Song of the Week: Sarah Neufeld – “Stories”

Melancholy strings to float away on.

While Sarah Neufeld’s name may be familiar to Arcade Fire fans, her own solo work is just as expansive, emotional and enthralling. The Canadian violinist often builds up wonderful atmospherics with her instrument, often spaced out into ambient soundscapes that can transport you with only a few notes. Her vocals, wordless or otherwise, equally add to the ascendant, sweeping movements that make up her best work.

While it’s been five years since her last solo LP, The Ridge, Neufeld’s return single shows that she hasn’t missed a step. Instead, she’s refashioned her sound into a more mysterious direction with “Stories.” Rather than the direct, cutting strings that hit like light beams on her previous album, her new song unfolds slowly, like slow-moving gray clouds or mist from the ocean on a sleepy morning. The piece, inspired by “the stories we’ve told ourselves that we can no longer believe,” according to Neufeld, has a ghostly, pensive presence that stands at the crossroads of nostalgia and regret.

“Stories” will appear on Neufeld’s next solo record, Detritus, out on 5/14 via Paper Bag Records.