Gig Seeker Pro


Band Alternative Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"On Disc: CMW Edition"


Music For Torching Independent

Eight years since their last record, Toronto violin- and guitar-based duo Reflectiostack finally emerge with their very own Chinese Democracy. While the ladies have failed to grow bitchin' Axl corn-Rose, they have managed to craft a lovely mix of dissonant Velvets-inspired dirges ("Who Is Yuri Popovich?") and velvety-soft electro-tinged ditties ("5 Foot Bridges"). But the group's greatest accomplishment is its stirring cover of "San Diego Serenade," which recasts Tom Waits' near-perfect waltz through old-time schmaltz as a unique and enchanting ethereal ballad. While the songs' slowly escalating structures showcase their delicate melodies and instrumental textures (particularly some much-appreciated percussion), they can occasionally make the tracks seem slightly aimless. Maybe in 2014 Reflectiostack will serve us up a few more choruses. JS


- Eye Magazine

"Golden: An Interview with Reflectiostack"

Golden: An Interview with Reflectiostack* - by Ben Malkin

Cock-Now: Under your influences you put at the end "...and all those little moments that save our lives...." Do you ever see music as a way of giving eternal life (or celebration) to those moments, kind of like ancestral worship only in this case for moments and the living (instead of the dead, but also the dead)...almost like abstract photographs (snapshots of time)?

Reflectiostack: Music is definitely about celebrating little moments that normally would go unremembered. It's about capturing the vulnerability, the joy, the sadness of that part of your life you can't see, or even understand. We are constantly moving in circles in our lives, repeating patterns and painful mistakes. When we grow, and the circle turns into an upward spiral, we have cause for celebration.

CN: ‘Golden’ is definitely my song of the year (~even though I guess it came out last year): it’s just as magnificent a song as has ever been written... ‘Mist of life it coils around your tender soul’ is such a brilliant line. My question is, why is the soul inherently tender? Why a lamb and not a lion? Or has it been humbled by the world?

R: In tenderness, the soul becomes both lamb and lion. It is an emotion that recognizes our inherent need for others, and demands a certain amount of vulnerability. Ironically, then, tenderness requires incredible strength to move beyond the safety of our solitary selves.

CN: I always wanted to hear the Dirty 3 w/vocals, and you guys achieve what I’d been hearing in my head (~more than with Nick Cave or Chan Marshall or their other collaborators) more successfully than the Dirty 3! I know when I saw the Dirty 3 live for the first time it was a life changing experience. (~I’ve seen them seven times since.) I can hear the heavy (or dirgy as your site says) influence of Warren Ellis on Fiona’s violin lines, especially ‘Whatever You Love, You Are’, ‘Horse Stories,’ and ‘Ocean Songs.’Can you talk for a bit about what the Dirty 3 has meant to you and how they’ve influenced your music? Who are some other violinists who have influenced your playing? (~I also hear The Rachels ‘Music for Egon Schiele’ quite a bit in there.)

R: Sometimes influence runs so deep you cease to be able to excavate it The Dirty Three open a dialogue between melody and dissonance, between architectural layering and minimalism, between tension and release, between structure and spontaneity, which has articulated many musical possibilities for us, particularly in terms of incorporating the violin as a crucial voice in that dialogue. There is a Hungarian violinist named Felix Lajko who continues to push the limits of the instrument through his explorations of folk and gypsy music. Interestingly, the Dirty Three cover a Felix Lajko song (the Zither Player) on Cinder.

CN: ‘Silence is all I can say to you when there are to many things floating around this head of mine’ is such a great line. And then the violin (in "5 Foot Bridges") just comes in at the perfect moment to express what the words can’t (~but what you allude to later, ‘fire rushing in into your eyes’). What do you think music is capable of expressing emotionally that words fail to?

R: There is something definitive about words. Music takes words to another level. It adds a meaning through emotion and dynamics; a truth that is timeless.

CN: Q: ‘What is reality when dreams they float away from you?’

R: When hope and dreams escape life, reality becomes indifferent, an invisible cog in that destructive wheel of nothingness. To capture your dreams is to carve on the rock of life that you existed, that you could see above the trees.

CN: There seems to be this ongoing dialogue in your songs about the relationships b/w reality and dreams or illusions. In the song "Who is Yuri Popovich?" (Ed. Note: which also, re: the violin, is the most ‘Venus In Furs’ song I’ve heard by a modern band since The Stooges ‘We Will Fall’ [which was also John Cale].) you say:

"Sleep tight for these dreams, they are what's real"
and later in the song "When I run away I'm real, when I run away I'm real"

Philip K. Dick says something like ‘reality is what’s left when you stop believing in it.’ Do you think music has the power to transform reality (like casting spells)?

R: Yes. Music is a reflection of our unconscious thoughts. And that's what makes it so important. *** Music has always had the power to express hopes and fears that have not yet been acknowledged. If you look at changing musical styles, from blues, to jazz, to rock, to punk, to rap, those shifts not only express the changes and disruptions of the times, but actually shape the way that people understand their present, their reality.

CN: I love how you straddle the moment of having to confront reality, while wanting to live in illusion. Do you think music is just a series of translucent illusions, worlds of illuminations we create to escape from realit - Cock-Now Zine


Music For Torching, 2006, First Flight Record Label
"Magic Mountain", track on 2006 Poni Republic compilation
Bullring Boys, 1998, Independent


Feeling a bit camera shy


Formed in 1995, Reflectiostack remains a product of transition - growing out of those moments that mark our lives, that demand a moment of reflection. The core of the Reflectiostack sound can be found in the rhythmic strums of Kirsty Andrews' guitar and the dirgy tones of Fiona Stewart's violin. In recent years, their explorations with simple melodies and unconventional structures have led them away from the raw Velvet Underground-inspired quality of the band's inception. This original energy and immediacy was captured on the band's first album, Bull Ring Boys, recorded at the Gas Station in Toronto, and released independently in 1998.

Reflectiostack developed as a live act, with their line-up often expanding beyond the duo to include bass, drums, percussion, sampplers, piano, and even trumpet. They have been very active in the Toronto music community, appearing on bills with the Rheostatics ("Green Sprouts Music Week", 1998), Scud Mountain Boys, Apostle of Hustle, Rex, By Divine Right, Hayden, Mary Lou Lord, Dinner is Ruined, Thrush Hermit, The Scribbled Out Man, and the Dylan Group (in NYC).

A short break in the Reflectiostack story fostered the continued search for new directions and the discovery of new sonic possibilities. With music in hand, some old and some new, they headed for the ferry, and to the Gas Station once more. The eight years between records reveals itself on "Music for Torching". Reflectiostack's musical and personal experiences are fused into each layer and each breath, and a more polished, more dynamic sound emerges...

In 2006 Reflectiostack joined First Flight Records, a label based out of St.Louis, who are releasing their latest album ‘Music for Torching’. They also became part of the European artist collective "Haiku Bang", a quickly evolving collective of self produced artists.

In June of 2006, Reflectiostack began recording their third album, at the Gas Station.