LA LECHUZA by Esmerine (Constellation)
Using harp, cello, marimba, and glockenspiel, the Montreal-based quartet Esmerine plays vivacious, wintry chamber music. The group’s latest album combines cheerful, malleted percussion with candid strings, rousing visions of elfin children playing lullabies on the fallen tree trunks and dewy spiderwebs of an enchanted forest. La Lechuza also doubles as a eulogy. The final track, the funereal “Fish on Land,” was performed with cult-status songstress Lhasa de Sela, who died in early 2010 and whose influence beneficently haunts the entire album.