‘Find Me Finding You’, the new album from the new organization called the Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, manages to strike new chords while touching familiar keys in the song of life.
From its percolating opening beat, ‘Find Me Finding You’ locates new systems within the sound-universe of Laetitia Sadier. This in itself isn’t a surprise – Laetitia has relentlessly followed her music through different dynamics and into a variety of dimensions over the course of four solo albums since 2010 (not to forget her three albums with Monade and the long era of Stereolab) – but the nature of the construction here stands distinctly apart from her recent albums. Laetitia was inspired by a mind’s-eye envisaging of geometric forms and their possible permutations. As she sought to replicate the shapes in music, this guided the process of assembly for the album.
Part of the freshness of ‘Find Me Finding You’ comes from working and playing within the Source Ensemble and exploring new sound combinations via a set of youthful and evolving musical relationships. Laetitia recognized the energy of the tracks in their initial form and sought to preserve their vitality by not retaking too many performances – instead, the rawness in the tracks was retained and refined at the mixing stage, maintaining an edge throughout. When we hear synth lines diving, lifting and drifting, unusual guitar textures, the plucked sound of flat wound bass strings or the bottomless pulsing of bass pedals stepping out of the mix with an exquisite vibrancy, this is the sound of the Source Ensemble.
A key to Laetitia’s music is her use of vocal arrangements. Throughout ‘Finding Me Finding You’ the shifting accompaniment creates space to bring this element gloriously forward. Arranged by Laetitia with Joe Watson and Jeff Parker making string charts that were subsequently transposed to vocal parts for several songs, richly arranged choirs of voices provide depth along with the thrilling presence of extra breath in the sound. Laetitia’s community-politic is well-served by the groups of voices lending support to the machining of the song craft, providing additional uplift to her quintessentially forward-facing viewpoint – as well as massed voices from three different countries sharing space in harmony.
Working in collaboration is Laetita’s tradition and a key to this album’s view on being free together. The designation of Source Collective implies a new togetherness phase; alongside long time collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Xavi Munoz, keyboard and flutes parts played by David Thayer (Little Tornados) were essential contributions, as well as further keys, synths and electronics from Phil M FU and several intense guitar sequences from Mason le Long. Chris A Cummings (aka Marker Starling, Laetitia’s favourite composer) graciously wrote ‘Deep Background’ for her. The duet with Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor on ‘Love Captive’ (not to mention Rob Mazurek’s distinctive coronet playing) gives voice to an ideological cornerstone of ‘Find Me Finding You’.