Fond of Tigers lets inspiration come at its own pace

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      Fond of Tigers
      Uninhabit (Drip Audio)

      It’s been a long, strange trip for Fond of Tigers since it won the Juno Award for instrumental album of the year in 2011 with its third full-length, Continent & Western.

      The Vancouver-based avant-rock septet was already splintering at the time: a couple guys moved to Toronto; Drip Audio boss/violinist Jesse Zubot and trumpeter JP Carter toured extensively with the likes of Tanya Tagaq, Destroyer, and Dan Mangan; and bandleader-guitarist Stephen Lyons needed time to rewire his creativity.

      They didn’t even play together, on-stage or in rehearsal, for two solid years.

      Rather than forcing it, the Fond of Tigers collective let inspiration come at their own pace, and there is a sense of that composure in the sound of Uninhabit.

      While their first three albums contained progressively less improvisation, Uninhabit was thoroughly composed and structured. Vocals take a notable role in the mix, with Lyons sounding wonderfully like Leonard Cohen on “Wonder What We’re Whispering For”.

      There is an ease in the organization of these five sprawling epics, contrasting the dynamic ferociousness of the band members’ performance. They cover new ground but feel natural doing so.

      Clearly, what happened before needed to happen.