Sophie Trudeau – Confinement Songs

      No Comments on Sophie Trudeau – Confinement Songs
Album cover for "Confinement Songs" by Sophie Trudeau

I was going to review the new Godspeed You! Black Emperor record, G_d’s Pee AT STATES END!, but better writers have already said what I would say, albeit sometimes in a strange way. Instead, I’ll review a new-to-me discovery from the Godspeed collective: the five-song pandemic collection of “small weekly offerings while in confinement” from GY!BE violinist Sophie Trudeau.

The first track, “week one day five,” recalls the mix of fear and naïve innocence that marked the early days of the lockdown: the sense we’ll be past the worst of it soon, our leaders will take decisive action, science will prevail. There is loss and loneliness, but our fragile innocence is intact. When “week two day nine” kicks in, however, innocence is gone. Outbreaks are occurring, hospitals are overwhelmed, politicians are posturing. Acts that were habitually simple a few weeks ago now depend on coordination, privilege, and luck, if they’re possible at all.

When we reach “week four day twenty two,” we are caged animals, anxious and edgy, walking in tight circles in our confined spaces, unable to step outside but unable to stay in a moment longer. We are trapped between madness indoors and death outdoors. “Week five day thirty two” finds our frantic pacing replaced by numbness and rage: sitting, staring, waiting as the inequities of racism and classism and wealth determine who is disposable, who doesn’t matter, who dies first.

By “week eight day fifty four,” we are mired in tragedy but we have hope. Our spirits are beaten but those of us who have made it this far—and many haven’t—feel change coming, the protests and elections and vaccines that are about to emerge from the pandemic’s cocoon. This is not happy music but there is light within it, light that burns with a curious flame that spits and kicks and shines. (Trudeau’s vocals in the outro of Silver Mt. Zion’s “BlindBlindBlind” are perhaps my favorite moment from the extended Godspeed body of music.)

With GY!BE (and Silver Mt. Zion), the power of each album is far greater than the individual voices that contribute to it. Confinement Songs doesn’t match that revolutionary exuberance, but it is as close as any of the members’ solo projects have come. Trudeau created a haunting and hopeful record that not only takes us back to the first eight weeks of the lockdown but also stands proudly alongside her main bands’ finest work.

Released March 19, 2020

About Chuck

Chuck is a lifelong music lover. He spent his 20s working as a professional musician before discovering he enjoys listening to music more than playing it. He knows a little bit about most genres, though electronic dance music, rock, and hip-hop are his favorites. Eleven albums/shows that transformed how he sees and hears the world (in order he encountered them): Fleetwood Mac Rumours; Van Halen Fair Warning; The Cure Standing on a Beach; John Coltrane Crescent; De La Soul Three Feet High and Rising; Puccini La Boheme (de los Angeles, Bjorling, Beecham); Everything but the Girl Walking Wounded; Carl Cox, Twilo, NYC, May 2000; Godspeed You! Black Emperor Yanqui U.X.O.; Grateful Dead. Fillmore East, NYC, April 1971; Taylor Swift 1989.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.