The first incarnation of Snowblink in 2005 included MGMT as boy back-up singers/percussionists/whisperers. Since then, Daniela Gesundheit has trained over a dozen fellas across the US and Canada to join her when circumstances permit.
Gesundheit's most recent album, Long Live, was brought to life by the engineering of Jay Pellicci (Deerhoof) and the mixing of Thom Monahan (Brightblack Morning Light, Vetiver, Au Revoir Simone) in various locations throughout California, Toronto, and New York. Much of the work for the record was completed in a cabin in Mammoth Lakes, located in the Eastern Sierras of California. The work for the record was framed by outdoor interludes, during which the band had numerous encounters with the local fauna; two members stumbled into a white owl's cave (and the unfortunate, tiny mice skeletons therein), while two other members met with a large brown bear while walking in Yosemite. The various unusual vocal sounds on the record were likely influenced by the animal sounds surrounding the band as they recorded.
To realize the songs on Long Live, Gesundheit enlisted a formidable cast of players, including Nat Baldwin (Dirty Projectors) on double bass, Toronto's Ryan Driver, and her San Francisco choir of men singers/percussionists. Long Live was featured on several "Best of 2008" lists, played regularly on NPR and CBC, and used as a soundtrack for a PSA to raise awareness about Burma featuring Alec Baldwin-- all without being officially released. Additionally, the record brought Snowblink two Daytrotter sessions and a live performance on NPR's Spinning On Air on WNYC.
Gesundheit home recorded two keepsake-style, limited edition albums prior to Long Live, (Interim at Afton Villa and My Oh My Avalanche) both of which are currently sold out.
Before relocating to Toronto last summer, Gesundheit spent the last three years living in San Francisco, where she assisted her bandmates and dear friends, David Wilson and Frank Lyon of Ribbons Publications putting on outdoor music gatherings in the Bay Area. They put on shows in dry riverbeds, abandoned army tunnels, and in giant indoor tent installations. Some of the featured artists at those events included Little Wings, Lucky Dragons, White Rainbow, Mariee Sioux, Vikingmoses, Pocahaunted, ARP, Nat Baldwin (Dirty Projectors), Angel Deradoorian (Dirty Projectors), Belly Boat, and Extra Life. In those few years out in the bay, Gesundheit also opened for Patti Smith and Rogue Wave.
Though still a recent transplant to Toronto, Gesundheit received a grant from the OAC this past winter to work on songs for her next recording project in a cabin on Lake Erie, one of which will be included in the Friends of Bellwoods Compilation for 2009, alongside Timber Timbre, Ohbijou, and Final Fantasy.
She also recently joined the Toronto band Bruce Peninsula as part of the choir, and plans to tour with them across Canada in July of 2009.
Daniela Gesundheit (Bruce Peninsula): Vocals, electric guitar
Dan Goldman (Luxury Pond): guitars, stand alone bass pedals, synthesizer
Caley Monahon-Ward (Extra Life) : violin, mandolin, synthesizers
Long Live (still officially unreleased, self-released in 2008) was brought to life by the engineering of Jay Pellicci (Deerhoof) and the mixing of Thom Monahan (Brightblack Morning Light, Vetiver, Au Revoir Simone) in various locations throughout California, Toronto, and New York. Gesundheit enlisted a formidable cast of players, including Nat Baldwin (Dirty Projectors) on double bass, Toronto's Ryan Driver, and her dear San Francisco choir of men singers/percussionists. Long Live was featured on several "Best of 2008" lists, played regularly on NPR and CBC, and used as a soundtrack for a PSA to raise awareness about Burma featuring Alec Baldwin-- all without being officially released. Additionally, the record brought Snowblink two Daytrotter sessions, and a live performance on NPR's Spinning On Air on WNYC.
My Oh My Avalanche (2006) features the boy back-up singers and was recorded in LA, San Francisco, Middletown CT, and Toronto. The first track, Ruby, was featured on NPR's All Songs Considered in September 2006. It is circulating in several radio stations across Canada and the Bay Area.
