Rich Aucoin’s latest release is set to be juxtaposed over the 1979 claymation version of The Little Prince. Aucoin said the album, titled Ephemeral, explores the same concepts as the children’s book on which the film is based.
“Themes of the ephemerality of human existence, the absurdity of life, the values placed upon the pursuit of power, wealth and knowledge,” Aucoin said in a release. “Isolation and relationships are a big focus in the book and the record and the realization that our relationships are the most important part of our short existence.”
Ephemeral opens with the same sound-on-sound blend that we’ve come to know from the Halifax native. ‘Want to Believe’ is one of Aucoin’s signature get-up-and-dance tunes, and the repeated chorus – “It’s times like these / I wanna be a believer” – makes for a great anchor to the track.
‘Are You Experiencing?’, meanwhile, could very well have been on the soundtrack to The Breakfast Club. It’s ’80s pop sentiments, paired with a building backing synth pumps the truck up before an eerie lull creates a great segue into the next song, ‘Yelling in Sleep’.
‘Yelling in Sleep’, on the other hand, has more of an industrial dance feel, but it works so well in the context of the record. Distant muted vocals fight over grainy synths and beeping keys. Aucoin manages to seamlessly blend different tones into one amazing album; further proof that the man is a wonderful mad scientist, or maybe a wizard. Or probably both.
‘Four More Years’ features fast-paced drums and an equally energetic electric guitar. Aucoin’s vocals on this song are more edged than they are soft and dreamy, fitting for the more rock-ish track.
‘I Am Sorry’ showcases the skill in mixing that Aucoin is known for. He seamlessly melds several sounds and styles together into a perfectly warm and energizing track. On ‘Let It Go’, Aucoin plays off his magical melting pot of sound, yet nothing seems lost behind a synth or drum beat. It matches up and flows together, with Aucoin’s varied vocals gluing each verse and chorus together.
Rounding off the album is ‘Always the Same’. The song is bright and warm, like early morning. Its orchestral qualities are inspiring and joyous, and, paired with Aucoin’s soft coos, the perfect end to the album.
For more on Rich Aucoin, visit www.richaucoin.ca.