The Jerry Cans
"Ukiuq” / “Northern Lights"

by Jim Di Gioia

October 13, 2016

In the first blog post on DOMINIONATED, I threw out this idea of Canadian music being ‘multitimbral’. Hoping it’s hashtag-readiness would stick to the conversations we hoped to be having, it was the best I could do to sum up the breadth and expanse of where Canada is heading musically in its 150th year.

Nunavut’s Jerry Cans embody the idea of multitimbralism better than any band we’ve covered yet. Based in Iqaluit, their blend of traditional folk, alt-country, throat-singing, and reggae influences goes down like an ice-chilled smoothie of exotic flavours. Individual ingredients trigger different sensations. What seem like unusual combinations at first reveal unexpected pleasures on “Ukiuq” and its English version, “Northern Lights”.

The Jerry Cans let both their lyrics and music engage in a delicate dance across the two versions, capturing the natural/supernatural experience of the aurora borealis in song. Lyrical references to traditional ballad “Scarborough Fair” notwithstanding, “Ukiuq” / “Northern Lights” is a modern and magical reminder of the beauty and wonder that’s waiting for us when we look away from our technology. Look out from our insular world. Look up to the sky.

Jim Di Gioia

Jim founded the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.
Jim Di Gioia

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