Show review: Shoulder Season at Radstorm
Saturday, March 16 with Yuma County, Lachie MacDonald and Prevailing Winds

It might seem unfair to review a band’s very first show—nerves are more likely to get in the way, levels might need tinkering, songs may change entirely by the next set. If this was any other band, sure, this might be the case, but when the band in question is Shoulder Season, there’s clearly no reason whatsoever to sweat it.

Shoulder Season began in a Dartmouth basement, slowly burning over the past year, working on poppy—darkly poppy—Korg-heavy bops about the shittiness of neoliberalism and capitalism, the oppressive, vague perfectionism of the world of “wellness” and more. For their first time out of the previously mentioned basement they delivered a tight, fun, utterly lovely set.

shoulder season
Shoulder Season – Photo by Matt Reid

Made up of Karen Foster, Mel Sturk (Darts, Yuma County), Kristina Parlee (Smaller Hearts) and Erica Butler, any first show jitters (imperceptible) were shaken off quickly with friendly onstage banter and songs that seem ideal for blowing off steam: crashing endings, strong back and forth vocals, and lots of speed. Parlee and Butler’s driving and vital pace, Foster’s pleasantly unusual synth riffs and Sturk’s solos (featuring masterful feedback manipulation) add up to an exciting new group that, frankly, Halifax is lucky to have considering the way we’ve all been behaving.

The band seems on the same page as each other, and the easiness shows through in the songs. Onstage, they said that they didn’t know what type of music they played, and welcomed any descriptions. I have one: fun. See this band, be charmed and inspired.

Contribution by: Stephanie Johns (she/her). Stephanie plays guitar in Not You and bass in Moon and has been writing about music for 20 years. She made two cute people that she spends a lot of time with these days.