This week we look at the latest releases from singer songwriter Quinn Bonnell, the electro-dance project Elephant Skeletons and the one-person metal orchestra Noppslyde.
Quinn Bonnell – Wonder
I’ve been waiting for this album to arrive for quite a while. Quinn Bonnell is a gifted songwriter who has spent the last few years dialing in his writing and his delivery, beginning with his 2017 EP, The Night. His new release, Wonder, is an eight track album full of poetic storytelling, backed by polished arrangements that allow the band as much a voice as Bonnell’s lyrics afford him. It’s a full package deal. While he handles all the songwriting on Wonder, Bonnell welcomes contributions from guitarist Keegan Dobbelstyn, bassists Dylan Ward and Dane Paul, and drummers James Rooney and Dylan Somerville who each help to give this release a confidence rarely displayed on a debut full-length.
The songs that make up this record are generally short and tight. There is not a lot of filler or self-indulgence on these tracks. The guitar solos are particularly effective in their reservedness, serving each track with just the right amount of colour and instrumental texture helping to make Wonder a truly beautiful album and a stunning debut!
Elephant Skeletons – LAMP of 3XODUS
Elephant Skeletons continue to develop their cross cultural musical mashups on LAMP of 3XODUS, the latest four track EP from this Saint John-based electro dance project. Guided by the steady rhythm that exists at the centre of most electronic dance music, the tracks on this latest EP draw influence from Eastern European and Moroccan traditions with occasional hints towards Indian classical music. This EP is full of dark tones and scales that happily stand in contrast to the sounds of popular music, yet fit perfectly within the world Elephant Skeletons have created.
Noppslyde – Just World
Noppslyde is a one-man instrumental, progressive metal project by Fredericton musician Jake Hollis. His debut release, Just World, is a highly adventurous and far reaching deep-dive into a genre that is no longer boxed in by stereotypes and dated references. The album’s six tracks incorporate just about every trick in the book – shifting timing, keys, rhythm and sonic textures – while all the while chasing a frantic series of guitar leads and familiar palm-muted chugga-luggs – two musts for any metal release. I’d love to see an orchestra of massive drum kits, keys, and multiple bassist and guitarists bring compositions like these to life. Maybe we could get Symphony New Brunswick on board? That would be a real mind-melter.
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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