He operates among various ‘traditions’ but perhaps most broadly, Chenaux’s records grapple with the relationship between improvisation and structure in very particular, unique, idiosyncratic ways – and quite without irony or cynicism, through love. Because fundamentally, Chenaux writes love songs, which he sings in a voice honeyed and clear, while his guitar gently bends, frazzles, chortles, diverges and decomposes.
Slowly Paradise is Eric Chenaux’s new solo record – a lovely collection of songs guided by soothing, buttery singing and bent, fried fretwork and arguably Chenaux’s most assured and essential solo work, expanding upon on the themes that garnered his previous releases Guitar & Voice and Skullsplitter such critical acclaim.
Chenaux was a fixture of the DIY and experimental music in Toronto throughout the 1990s and 2000s, progressing from local postpunk legends Phleg Camp and Lifelikeweeds towards a highly distinctive technical and gestural mastery of amplified acoustic guitar. Constellation has been home to Eric’s “solo” records since 2006 – a brilliant discography of adventurous, sumptuous, mostly languorous deconstructed folk, jazz and pop-influenced balladry rooted in the juxtaposition of Chenaux’s highly experimental guitar playing and his gorgeously clear and lyrical singing voice.
'A singer and songwriter possessed of angelic sweetness and clarity accompanying himself with largely improvised, visceral guitar textures that seem intent on undermining and obscuring his own songs. It’s the need to communicate tussling with the urge to obfuscate; lucidity versus opacity; form against chaos' — The Wire
'In the field of avant guitar wrangling, Chenaux’s style is genuinely distinctive…recalls John Martyn, Marc Ribot and Arthur Russell. Chenaux’s pure sweet voice soars along Chet Baker and Jeff Buckley lines' — Uncut
'He can seamlessly veer from fragile and lilting to wonderfully rich and expressive in the space of a single song' — The Skinny