This week’s Midweek Music Mix looks at three recent electronic music releases from around the province and of course, more punk from Moncton.
DenMother – Then Now Forever: Alternate Timeline Edition
Sabarah Pilon has been writing, recording and producing under the name DenMother since 2016. Her music often involves a lot of self exploration with lyrics that touch on the very personal and the very intimate. In 2020, Pilon released the album Then Now Forever, a record that pairs themes of love and loss with enough hope and optimism to keep the listener grounded and completely enthralled in the music and the lyrical storyline.
Pilon starts 2021 off with the release of Then Now Forever – Alternate Timeline Edition, a 13 track collection that features the original album tracks, some unreleased material and some alternate versions. It’s basically an expanded edition that comes complete with a pdf booklet of lyrics that help provide a greater depth to the album’s overall concept.
Both versions of Then Now Forever feel very personal, like listening to someone reading pages from their diary. But there’s a definite distance that exists between the narrator and the listener. Pilon describes the project as, “Multiple lives and timelines weave their way through the album, with the bittersweetness of the idea that strangers who meet in this lifetime, though they may not be strangers at all, are not suited to be together this time around.” This appreciation for love, presence, acceptance and self-healing are four defining traits that combine beautifully on this album.
Faxes – Fascination
For the uninitiated, finding and entry point into the world of ambient composition can be a challenging task. The questions of where to begin and why to begin are often the easiest and biggest deterrents for potential audiences because, well, the answers range from vague to non-existent. If you’re not already versed in the world of slow burning music that can, at times, take several minutes to reveal a direction to the listener, getting into this music can be an intimidating undertaking and one that has most likely deflected more potential listeners than the entire genre has earned. That said, once you find your way into this maze of sonic curiosities, the adventures are usually incredibly rewarding, as is the case with Fascination, the latest release by Fredericton-based creep-composer Dave Duval.
Duval calls his music “cold, black ambient,” and while the imagery he associates with his releases often convey a sense of danger or dark foreboding, the music of Faxes is in fact incredibly accessible and versatile. Fascination, the first new music from this project in over a year, is a lesson in subtlety and minimalism. Slow shifting tones in minor chord textures move like waves of deconstructed white noise with each new crest revealing something hidden beneath the surface. This album is both a great entry point for the curious and a warm hug for the familiar. Great stuff.
Meorkat – X H N E R N O B Y L (MODULAR)
Saint John musician and producer Eric Muir began sharing music as Meorkat in July of 2020 with the release of his 13 track debut, Instrumentals, an album that immediately defined Muir as a producer with a unique ear and compositional curiosity. Since the summer of 2020, he has released a string of singles that shift between simple vocal samples and more complex arrangements, each a short lived and fulfilling experience. With few exceptions, Muir’s work is shaped through a vignette style of composition that places tone and atmosphere above more traditional narrative approaches.
His latest release, X H N E R N O B Y L (MODULAR), finds Muir experimenting with a drone-based arrangement that, while evolving slowly (very slowly, in fact), also serves to introduce a new point of exploration for this emerging sound designer.
Secret Agent – R.I.P.
It only makes sense that Moncton would be home to a band like Secret Agent. There is, after all, good reason why so many people refer to that city as Punkton. Anyone familiar with Moncton’s musical output over the past several decades can point to a band playing music that aligns with one of punk rock’s countless subgenres. You’ve got your hardcore, your ‘77 era, your horror punk, your pop punk and with Secret Agent, you’ve also got ska punk.
On this four track EP, the members of Secret Agent lay down some seriously clean, incredibly upbeat and well executed songs that follow closely along the path of Voodoo Glow Skulls or Less Than Jake, and sound as good as anything you’d hear on Fat Wreck Chords. But with a title like R.I.P., there’s a good chance this could be all we end up hearing from the group.
Send us your Music!
If you are a New Brunswick artist or group, have new music on the way and would like to be considered for a future edition of Midweek Music Mix, send us the details at gridcitymagazine(at)gmail.com