Exposé Online banner

Jewlia Eisenberg — Trilectic
(Tzadik TZ 7155, 2001, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2002-09-01

Trilectic Cover art

It’s probably stating the obvious to say that fans of Charming Hostess and (to some degree) Sleepytime Gorilla Museum are likely to enjoy this release as well. Eisenberg is one of the vocalists from Hostess, and all the current members of SGM appear here. The music has none of the heavy tendencies of SGM, however, and is nearly all unaccompanied voices. Eisenberg uses quite a variety of vocal styles, including tight Eastern European harmonies, bluesy melodies, and vocal percussive noises, so comparisons could be made to Les Voix Bulgares, Zap Mama, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and maybe even Ani DiFranco. Most of the songs follow the lives of Asja Lacis and Walter Benjamin, two radical Jews who lived in Moscow and other European cites back in the 1920s, when many intellectuals saw the new Soviet Union as an expression of philosophical ideals. Eisenberg has highlighted some of their more personal moments in addition to the political ones; one of my favorite tracks is “Eskimo Suit,” in which Asja wants an expensive fur suit, but Walter can’t afford it. The sometimes serious subject matter is treated with a light touch, never becoming overly sad or dramatic – after all, it’s hard not to smile when singers are reproducing rhythm parts. Some of the lyrics in English, many are not. After many listens, I’ve yet to hear a single false note, and I discover new details all the time (and that’s always a good sign).


Filed under: New releases, Issue 25, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Charming Hostess, Jewlia Eisenberg, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Carla Kihlstedt

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus - The Gift of Tears & Le Liturgie pour le Fin du Temp – RAIJ are a mysterious ensemble of musicians whose music is genuinely unclassifiable. Operating somewhere near the 4AD / Dead Can Dance axis, the music by this fascinating combo is transfixing,...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues