The DOMINIONATED Newsletter is a monthly(ish) round-up of music and creativity from across the country, bringing reviews and recommendations from our writers right to your inbox. Enter your email address below to subscribe now.

You know that Shakespeare line, “If music be the food of love, play on”? Well, this edition of our newsletter is full of music our team of writers has been playing for quite some time now, and we’re hungry for more.

We have a little proposition for you in the spirit of keeping the musical feast alive. As you dive into these February musical offerings, how about turning your love for music into a monthly membership to DOMINIONATED

We plan to take our musical journey beyond the web and need your help. By becoming a monthly DOMINIONATED supporter, you will be helping us reach our goal of making some real-life connections with our awesome readers to take the DOMINIONATED experience beyond the computer screen and social media feeds.

Let’s turn the music into a banquet, shall we? All February, every current newsletter subscriber who also becomes a DOMINIONATED monthly supporting member will have the chance to win one of the following musical feasts:

A thank-you gift pack courtesy of Arts & Crafts Records that includes vinyl copies of Kevin Drew’s Ageing, Norm by Andy Shauf, OMBIIGIZI’s Sewn Back Together, and Lustre Parfait by Gord Downie and Bob Rock, plus an Arts & Crafts tee-shirt.


A nine-CD thank you gift courtesy of Birthday Cake Records featuring Begonia’s Powder Blue, Marcus Paquin’s Our Love, the self-titled album from Field Guide, Meantime by Slow Leaves, Everywhere I Used to Be by Mariel Buckley, Kris Ulrich’s Big in the USA, Motherwell by Leith Ross, In Search of Gold by Mouraine, and Come Morning from the Bros. Landreth, plus Birthday Cake Records socks a toque.

For membership options and to sign up now, visit

Bon Appetit!

The actual written reviews might be mini, but these mighty fine releases deserve your time, attention, and support.

Baby O, “Meant for Me”


Former Dominionated contributor Baby O released her new single “Meant For Me” earlier this month. It is her way—through lush, sweet vocals and melancholic guitar—of telling the world she’s stepping out of her comfort zone to see what else is out there for her. • Alyssa Gelata

Breeze, “Ready for Love”


As I unpack the wildly 90s-inspired sounds of Breeze’s new LP, Sour Grapes, I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say on it. For now, I want to draw your attention to “Ready For Love,” on which Joh Korody full-on embodies the spirit and attitude of every UK-based musical obsession I ever had between 1990 and 1999 inclusive. I hear far too many musical touchstones in the three-plus-minute banger to name, but what compels me to recommend the track isn’t nostalgia; it’s that Korody and Breeze’s new full band sound vital, alive, and very now. • Jim Di Gioia

Dan Edmonds, Danny Boy


I’ve said it before but the tender pop tunes of noted-softie Dan Edmonds are sublime. On Danny Boy, Edmonds’ fourth LP, he navigates inclement weather, big feelings, and being stoned at the grocery store. But with help from a dreamy cast of friends (Anh Phung, Dorothea Paas, Evan Cartwright, Ian Daniel Kehoe, Luka Kuplowsky, Luke Lalonde, Nick Dourado + many more!), Edmonds makes even harsh florescent lighting seem soft. • Laura Stanley

Subscribe now

GAZM, Fuck You II


Imagine being the angriest you’ve ever been in your whole life. That is what Montreal band GAZM’s Fuck You II sounds like. Grimey, seething, theatrical and essential. • Mackenzie Cameron

Ginger Beef, Ginger Beef


As Ginger Beef, flautist Jiajia Li and producer/multi-instrumentalist Warren Tse (AKA MSG) serve up a tasty combination of instrumental tunes on their self-titled album. The genres the Calgary-based duo stir together could fill a multi-page menu: jam band, jazz fusion, synth-pop, and many more. Ginger Beef is a sonically fun and funky feast that will leave you feeling full. • Laura Stanley

Rise Carmine, “Sadistic (I Like it Too)”

Music Link

Rise Carmine is really onto something with their newest single, “Sadistic (I like it too).” With grungy tones and distorted vocals colliding into dreamy sections of the song, the song feels like a surreal moment of cognitive dissonance. Even better is the line “punish me and I’ll punish you/we’ll go down like two balloons” with soft guitar in the background. The different textures present in this song makes me want to live my most chaotic life; it really gives off a “I’ve got nothing to lose” feeling, which is quite motivating. • Alyssa Gelata

slow reader, “warners”


The comment left by @‌abandonedstate on slow reader’s Bandcamp page of the song “Warners” says it all: what the absolute fuck! The Hamilton-based four-piece features Tori Tizzard, Matthew Hill, David Nardi, and Daniel Empringham playing an impassioned melange of pop-rock goodness that’s fast, fuzzy, and a whole lot of fun. It’s absolutely worth the price of admission, and if you’re digging this most recently released tune, there are more previously released ones for you to check out. • Jim Di Gioia

Time is an illusion, and a lot of great music always flies under the radar, so we gathered some standouts from the last twelve months that deserve a little more attention.

des hume, FM.era


Laura Stanley recommended des hume’s wildly warped FM.era earlier in 2023 at a time when I was struggling to find a connection to a lot of the new music I was hearing. On paper, it should have been a slam-dunk, punch-drunk, love affair with me and this record, billed as a “joyous game of dress up, trying on genres and identity, exploring sex, fear, perversion, anger, love and gender through a carousel of sound.” In reality, des Hume’s minor masterpiece of unhinged pop slowly crept into my consciousness one song, one moment at a time. It started with the drop-dead gorgeous “Promising Boy” and spread to “Quarterback” (man, do I ever identify with that one), “Tearaways,” and the brilliant “Chatroulette.” If I had been in a better headspace in 2023, FM.era would have been living rent-free in that anxiety-infested orb sitting on top of my shoulders for months now. Better late than never. • Jim Di Gioia

Tim Hecker, No Highs


I don’t know what it says about my mind state over the past year, but more and more, both my passive and active listening preferences have been ambient, instrumental, non-traditional compositions akin to the work of vanguard composer Tim Hecker. No Highs is a prescription I’ve refilled quite often throughout the last few months. “A jagged anti-relaxant for our medicated age,” No Highs doesn’t overwhelm the listener with sound and texture. Hecker is a subtle master of twisting tensions and relieving pressures without raising your blood pressure, but the result is a headrush of emotions that contraindicates the album’s title. • Jim Di Gioia

Thanks for checking out DOMINIONATED

We rely on reader support to keep delivering Canadian music conversations like the one you’re reading.
Become a supporter and help keep DOMINIONATED’s conversations going.


“Waiting for the Laughter” 
Haley Blais