Staff Selections: June 24, 2024

Laura Stanley [ Matt Hertendy]

Staff Selections: We pick ’em; you play ’em and (hopefully) pay the artists for ’em.

Staff Selections feature hand-picked recommendations by a member (or members) of the DOMINIONATED team that they feel is worth your listening time.

Today’s recommendations come from DOMINIONATED team member Laura Stanley (left). She suggests four selections for you to spin and add to your collection.

“si​̂​si​̂​kwan” by ASKO

ASKO is a new project from Marek Tyler, a member of the moccasingaze band nêhiyawak and alt-pop rockers WAYFINDING. As ASKO, Tyler composes ambient/electronic soundscapes that, like on his latest single “si​̂​si​̂​kwan,” swirl around a drum beat. But Leanne Betasamosake Simpson describes it best in the press bio she wrote: “ASKO includes the kinetics of pow-wow dancers following the heartbeat of the big drum and embraces the choreography of prairie chickens telling the stories of the grasslands.” Stay tuned for ASKO due out in September.

“Problems” by OAKK

In the music video for “Problems,” OAKK (Vancouver electronic artist Cole Edwards) looks like he got his face bashed in by an unknown assailant. “Problems,” though, is about letting go of the past, so the story behind the bruised face is never revealed in the video. The track’s ‘80s-inspired electronic beats and OAKK’s vocal delivery are both so cool that moving onwards and upwards feels like it is the cool guy move.

“Springtime” by Smokey AB

Although spring is a season of new life and warmer temperatures, it’s not always easy for your winter blues to melt away with the snow. On a new creaky gothic-country song from Smokey AB, the Edmonton-based musician tries to soak up the sun, but all he feels is deeply lonely: “I’m the silent piece of a fallen down wind chime,” he sings. Spring might be over but Smokey AB’s “Springtime” will not go out of season.

“Talking to Strangers” by WUT

Somehow, it has been four years since Vancouver cuddlecore and jangly-pop band WUT put out their debut release, NOW—a record that was a trusted companion for me in the early pandemic period. And maybe it’s just my own association with this band, but “Talking to Strangers,” the first single from WUT’s forthcoming record, Mingling with the Thorns, feels like it’s about the anxiety you have returning to society after a long period of isolation and trying to make small talk.

Peter Peter