This is the Part that’s Too Hard to Explain: April 2024

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.

I know, I know: it’s almost mid-month, and the May newsletter is only just coming out now, but it’s with good reason. There’s been a lot of activity behind the scenes at DOMINIONATED, as we had to negotiate migrations from different systems we use to manage our workflow and activity, and that had to take some priority. Also, we wanted to use this newsletter to officially announce that we have a new Merch Shop!

I know, I know: we’ve sold merch before with our boring old logo plastered all over it, but this time is different! To launch the new Merch Shop, our very own Weajue Mombo has created a unique and bold design we’re calling the DOMINIONATED “Deconstructed Cassette” that looks amazing on our new shirts and vinyl tote bags. Check it out!

“Deconstructed Cassette” design by Weajue Mombo

Every purchase from our Merch Shop helps support our volunteers and contributors in bringing you more great music-related reviews, features, podcasts and programs from across so-called Canada. As newsletter subscribers, you have the first crack at getting your hands on our new merch:

Enjoy this month’s round-up of wicked mini-reviews and ICYMI recommendations from Tia Julien and Laura Stanley!

The actual written reviews might be mini, but these mighty fine releases are more than worthy of your time, attention, and support.

Bad Buddy, “Q.B.”


Edmonton’s Bad Buddy has enough energy to fill a football stadium on their new track “Q.B”. In this preview of their forthcoming LP, the punkish, doom-wop band huddle up and unleash an empowering and catchy tune about self-love. Bad Buddy hit it through the uprights with this one. • Laura Stanley

Future Star, “This is the Part that’s Too Hard to Explain”


“This is the Part that’s Too Hard to Explain” from Vancouver’s Future Star unfolds like musical theatre, dynamic and bursting with playful emotion. Opening with a persistent upright piano riff, drum machine accents, and dissonant car horns, this single teases themes of surrender and renewal to expect on her upcoming album It’s About Time! set for release on July 5, 2024. • Tia Julien

Sebastian Gaskin, “Ghost”


Sebastian Gaskin, the latest signee to Ishkōdé Records, has a voice that commands your attention. As they wrestle with grief and loss on their haunting new poppy/R&B song “Ghost,” Gaskin’s presence is like a life force. Watch out for their debut LP out soon-ish (we hope!). • Laura Stanley

Georgia Hathaway, Between the Green


Between the Green by singer-songwriter, Georgia Hathaway is a collection of soft, haunted folk tunes from connections made of lake diving and moon gazing amidst the 4elements Living Arts residency on Manitoulin Island. Healing after a series of concussions and post-traumatic stress, Hathaway lives an unconventional, nomadic life of piecing together delicate harmonies with harp, dobro, and field recordings from their travels. • Tia Julien

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(ish) that deserve a little more attention.

CARLENE, Looking Out My Window


It feels fitting to be writing about CARLENE’s (aka Carly Maicher) Looking Out My Window a year after it was released. CARLENE isn’t in a hurry on this soft folk record, and neither should you. The gorgeous and hypnotic pacing of these songs is coupled with Maicher’s timeless musings on love and a commitment to noticing beauty every single day. Like the water lapping gently along the shore or the first blush of a sunset. • Laura Stanely

idialedyournumber, Hourglass


Hourglass is the openhearted album release from idialedyournumber, a Halifax-based project affiliated with Warm Walk Records. The artist describes it as 5th-wave emo, “messy and intentionally disorganized.” Hourglass is packed with passion, from the soft, quiet kind to the scream-your-head-off kind. To my aging ears, it is packed with nostalgia and the exposed emotion that once made music my mission. • Tia Julien

angel apricot, limoncello


limoncello is a lo-fi indie-rock study in melancholy by Toronto artist angel apricot. Her earnestness emerges among jangly electric guitar, dreamlike synths, a growling beat machine, and a referential tracklist. Toying with the tension between softness and urgency, the closing track, “BUNNY,” wraps the album with a simple admission: “I hope that you understand.” • Tia Julien

Needle Crafts, Frow’d Up


About their debut album Frow’d Up, St. John’s punks Needle Crafts write that it’s “a record built by the power of friendship.” In this instance, the power of friendship manifests as rip-roaring pop-punk with unrelenting energy and fun. Scream along to this one the next time you are cross-stitching or browsing the aisles at Michaels. • Laura Stanley

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