VIDEO PREMIERE: “DON’T GET MY HAIR WET” BY VENEER

Veneer (WPG) is the vulnerable pop project of friends Talula Schlegel (guitar, saxophone, vocals), Sam Sarty (bass, casio, trombone, vocals), and Claire Bones (drums, vocals).

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Photo by Chelsea Neufeld

Talula and Sam have been playing, making, and performing music together over the last decade – even posting covers on YouTube that they filmed in their neighbourhood bushes. When they met Claire, their friendship and musical partnership became a triad, and in the summer of 2017, Veneer was formed.

I can attest that their love, caring, and reciprocating friendship translates into their live performance. In bearing witness to their set, you are offered a window into the ways they support and prop each other up to experiment, play, and explore: a truly magical experience.

Since their formation, they have been busy gaining attention and winning over the hearts of anyone who has a chance to see and hear them. In the last year, their first single, Unsure, was premiered by Stylus Magazine, they toured Western Canada, and did a live set at CJSW in Calgary.

Today, I am honoured to present Veneer’s first music video for Don’t Get My Hair Wet created by Allegra Chiarella (director) and Jesse de Rocquigny (cinematography).

The video perfectly compliments the audio as both starting points are tender, slow, and unassuming. When it builds musically in volume and intensity, it builds visually through the use of choreography, colour, and sparkle.

Don’t Get My Hair Wet is about consent – a topic that Veneer takes seriously, but doesn’t hold to one rigid standard:

“we wanted to write a song that reinforced the necessity of consent being taken seriously in any way it’s presented and which challenges and eliminates any notion of how consent is “supposed to be” delivered”.

Their intent through this song, and video, is to breach the topic of consent in a way that is accessible and to acknowledge that consent isn’t always given explicitly or sternly – however you assert your boundaries is valid and should be respected.

The opening of the song is reflexive and serious as you can see in their outfits, their expressions, and their actions, but playfulness quickly starts to build. They consistently introduce more colour and choreography until the canon (“even if you wanted to / please don’t get my hair wet”) which leads you to a staircase where they, now sparkly, are urgently climbing to get to a rooftop in downtown Winnipeg.

On this rooftop, they are dancing completely free and safe in their own bodies. When the song drops, you are left with their shadows playing against the building behind them – a closing as tender as its opening.

Veneer is a band worth watching – they might even be releasing their first EP in early 2019 😉


Contribution by: Nikki A Basset

PREMIERE: JUICE GIRLS

While working at a juice bar together in Halifax, Kirsten Todd (guitar/vocals) and Michelle Moraitis (lead vocals/harmonica) bonded over their love for shoegaze, the diy-ness of the riot grrrl movement, and their lived experiences of misogyny in their music community. At first, singing out their frustrations while chopping fruit was just their emotional outlet, but this inevitably planted the seed for the all-femme band, Juice Girls.

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Michelle Moraitis, Kirsten Todd, Kelsey Crewson, Lauren Randles, Robin Fraser
Photo by Scott Randles

They rejected gate-keeping in their music community and encouraged each other to learn, create, and take up space. After playing as a two-piece for a while, they later invited femmes, Lauren Randles (keyboard), Kelsey Crewson (bass), and Robin Fraser (drums), who shared their frustrations to nurture and water this baby seedling with them.

Their first full length album, Juice Girls, is a shoe-gazy, slacker-pop, dreamscape. Each song creates a sort of uncertainty with it’s direction through the way they play with tempo, dynamics, space, and emotion. Like the tides, the drum parts pull you in and push you back. This album lulls you – it can pass you by, blurry and unaware. The jangly guitar, harmonica melodies, and delicate vocals offer listeners the opportunity to be introspective, yet it would be a shame to miss what they are saying.

Michelle and Kirsten’s songwriting is poetic and tender while playful and empowering – the imagery they create is both vague and dream-like while vivid and relatable. In ghoul gal, fish eye, and my baby, you’re offered stories about cute, maybe frightening, and potentially heroic creatures. milk me tall and castor soap are love songs for femmes while grapefruit is about disappointing boy-crushes. blueberry, watermelon, and when she comes offer insight into appreciating the duality of things, anxiety, and pivotal spaces that can be both difficult and exciting. They use gentle, affirming, and welcoming language in their songwriting to describe these mundane, idealistic, and even magical themes.

Juice Girls is a product of sweetness, femme resilience, and ripened friendship. While their tenderness is their greatest strength, they aren’t waiting for an invite into spaces dominated by men – they are taking up the space that they need.


Contribution by: Nikki A Basset

PREMIERE: BBQT’s “ALL FOR SHOW”

Someone once admitted to me that they identify as an intersectional feminist in their tinder profile just to get more dates; an acute example of a bad dude who’s using feminist language but is all for show (swipe left).

BBQT’s new EP, ALL FOR SHOW, is a sweet and salty treat about bad dates and being disappointed by a crush. These high-tempo minute-long tracks will satisfy all your garage-pop cravings (swipe right).

These BB CUTIES, now based in Montreal, met at a BBQ (well, of course) and quickly became great pals and supportive bandmates; each of them contributing some of their own spicy charm to the songwriting process. If you had the pleasure of looking deep into their online message threads, you would find lyrical content that has creeped into every BBQT song.

Despite only writing music for three years, Amery (vocals/guitar) delivers six well-crafted pop songs with silly, but relatable, lyrics. Allison (drums), in distinct BBQT fashion, keeps you swaying with her double snare hits across the entire EP. Jack (guitar/backup vocals) is responsible for most of the sun-kissed lead guitar that gives ALL FOR SHOW its power-pop inspired sound. And finally, Mike (bass/backup vocals), brings much more than just his sweet boyish demeanor; his driving bass lines bring each punchy track to the next.

Forget your crush and let ALL FOR SHOW be the summer soundtrack to your sunny afternoons drinking radlers in the park with all your best pals.

Fav track: FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL. In thirty seconds you are blasted with the lyric that named the EP, noodley back-and-forth lead guitar, and a solo walk-down bass line that is punctuated by an effective single cymbal hit.

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BBQT’s: Allison Graves, Mike McDonald, Amery Sandford, Jack Bielli
Photo by: Tricia Robinson

Catch BBQT on their ALL FOR SHOW June 2018 Tour:

June 13th – with Property and Fog Lake @ Brasserie Beaubien, Montreal, QC

June 15th – w/ Dusk, Tough Age, and Peach Kelli Pop, @ The Clocktower Parking Lot Ottawa Explosion Music Festival, Ottawa, ON

June 16th – w/ Rareflower, Mountain Laurel, and Goodbye Stephanie @ King Edward Hall (All Ages Show) presented by Sweaty Palms, Edmonton, AB

June 17th – w/ Vi’s Guys (Canmore) @ The Canmore Legion, Canmore, AB

June 20th – w/ Dark Time, Le Plaisir, and Michael Rault @ Ship and Anchor, Calgary, AB

June 21st – w/ SBDC, BIRDO, and The Allovers @ The Palomino, Calgary, AB


STAFF CONTRIBUTION: Nikki A. Basset