Interim at Afton Villa EP(2004), features Gesundheit's vocals and guitar recorded on a four track in Los Angeles. Songs from Interim have been featured on several blogs including Said the Gramophone, and also have airplay across Canada.
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Gesundheit’s backbreakingly gorgeous words and their airy movements . . . appear before us as startl...Gesundheit’s backbreakingly gorgeous words and their airy movements . . . appear before us as startlingly as new colors or languages would. It’s quite spectacular and right.
Every Snowblink song is like coming out of a depression . . .
Aquarius Records, San Francisco
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Snowblink is the brainchild of onetime San Francisco transient Daniela Gesundheit, alongside a rich ...Snowblink is the brainchild of onetime San Francisco transient Daniela Gesundheit, alongside a rich amalgam of collaborators throughout North America, and incorporating a bevy of unique influences. While of course owing some debt to those that came before, the sound of Snowblink is far removed from the canonized female folk royalty unwitting critics will try to compare it to.
"Long Live is by far Gesundheit's most mature musical statement to date, boasting rich and complex arrangements, a sensitive and singular approach to lyrics, and as always, her effortlessly fluid and sonorous vocals. To boot, the record was brought to life by the expert engineering of Jay Pellicci and the mixing of Thom Monahan, of Deerhoof and Brightblack Morning Light fame, respectively. Perhaps its greatest feat in the midst of diverse instrumentation boasting bowed glockenspiels and thrummed thumb pianos, is its almost severe intimacy. Given Gesundheit's inevitably serene vocals, she is at her best when her lyrics serve as a kind of gentle lance to the tension around her tales of archetypal traumas. However, not all is Bergmanesque psycho-drama, as several songs also exhibit a more playful and whimsical approach to storytelling. From start to finish, Long Live is a sturdy new plateau, from a promising young voice.
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Some songs just make you want to curl into a fetal position and crawl back into innocence. Snowblink...Some songs just make you want to curl into a fetal position and crawl back into innocence. Snowblink is one of those fateful few. . . and lets you escape from the grasp of adulthood and obligation, priority and reality. It relieves you.
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Indeed, there was an unmistakable sense of occasion in the air. Considering many of the Bruce Penin...Indeed, there was an unmistakable sense of occasion in the air.
Considering many of the Bruce Peninsulans do duty in other bands, it wasn’t surprising that one of them would be tapped to open things up - this time, it was recent addition Daniela Gesundheit and her band Snowblink. Although an almost completely unknown quantity to myself and everyone I asked, after seeing them play there’s little chance anyone will soon forget who they are. By means of instruments both conventional and not - I don’t know the last time I saw someone play glasses onstage - she and her shifting lineup of musical compatriots put on a performance that transformed the stage setup into nothing less than an enchanted, fairy tale forest. More descriptively, they crafted ethereal folk-pop that reminded of St Vincent with a dash of Feist, but were entirely their own thing. Utterly beguiling.
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As Snowblink, local songbird Daniela Gesundheit makes hushed and eerily gorgeous music with a rotati...As Snowblink, local songbird Daniela Gesundheit makes hushed and eerily gorgeous music with a rotating cast of musicians, backup singers, and assorted whisperers. Gesundheit's voice is exquisite — a warbly, smoky, and delicate thing, somewhere between Jolie Holland and Cat Power. Her alias means "a white sky glow reflected from snowy fields," which aptly captures her sound, which is as crisp as a clear morning after a blizzard. "Ruby" is a showstopper.
The Burg (Lynchburg, Virginia)
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Snowblink's lyrics stand alone silently as timeless, beautiful poetry. Then voice them with the swee...Snowblink's lyrics stand alone silently as timeless, beautiful poetry. Then voice them with the sweet croons of songwriter Daniela Gesundheit and place them over sparse, delicate instrumentation, and these poems transform into soul inspiring songs. Long Live is a salute to the often under-recognized beauty of existence crafted from the dynamic scope of the natural world. Gesundheit distributes poetic visions: . . . the inner whirling eddies, the nests of folded fingers and the way love can 'some days leave the taste of an orchard.' Gesundheit gently handles her guitar, which is present in all songs, while undeniably impressing with the floating nature of her vocals. Her voice is confident, yet capricious, and her lyrics are built from the beauty of the earth. Stylistically, she could be compared to Joanna Newsom while vocally, she is a more intimate presentation of Feist.
