As political as ever, Toronto singer-songwriter Ember Swift starts Stilt Walking
off with a funky piece explaining that "my politics include my food," where the pesticide and hormone content of the food supply is strongly questioned. Anything but straight thinking, Swift's hot politics are merged with no lack of the usual quirky references to truth and sexual freedom. The fourth track, "Rubber Bullets," focuses on the state of democracy, TV misinformation and apathy and may bring back memories of tear gas and police brutality. In resolution, Swift comments, "What are we to do? We must not stop fighting - raise your fists!"
Unlike some of Swift's earlier albums, the politics of Stilt Walking
are not only expressed by her alone. Long time band member Lyndel Montgomery (bass, bowed guitar, violin) comments that, "those in power, they have no fear, they have no fear at all, except for mass consumer revolt." She goes on in another piece to discuss the harsh nature of competition and its effects on our lives from an early age.
The artwork accompanying Stilt Walking
has an Aussie circus, outback feel to it. Swift explains that during a recent tour through Australia the band became quite fascinated with the gypsy-ish, traveling circus movement that has become quite popular down under. The group even tried their hands at things like stilt walking, juggling, and riding unicycles. Rumours have been confirmed that the Ember Swift band has now gone circus mad and own a unicycle which they tour with.
RECOMMENDED TRACKS: "Include My Food", "Stiltwalking", "Rubber Bullets", "Boinked"
By Nic Cornell
Dec 17, 2002