Detritus, is the third solo album by Juno Award winning Sarah Neufeld, a violinist, composer, long-time member of Arcade Fire and founding member of Bell Orchestre. Today, Sarah releases the final single, and the title-track “Detritus.” Sarah stated “Detritus, the title track to my new album which comes out this week, represents a sense of rest, of continuity through the cycle between darkness and light, and ultimately, recovery.” The single coincides with the album’s official release tomorrow, Friday May 14, 2021. The album has been internationally celebrated already with praise from Uncut, The Guardian, CBC, Post Media, Pitchfork, Under the Radar and so many more.
Detritus offers a patient, gorgeous evolution of Neufeld’s sound: a soft and open-hearted musical landscape, where the sound is abiding and reflective. Neufeld, who trained in various dance modalities throughout her youth – brings her customary kineticism to these pastorals, like the song of shapes in motion. Yet the movements are different than they have ever been: inward-turning and outward-facing, deliberate and generous, acknowledging the world with a love that will not flinch.
It all originated with a collaboration: in 2015, Neufeld was invited to appear on stage with the legendary dancer/choreographer Peggy Baker. Baker had prepared a solo piece based on work from Neufeld’s second album, The Ridge, to which Neufeld added an original lyrical prelude. The live result was an incendiary duet, almost a sort of faceoff, which left each artist unsatiated. They agreed to reunite for a more extended collaboration – a full-length show with Baker’s company, where Neufeld would write to (and perform music alongside) Baker’s choreography. It was from here, Detritus would be formed.
Neufeld worked throughout the album process with her Arcade Fire bandmate Jeremy Gara, whose drums, synths and ambient electronics co-anchored the Peggy Baker shows and helped shape the reimagined album versions. She would go on to add her signature foot pedal bass synth and ethereal vocalizations, bringing in Bell Orchestre compatriot Pietro Amato’s sonorous French Horn swells, and woodwind wizard Stuart Bogie as a one man flute ensemble, layering clusters of chords atop Neufeld’s luminous compositions.