Delicious Scopitone (Montreal)
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Le Canada, la neige, les étincelles du feu qui crépitent, le long hiver à occuper, les bois à racont...Le Canada, la neige, les étincelles du feu qui crépitent, le long hiver à occuper, les bois à raconter, la vie aussi, on va chercher des fagots et des sons, ça tient chaud. On tape ses mains, les joues rougies. Voilà Daniela Gesundheit , qui ramène sa voix comme d'autres prêtent un pull, accompagnée des garçons qui joueraient des chaises s'ils n'avaient guitares, flûtes, tambours, trucs...
Midnight Poutine (Montreal)
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The show started with a surprise opening act: Snowblink, a recent San Francisco transplant to the To...The show started with a surprise opening act: Snowblink, a recent San Francisco transplant to the Toronto music scene (or so I heard at the merch table). The two-member band delivered an enchanting first set. The lady singer has a fantastic and graceful voice that reminds me of Feist a bit. In my opinion, their style also promises to fit right into the Toronto music scene as it shares some of its best qualities. This is definitely an artist for which you should keep an eye out. In fact, I loved it so much that I just HAD to buy the record. So far I've listened to it three times back to back.
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When I first stumbled across Snowblink, I couldn’t help but wonder what the reasons behind the bizar...When I first stumbled across Snowblink, I couldn’t help but wonder what the reasons behind the bizarre name might be. I figured it had to be something as deep and intricate as the complex, eerie, and stunning melodies the band creates.
In the end, my attempts to over analyze the name were shot down after reading a little more into the woman behind Snowblink, Daniela Gesundheit. She explains that Snowblink, “is a plain old dictionary word, meaning: a white reflection in the sky of snow or ice on the ground. At first it was a lyric in a song, then a song title, then the band name. I liked that it was not an object in itself, but a reflection of something.”
This idea of reflection now clearly goes hand in hand with the band’s sound. It’s earthy and organic tunes seem to reflect something bigger about our surroundings & they encourage their audience members to feel the same.
The rad thing about Gesundheit is that she re-vamps her band with extra members as she travels from city to city. She has invited over a dozen folks across the U.S. & Canada to join her when circumstances permit. You might be surprised to find out that some of these lucky fellas included a pre-dance-floor-dominating version of Electro boy wonders MGMT. She included the guys as back up singers/percussionists/whisperers when she met them back in University. Now she mostly performs with Dan Goldman, occasionally joined by Isla Craig and Ryan Driver.
Just YouTubing this band yields some pretty trippy results for their live shows, bordering on performance art with the band casting fishing rods into the audience, or playing their drums with pom-poms. Even if folk isn’t usually your thing, check Snowblink out, if not for the dream-like grooves, then to step out of the box for a bit.
On the Messier Side of Neat (Brooklyn, NY)
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Daniela Gesundheit . . . has one of my favorite voices. Her singing is so confident, but it's also l...Daniela Gesundheit . . . has one of my favorite voices. Her singing is so confident, but it's also like she lets her voice catch on the breeze of every note, delicately & langorously, hanging on each speck of pollen floating by. Maybe more like the most beautiful kite you've ever seen. You almost forget there is a string and a human anchor.
A typical setlist could last from thirty minutes to an hour.
Rut & Nuzzle
The Tired Bees
Stand Where a Fruit Tree Drops the Things it Doesn't Need
The Fish of Little Thoughts
Green to Gone
Rut & Nuzzle includes audience participation bells. When sharing bills with Bruce Peninsula, we invite members of BP to come up and sing, play wineglasses and floor tom, etc.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.