The Victoria, BC based Dustan Townsend is the musical virtuoso behind Fish in a Bird Cage. Townsend is a remarkably talented singer-songwriter, cellist and guitarist. His music is complex interwoven musical tapestry rich in concept and skill. He is strikingly connected to the cello, as if the instrument is an extension of his body. His skill and control of the cello is refreshing and transcending, he has discovered the endless possibilities with the often-misunderstood instrument. His lyrics are sharp, tender, earnest and authentic. He takes the right amount of poetic license and never sacrifices depth.
Townsend’s second album- Through The Tides was recently released and is packed with inventive aptitude that shatters the state of modern music. It is wise beyond it’s years in musical ability yet young at heart with it’s playful and heartwarming lyrics. Each song takes you to a new place then chivalrously walks you back home. Townsend’s voice is haunting and wide in range; it’s the perfect foundation to his music. The moving nature of the cello is particularly powerful on the album; Townsend brings each string to life every time he caresses it with the carbon fiber on his well-versed bow. A well-selected arrangement of other artists are featured on the album such as the mesmerizing violinist Hannah Epperson, the heart wrenchingly strong singer Calista Switzer and musical mastermind-fiddle prodigy Mack Shields (Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra,OQO).
Every song on Through The Tides is strong, gracefully weaving the violin with cello, providing a landscape of songwriting prowess and evoking a range of profound emotion. The second track “Angel Tango” showcases Townsend’s unique command of the cello and ability to distinguish a detailed theme with his songwriting that in this particular song is sinister and charming. The track “Roots” pays homage to early Postal Service and features the strong production that derives from Vancouver based Monarch Studios. The intensely lingering “My Dream My Addiction” sounds as if you are right beside Dustan in his studio as he is singing this heart aching ballad straight from the basement of his soul. The album breaks any stereotypes of the classical cello sound and takes the instrument to unknown territory yet does to seamlessly. This phenomenon is similar to Joanna Newsom’s relationship with the harp. The music is purely inviting, it’s easy to get lost in the album and find something new to love about it every single time. This is one of those unusual albums that somehow provide the complete soundtrack for life’s beautiful, miserable and content events. The album is a flawlessly assembled exhibition of this young man’s true and rare talent, he is definitely one to watch.
Help Dustan create his third album HERE
Check out Dustan Townsend website with his previous work available HERE