"Speaker Face feel like one of the most important bands of 2020."
- Listen to Discover
“Rich, earthy string instrumentation with soothing downtempo electronic beats, layering breathy, ethereal vocals over the top... an entrancing electronic sound that’s simultaneously familiar and completely original.”
“Speaker Face marry hustle and float... classic, organic sounds with electronics for a combination that is simply otherworldly.”
“Organic-meets-synthetic... pure class, indisputable elegance, compositional invention and, above all, rich emotional rewards.”
— Folk Radio UK (FRUK)
“It’s easy to get lost in the intimate waves of Speaker Face’s lush sound: They cultivate a strong hypnotizing presence that arrests the senses.”
— Atwood Magazine
“Gorgeous... graceful... dramatic climaxes and moments of beautiful grandeur.”
“Intricate instrumentation is accompanied by vocals seeping simultaneously with hopefulness and desperation. Grabs listeners and attaches itself to the mind and soul.”
— BTR Today
“Low-slung, confident, and cool... a tight fusion of electronic and acoustic elements... The vocals are perfectly executed, giving off a dreamy, early ’00s indie vibe.”
— Independent Clauses
“Refreshing rhythms, dreamy vocals, bright strings, and solid hooks,”
— Le Future Wave
“Slick synthpop... powered by violins and cellos that find the perfect midpoint between modern and classic vibes. An irresistible folk indietronica sound.”
Toronto, Canada’s Speaker Face is a meeting of earth and electronics from two members of the JUNO award winning band The Fretless. Trent Freeman and Eric Wright are joined by Ruby Randall, whose voice haunts with an honest beauty that can’t be forgotten.
The band’s transportive new album Crescent (Oct. 9th, 2020) is an immersive experience, layered with keys, beats, and atmospheric production, but also incorporating the propulsive strings that have made Freeman and Wright essential players in the mainstreaming of traditional Irish folk music with The Fretless.
“The violin is a very unique element in this genre of music,” Freeman says. “I approach it primarily as a groove instrument. I love the pulse and foundation it can create.”
Wright is a cellist in The Fretless and he brings the bass in Speaker Face, too.
“My inspirations are mostly derived from a hip-hop sensibility,” he says of the hypnotic beats he contributes to the album. “I’ve been making beats since I was 13-years-old. 2PAC, Dr. Dre, and Wu-Tang Clan were on repeat. For this album, I sampled crate vinyl for kick sounds and merged those with my own samples. The sampled vinyl with the liveliness of the natural samples creates the soundscape.”
Randall gilds the frame with her ethereal voice, which was recorded three different times in unison and “mixed all around your head so it feels like you’re swimming in the ocean of her vocals,” Freeman explains.
“I’m so excited to share these Speaker Face tunes with the world,” Randall adds. “Trent has poured himself into these songs and it has been an honor to be able to bring my voice to them. Eric is a beat wizard, and his expertise is so apparent throughout. When they called me, while I was living in Spain, to ask if I’d be willing to come back to Canada just to record this album, it felt a bit nuts, but making music with Trent and Eric is so much fun!”
Wright feels the same: “Speaker Face is a journey that Trent and I are taking with Ruby. This album is the apotheosis – before we grow even more as a band. The point of change.”
Freeman and Wright are able to feed off of each other’s ideas in the way that gets to greatness.
“Most of these songs are written on the piano,” Freeman says. He’ll then add a basic beat which Wright brings to life. “If it puts me in a trance with just the simplicity of the piano and a minimalist beat, I feel like we have the beginning of something great.”
Wright concurs: “Trent will send me a groove and I’ll morph it into a Speaker Face sound. I also like to sing voice memos to myself at the supermarket, walking down the street, or at the doctor’s office. I’ll usually sing a bass and beat box – as quietly as possible!”
“What he sends back always blows my mind,” Freeman exclaims.
While creating Crescent, Freeman also discovered that he and Wright often found the essence of a song after stripping some layers away.
“Eric and I were in the studio late one night, listening to ‘Rest,’” he remembers. “After the first listen, we thought it was too busy. We deleted a layer of percussion, listened again, deleted a layer of bass, listened again, deleted again, listened and deleted, until there was hardly anything left. It felt amazing!”
The final version of “Rest” is essentially empty, but still very powerful, proof of Freeman and Wright’s talents at the most compressed version of their work’s core. It’s a musical partnership that allows that meeting of earth and electronics to feel so natural.
“I trust Eric’s taste as much as anyone,” Freeman adds. “If Eric digs a musical choice, I know we are going in the right direction.”
Randall sums it up this way: “I feel lucky to sing with both of these men. These songs are so beautiful.”
Crescent, the latest album by Toronto-based trio Speaker Face arrives on Oct. 9th, 2020. The lead single “Phosphorescence” arrives on July 24th.