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.
bird feet, Limerant (Dawson YT)
The last we heard from Dawson’s bird feet (aka Kimberly Edgar) was 2017’s Patina, which Edgar wrote, performed, produced, and recorded in various hotel rooms around India in February of that year. bird feet returned earlier this year with a three-song EP called Limerant, also recorded in the month of February, this time in 2021. There’s a haunting, isolated feel to bird feet’s latest compositions like so much music borne out of pandemic times. Bolstered by synthy drones and ominous noises, “Lettuce Bolts” sings of “…blooming at the wrong time” and timing off. Still, there’s a tenderness in how Edgar traces constellations on a lover’s body on “Ursa Major” that’s very timely. Culminating with “Flowers,” it’s unclear whether the bloom has fallen off or Edgar is cautious about committing: singing “When you say my name / it pierces through my sternum / I think I exist,” before adding “Limerant flower, / will you fruit? I am not sure. / But I am hungry,” it feels as if only time will tell where the story goes from here. • Jim Di Gioia
Galaxius Mons, “On a flaming line” (Montreal QC)
Silent since 2014’s GMO album, Montreal-based synthpop duo Galaxius Mons made a not-so-subtle return earlier this year with the single “On a flaming line.” Ian Jarvis (of Chairs) and Matt LeGroulx (of Body Breaks and Expwy) joined forces once again for a musically understated but lyrically apocalyptic track that features “demons in atrophy masks” and “angels with calcified wings.” Is Galaxius Mons’ nightmare vision the result of climate change, consumerism, or chemical warfare? Maybe all of the above. • JD
Grand Forward, glos (Toronto ON)
glos, the new EP by Toronto’s Grand Forward, is emo, sure, but stripped to its barest parts and built up again. Not with drums or bass or too much guitar parts, but with harmonies, flutes, bird sounds, viola, and gorgeous finger-picked classical guitar. You might not be able to shout along to any of the songs but glos is as stirring as any crowd participation part or breakdown I’ve ever heard. • Mac Cameron
Deanna Petcoff, “Failing Upwards” (Toronto ON)
Back in 2018, Deanna Petcoff released a handful of incredibly strong singles (“Stress”! whew!), and ever since I’ve been hoping to hear more from the Toronto-based pop-rock prodigy. “Failing Upwards” is the first taste of whatever is next for Petcoff and it is a perfect showcase of all her strengths: big voice, earnest-yet-winking lyrics and smart melodies all aided by a propulsive, motorik shuffle. The intrigue persists! • MC)
Louie Short, “What Can I Do” (Toronto ON)
Louie Short‘s relaxed soft-pop single “What Can I Do” sounds like it was made in the 1970s and as it turns out that’s exactly when it was written. Short’s father Michael Short and songwriter BJ Cook wrote the track in the late 70s and forty or so years later, the original demo was unearthed and Louie Short recorded his own version. It’s a charming story for a charming tune about hope and love and broken hearts. • Laura Stanley
Skiifall, WOIIYOIE Tapes Vol. 1 (Montreal QC)
There are more qualified people to delve into the many influences and flavours contained on Skiifall‘s WOIIYOIE Tapes Vol. 1, the debut EP from the Montreal-via-Saint Vincent rapper and hook monster, but goddamn that doesn’t mean I don’t love this shit. You are unlikely to hear a more fresh and satisfying Canadian hip-hop release this year. Dancehall, reggae, grime and a little bit of Drake-y melodicism — plus immaculate production lead by Yamasato — make Skiifall one track away from blowing the fuck up. He won’t be Montreal or Canada’s best-kept secret for much longer. • MC
Soul Boner, Liliana’s Divorce (Montreal QC)
The debut EP from Soul Boner (a moment to reflect on this magnificent band name) is less than five minutes of chaotic punk/noise-pop. In a conversational tone, Nara Wriggs talks about Burger King(?) and then later about a possible haunted house(??) and it’s all while standing in the eye of a lo-fi storm of samples (which includes the voice of Vin Diesel!) and tumultuous instrumentation from Ryan Al-Hage. You will feel like your mind is melting when you listen to Liliana’s Divorce but in a nice way because now you are finally free from your thoughts. • LS
Have you heard “Grab and Touch (Demo)” by Emma Hewson?
DOMINIONATED’s featured artist for the month of August is Emma Hewson. Besides teaching and gigging for other bands, Hewson has also been creating and releasing music since moving to Toronto in 2009 from Guelph, ON. “Grab and Touch” is a work-in-progress she’s sharing ahead of completion along with a look behind her creative process. Find out more about Emma Hewson and hear/download “Grab and Touch” at DOMINIONATED’s Patreon page.