe.org)

Quirky, often delicate, sometimes dark, folk-art songs. In other words, this is Christine's best album yet. If you like Veda Hille's Return of the Kildeer, you should run, not walk, to buy Paper Anniversary. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I would say this album is shockingly good, except the last one standing prepared me for how terrific she can be. Deceptively simple, highly affective, amazing songwriting, and understated, powerful performances. (Neile)


Nevertheless

Release info:

2007—Six Shooter Records—SIX034

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Christine Fellows—vocals, piano, ukulele, Nord Electro, glockenspiel, typewriter, Casio SK-1, pigeon recordings and found sounds

Guest artists:

Barry Mirochnick—drums, vocals; choir (9)
Ed Reifel—xylophone, percussion; choir (9)
Greg Smith—bass
Cristina Zacharias—violin; choir (9)
Leanne Zacharias—cello, vocals, glockenspiel; choir (9)
Monica Guenter—viola (13)
Cam Loeppky—banjo and vocals (2)
Keith McLeod—mandola and banjo (15)
John K. Samson—backing vocals (4, 10)
Jeannie and Howard Zacharias—choir (9)

Produced by:

Christine Fellows

Comments:

This is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Many of the songs have a strong folk influence (that's folk as in folk songs, not folk as in person-with-an-acoustic-guitar-and-not-much-else. Folk as in timeless.) Quirky, rich, beautiful, and literary. Did I mention brilliance? I'd go into more detail but I don't want to spoil it, and there are definitely a few moments one can classify as 'spoilers'.
     When coming in, it definitely helps to be familiar with poetry (specifically, that of Marianne Moore), but if you aren't, the last page of the liner notes contains all of the references. (lotterose @ gmail . com)

Beautiful. Occasionally strange, haunting, even surprising. (JoAnn Whetsell)

nevertheless, i have to say, may be one of my favorites of 2007, even as a late entry in the race. (woj@smoe.org)

Not as interesting as I hoped. While it's not a bad album—in fact it's a pretty damn good album—it's just that Christine Fellows is among my favourite artists and has shown in previous albums how much deeper she can be. ((Neile)


Femmes de Chez Nous

Release info:

2011—Six Shooter Records—SIX057

Availability:

Candaa

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Christine Fellows—vocals, piano, ukulele, accordion, organ, Casio SK-1, bowed bells, prepared piano, field recordings

Guest artists:

Femmes de chez nous:
     Shawn Dealey—additional percussion
     Gilles Fournier—double bass
     Micah Heilbrunn—clarinet
     Cam Leppky—additional percussion, whistling
     Todd Martin—harn Flugelhorn
     Ed Reifel—marimba, drum kit, percussion
     John K. Samson—backing vocals, electric, additional percussion, skating
     Jason Tait—drums, backing vocals, electric bass, guitar, Juno-60
     Cristina Zacharias—violin
     Leanne Zacharias—cello vocals

Reliquary/Reliquiare:
     Shary Boyle—overhead projection performance
     Lise Brémault—guest vocalist
     Cam Loeppky—live sound
     Alex McMaster—cello, vocals
     Leann Zacharias—cello vocals

Produced by:

Christine Fellows

Comments:

This is an dual release of a CD album, Femmes de chez nous, and a DVD live acoustic performance, Reliquary/Reliquiare. It's an odd, idiosyncratic song cycle. Charming and lively, though not my favourite of Christine Fellows' work. (Neile)

It's a lot like Veda Hille (they've worked together for years), specifically her commissioned works. Their career trajectories are actually dovetailing pretty exactly at this point. Anyway, if you liked This Riot Life you'd definitely like this; it's the same feel, piano-based art songs in English and French. I'm not sure it holds up as a through-composed *work* like Nevertheless did (you always run that risk when you're including commissioned and non-commissioned works on the same album). But it's still well worth listening. (lotterose @ gmail . com)

Might make my best of the year list. (omg.its.a.female@gmail.com)


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