Feeling Nostalgic: November 2023

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.



Reviews.png

girl with dream, around u

Listen

There’s a entrancing quality to the wobbly guitar riff that winds throughout “around u,” a new poppy-rock song from Montreal’s girl with dream (Chris Lawson). Lawson reflects on vices, (“’around u’ is a love letter to compulsion and a lament of the cycles that can take over our lives,” she explains) and this guitar riff is eventually accompanied by a wave of fuzzed out chords and the effect is similar to that of a hypnosis spiral. • Laura Stanley

Sing Leaf, “Blizzard Island”

Listen

I’m not familiar with Blizzard Island, a twelve-episode television show produced by the CBC in the late Eighties (neither have I seen the 1990 movie The Argon Quest, which was edited together from the show’s original episodes). But Sing Leaf’s David Como has, and the program/movie has left an indelible mark on his psyche. “Blizzard Island” is a nostalgia fueled look back at cherished childhood treasures, wide-eyed recollections of days gone by, and an aurally textured slow-building ballad that sparkles and glints with memory and melody. I probably won’t seek out the show on YouTube, but “Blizzard Island” has me psyched for Remote Motel, Sing Leaf’s new EP, which features the song among its five tracks. • Jim Di Gioia

Ratpiss, Misanthropy Now!

Listen

Montreal’s Ratpiss waste no time welcoming you to their world and pummelling you with wonderfully heavy riffs on their new EP Misanthropy Now!. The band blends crust punk and sludge metal with a hearty helping of powerviolence to create a sound that will have you starting mosh pits everywhere you possibly can. The vocals are rage incarnate as the band rails against capitalism, apathy, and loneliness with every fibre of their being. Misanthropy Now! provides a much needed outlet for anger in today’s world and through the catharsis they provide, Ratpiss might even get you to believe in humanity again. • Em Moore

Jaya Bremer, “Apartment 4”

Listen

Jaya Bremer’s single “Apartment 4” is a sentimental ode to her home she was forced to leave behind. From BC, the electro-pop artist offers a synthy soundscape weighed down with heavy drum tones and heartfelt harmonies; begging the question: “what kind of legacy will I leave behind me?” • Tia Julien

Sun Junkies, Parachuting

Listen

Sun Junkies’ newest album, Parachuting, is a fun listen that pulled me to it via fun vibes and, oddly enough, nostalgia. Quite a few of the songs brought me back to ska from long past, surf rock, and 00s rock. I can’t quite pin down if it was the riffs, the quality of the recording, the horns, or just the bouncy tone, but I was pleasantly surprised with each new song. As always, I love a good callback – “Parachuting” and “Skydiving” fit hand in hand, and are less like a song & its reprise, and more like sibling songs. Overall, I loved listening to this album and Sun Junkies have found their way into my regular playlist. • Alyssa Gelata

Virgo Rising, Vampyre Year

Listen

Between Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire,” Big Thief’s “Vampire Empire,” and Virgo Rising’s EP Vampyre Year, there was an unexpected vampire-issance in 2023. While Rodrigo and Big Thief lean on more thunderous sounds in their singles, Virgo Rising show off how versatile their sound has become on Vampyre Year. The second EP from the Winnipeg band is a mix of tender, folk-leaning tracks like “Nail Biter” (featuring the sounds of Boy Golden on banjo) and gritty bedroom rock like “Tristan.” No matter what style they play with, the rise of Virgo Rising continues to be beautiful. • Laura Stanley

Fight On Sight, Find Out

Listen

“As you can see, the more you fuck around the more you’re gonna find out” – the immortal words of TikTok sensation Roger Skaer ring out at the start of Fight On Sight’s new EP and set the tone for the next five minutes of absolute mayhem. The Hamilton-based hardcore punks make you feel like you’re in the middle of a mosh pit as they explode into a flurry of deep bass, heavy-hitting drums, riff-filled guitars, and fierce vocals. You’ll be banging your head and planning how to haunt the dreams of those who have wronged you in record time. Find Out is a powerful debut EP that marks Fight On Sight as a band to watch out for. • Em Moore

Wants, WANTS

Listen

Wants, a band of synthy post-punk Calgarians, recently dropped a self-titled EP of 80s-inspired sounds that is catching a recent wave of nostalgia for early Depeche Mode, the Cure, and other cutting-edge (for their time) British-based new wavers. Having been around the first time for these sounds, Wants’ spiky tracks “Decline” and “Divine Promises” transport me back to dances in darkened school gymnasiums trying desperately to feel like dingy underground dance bars and late-night music video shows inspiring my next round UK import purchases at my favourite local record/head shop. Thanks Wants for making me feel old and young again all at the same time. • Jim Di Gioia

Anda Zeng, “Dream of Touch”

Listen

Anda Zeng’s “Dream of Touch” is a funhouse of dreaminess. To listen to Zeng’s ambient pop song is to be emerged in plush synths, harp trills, and Zeng’s celestial voice. But the dreamiest touch of all is when Zeng characterizes longing in a way that will make you swoon: “I want to be the wind you want in your hair.” • Laura Stanley

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.

JOIN NOW

Next
Markus Floats 
Fourth Album