Natural Sympathies

by Jim Di Gioia

November 15, 2019

Natural Sympathies’ Porous is a deeply immersive, multi-disciplinary feast for the senses.

As far as elevator pitches go, the one Regina-based producer Amber Goodwyn sent me for Porous, her new album under the name Natural Sympathies, is among the best. Along with a seven-song collection, she’s enlisted the help of seven different directors — Adrienne Adams, Ian Campbell, Eric Hill, Elian Mikkola, Mike Rollo, Evie Ruddy + Kyath Battie and Ania Ślusarczyk — to make of videos for each song. In her pitch, Goodwyn describes them as an “episodic feminist sci-fi narrative about an extraterrestrial named Natural Sympathies whose space ship crashes on Earth, and her ensuing journey to fix and fuel it before ultimately discovering that she has everything she needs and wants (a safe and loving community) right where she landed.” I was sold before hearing a single note or seeing a single frame of footage. Coinciding with the album’s release today (November 15), Natural Sympathies will begin unveiling an accompanying video a day for each of Porous’s seven songs.

Though I’ve never seen a live performance, based on the music and from all accounts of those who have, Natural Sympathies is a deeply immersive, multi-disciplinary feast for the senses. Blending music, video, and movement, Porous takes the proverbial hard lines and cold beats of electro-pop and bends them based on an extraterrestrial form of geometry. On “Hard Line”, she rhymes off the types of triangles like they’re casting a sensual spell: “Scalene/oblique/acute/obtuse/equilateral/Pythagoras forever!” “Pretty Impossible” is a warm elixir, a soothing and refreshing affirmation that even though we all come from other worlds — whether earth-bound or in the stars — what makes us unique is also what binds us together.

Jim Di Gioia

Jim founded the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.
Jim Di Gioia

Latest posts by Jim Di Gioia (see all)