Organ Thing of The Day: First exciting album of 2022? Kee Avil is the project of Montréal producer, singer, and guitarist Vicky Mettler, we did share a video as one of our five pieces of music pieces back at the start of December, it needs a bit more of a fanfare though. “Mettler is a member of Sam Shalabi’s acclaimed Land Of Kush project, and has played in several other experimental, improv and noise ensembles. She is also a partner at Concrete Sound Studio, a recording studio and multidisciplinary production space in Montreal where she produces Live in Concrete, an online live performance series featuring Montreal artists”
Kee Avil then, the album is playing here now, it intrigues from the off, delightfully difficult to pin down, delightfully easy to listen to, to flow with, to go with, to get lost in. Apparently all her other activities “fall away here, as a space is cleared for the songs and sounds formed under the banner of Kee Avil –– songs and sounds almost tactile, somehow both raw and meticulously wrought.
Of her work with Kee Avil, Mettler says: Songwriting, to me, is like sculpting. It stems from an initial word, emotion or sound, which I then build on, molding it into a more refined shape, glued into an artificial structure. Other times, my role is to peel it, scrape at its exterior, to reveal its natural state and its part within the whole. I’m led by these initial ideas; not to polish but to translate abstraction into sound and imagery. This process of decoding can be tedious; other times it’s immediate, each idea giving birth to another, together building their own cohesion. I like raw, tumbling sculptures, sometimes held together by nothing more than intent. I hope you enjoy this work and I especially hope you’ll consider sharing the video and song. Please feel free to run with it. But do let me know if your interest is piqued, as we’ll be seeking more and various coverage in the months to come”.
The album is beautifully tactile and yes, almost fragile, sculpted, sound art, the art of sound, sparse, deliciously detailed, songs though, definite pieces, structure at least, song, different though, rewardingly different, whispered, tingling…
“Led by Montréal producer Vicky Mettler, Kee Avil combines guitar, voice, electroacoustics and electronic production to create song assemblages that teeter on the edge of collapse while oozing forward, like sticky resin picking up and shedding disparate elements along the way. Kee Avil evolved from playing guitar with broken cymbals and drumsticks to forging askew tempos and templates glued together by samples of screws dropped into crystal bowls. Her self-titled debut EP, released in 2018 on Black Bough Records, harnessed her improvised music and prepared guitar background toward a newfound structural sensibility and arresting vocal / lyrical experimentation; she has been immersed in the exploration of distinctive compositional architectures ever since, expanding her sonic palette with increasing and intensive detail, where twitchy, finely wrought postpunk electro-industrial avant-pop songs are meticulously assembled to resemble disassembly”.
“Honed through pre-pandemic tours in North America and Europe (sharing stages with Marc Ribot, Pere Ubu, Bill Orcutt and Fly Pan Am, among others), Kee Avil’s emerging body of work signals a vital, viscous, virtuosic new voice in experimental songcraft – where touchstones include Juana Molina, Scott Walker, Fiona Apple, and Eartheater; where PJ Harvey meets Pan Daijing or Grouper melds with Autechre. Kee Avil will be presenting a new and definitive collection of studio recordings in early 2022”.
Details of the album haven’t been released yet, no date, does the album a name? it is beautifully sparse, quiet, no need to crash or bang, the album is a treat, it does wrap itself around you. For now all you can have is the one track that’s featured with video right there, a song called “See, my shadow”
ABOUT THE SONG in Mettler’s words: A shadow’s moment, distorted. Warped piano samples, chipped ceramic cups, swirling metal, feedback assembled. I used to think this was a love song. Constructed from a demo, never finished, originally recorded for the Kee Avil EP. “See, my shadow” is one of my most produced songs – a large part of the work was to strip it down and find the right balance between chaos and density vs stability and drive. It will be the first song on a new album. Writing this I find myself trying to find a reason why I would “stand here blind, deaf and mute” – ultimately the words are there for their rhythm, imagery and texture. The text for the ending was written in one moment, intense but fleeting, later adapted. The meaning of the song changes all the time – fittingly, it’s as though this moment has been passed on to my shadow.
ABOUT THE VIDEO in Mettler’s words: To reveal what I’ve hid, what is recognised, ignored, what is real. Blank, misdrawn, rebuilt, the creature as the i. With masks, I break and reconstruct these ideas, mix the familiar with the abstract.
More soon, this does sound like the first exciting album of 2022, we promised to not say too much until next year though….
Kee Avil: Website || Facebook || Instagram
Constellation Records: Website || Instagram || Facebook || Bandcamp