Monteith then recalled conversations with musician/producer and fellow Canadian-in-Berlin Fatima Camara (whose acclaimed debut solo album Before We Sleep came out on Parachute Records in 2016) about their shared love of The Trinity Session, feeling she’d be the perfect partner to involve in a reinterpretation. Camara was thrilled by the idea, and the two began meeting to explore how to approach things conceptually and aesthetically. This would be their first collaboration – and the first time either artist placed their own vocals at the forefront of a project (with guest vocalist Caoimhe McAlister adding harmonies on certain tracks).
The Trinity Session is rightly celebrated for its naturalistic, profoundly languorous covers of classic tunes and traditional work songs (“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, “Mining For Gold”, “Blue Moon” et al) – and famous for having been recorded with a single microphone in single takes at a church in Toronto. For Trinity Thirty, Deadbeat and Camara similarly re-recorded everything with ambient mics in a big open space at Berlin’s Chez Cherie studio, relying heavily on natural room acoustics, committed to raw first takes, guided by an overriding strategy of slowing down all the tempos as far as they could while continuing to channel the warm asceticism of the original album.
Initially imagining they would run a fair amount of electronic treatments during the mix, Deadbeat and Camara instead found themselves absorbed by the spaces, silences and atmospherics, guided by a spirit of preservation and restraint in further homage to the original. The result is “a less electronic album than we imagined making”: a gorgeous somnambulant collection of ‘covers of covers’, where the reference point is always the Cowboy Junkies original approach, stretched to new and beguiling limits of deceleration and narcotized spaciousness (a sensibility reinforced by the mastering treatment of minimalist dub-techno legend Stefan Betke of ~scape/Pole).
The gauzy, quavering, reverberant slowcore vibes of artists like Galaxie 500, Grouper and Codeine are a key reference point for Deadbeat & Camara’s prevailing aesthetic: clouds of textured drone and hushed vocals drift through cavernous space, where long decays gently warp and distort the melodic vocal lines and the insistently languid percussion, anchored by thick saturated bass tones representing the most overt influence carried through from their electronic music bona fides. Trinity Thirty is a gorgeously sedate, subtly avant-garde and wonderfully reverent re- interpretation of this classic album.