OUT OF EARSHOT: FIRST WAVE LINEUP ANNOUNCEMENT

Out of Earshot have announced the first wave of artists, musicians, and writers that will be at their second festival this August (22nd-24th) – including not your boys club!

In this beautiful partnership, we aim to facilitate platforms for under-represented emerging musicians, artists, and writers in spaces that are safe, supportive, and affirming.

Jess Barry, a member of Out of Earshot’s Board of Directors, says:

“Out of Earshot is truly a community-driven celebration of music and art. We are constantly learning and are greatly inspired by the thought and care we see demonstrated by other independent festivals in their programming, their support for emerging artists, and their commitment to diversity and to experimentation. Out of Earshot is a change to make lasting friendships, to experience new perspectives, and to come together to celebrate the waysys in which we express ourselves and support each other.”

Similar to last year, not your boys club will be sharing pre-festival coverage highlighting and centering some of the femme, trans, and gender non-conforming folks that are organizing and performing at the festival.

During the festival, nybc will be present and provide media coverage for headlining touring musicians Prime Junk (MTL), Century Egg (HFX), Juice Girls (HFX), Pure Pressure (TO), Hélène Barbier (MTL), and Dregqueen (MTL), local musicians Worst Lay, Gossamer, Kira Sheppard, Weary, Ilia Nicoll and the Hot Toddies, Greta Warner, writers Violet Drake and Carmella Gray Cosgrove, and artists The Rock Vandal and Isha Watson [+ more !!].

Tickets are available online or at Toslow (183A Duckworth Street, St. John’s, NFLD).

OoE 2019 Poster


Contribution by Nik A Basset

VIDEO PREMIERE: “BRUISE”BY WEARY

Weary’s debut music video for “Bruise”, the first single off their debut album Feeling Things (2017), was produced as part of the Nickel Independent Film Festival Music Video Incubator Project. Under the mentorship of Lian Morrison, frontwoman and first time filmmaker Kate Lahey co-directed the video.

Exploring the connections between personal trauma and resource extraction, healing and land relations, this video archives the messy entanglement of personal and political harm. Relations to land, self and movement are sites of healing as the video takes the viewer for a walk along the rugged terrain of Newfoundland’s treacherous cliffside. “Bruise” reminds us that tenderness can be an act of resistance.

I know that playing music, and navigating the music industry, is something that is still quite new to you, so I am curious about how you also felt as a first time filmmaker. What was this experience like for you? Were there any challenges or barriers that surprised you?

I feel really fortunate to have had a really similar experience. Because this was part of the Nickel Independent Film Festival Music Video Incubator, I worked under the mentorship of Lian Morrison, who is a really smart, easy going filmmaker here in St. John’s. Lian was really encouraging of experimentation, doing things your own way, not needing a bunch of gear to make cool stuff, trying different things and just having fun and finding inspiration in your own vision. From shooting to editing and all the little tricks in between, I feel like I got a really incredible crash course. I think because I’m a lifelong student – I just thrive in learning environments. I love learning from other people, I love seeing folks who are really passionate about and good at their work. I love working with people who are so excited to share that passion and inspiration with others, who don’t hoard their knowledge or let their ego get in the way or uphold exclusivity hierarchies. I’m really grateful to have Lian as that person for me with this video, and I’ve been really grateful to have women like Joanna Barker as my mentor and support in music.

Through knowing you, and all your work, it’s hard for me to imagine that everything isn’t always thoughtful and intentional. Can you share with me your relationship to the colour orange and why it seems to reveal itself in all things Weary?

Orange became a really important colour to me throughout the making of “Feeling Things”. I was navigating grief and loss, but also healing and my sense of belonging to home, Newfoundland. When you spend time on this land, you see orange everywhere: ties signalling property lines, oil rigs and buoys, etc. For me, orange came to demarcate sites of construction, extraction, and sometimes emergency. I felt a huge connection between the emotional wounds of trauma and the wounds this land sustains from colonialism and environmental exploitation/extraction. I felt that orange signalled the weird paradox of trauma feeling both hypervisible and completely invisible.

And while I felt kinship and shared experience with the land in this way, orange also taught me that healing and hurting are really complicated, messy entangled processes. Orange also reminded me of the fishing flies and bobbers I used trouting with my grandfather as a kid, the orange vest my nan wore in a picture of her hunting, or the ties that signal paths and trap lines. So the relationship between me, my memories, land and trauma are also all tied up in healing, family, survival and resilience.

Could you elaborate more on the importance of walking alongside Newfoundlands treacherous cliffside for this video, this song, and your feelings behind writing it?

For the same reasons, it was really important for me to braid together myself, orange and this land in a slow and meditative way. Walking is a really important part of my nan’s life that was passed to my mom and to me. Berry picking along trails is a really special practice for me. Being with the ocean is a really special practice for me. I feel small and connected to the bigger picture of my life, my family and the universe. Feeling small and connected is a comforting, healing way for me. Walking in the wilderness makes me feel grounded and rooted and connected and safe. I wanted the video to feel slow and big and quiet and meditative. I wanted to capture the prayer of walking with your memories, your ancestors and your wounds.

I want to comment on how deep this messy entanglement between personal and political is and how well you illustrate this through lyrics that do not offer any distinction between the two. I’m thinking a lot about healing and resilience, especially with the song title “Bruise”, and how this looks both personally and politically for you. Do you feel like there is a deep entanglement here, too?

Absolutely! I think I like to intentionally sort of just make things for myself that make sense for me and resonate with my experiences. Healing and resilience are the crux of the album — “Bruise” was the first single because I feel like it really speaks to anger and hurt, but also to resilience and survival. For me, both personally and politically, healing and resilience has been really messy and confusing. It’s been non-linear and complicated and about a whole lot more than me. The title of the album is also meant to speak to the abundance of feelings that course through and the paradoxical oscillations of anger and rage, numbness and isolation, joy and resistance, relief and security that might rise and fall. This was also a way of holding and validating all these contradictory moods and reactions for myself and for others. I tried to be empathetic.

In the final moments of the video, you gaze at your audience as you sing the lyrics “you don’t seem to see me”. What is the lasting impact or impression that you are trying to leave?

I think for me this lyric and this shot are again tied into the paradoxical duality of hypervisibility and invisibility of trauma. For me this was a political call, but also a personal act of resistance. Sort of a way to challenge ideas of viewership and access, and to confront the audience with my own power and gaze. There was something important about denying the audience my face throughout the video, about controlling that dynamic and claiming ownership. Keeping things vague and messy, like my connection to orange and land, is a way for me to control what ideas, feelings, memories, and relationships I get to keep sacred and private. It’s also a way to allow others to just feel that affective vibe of a slow walk along the ocean, without projecting all of my own experiences onto it so heavy handedly, I think it lets others’ bring what they need to that process. I like open ended, human lines like “I don’t want to love you anymore”. I think there’s just a lot of room there, I want that space to be an invitation. “You don’t seem to see me” is also a way of saying “I see you”.

Bruise Still 3

Photo by Kate Lahey and Lian Morrison

See Weary live:

April 27th – bloom fest w/ Property @ Thunder & Lightning, Sackville, NB.

April 28th – FLOURISH Festival @ The Capital Complex, Fredericton, NB.

May 1st – w/ Property @ Menz and Mollyz, Halifax, NS.

May 3rd – East Coast Music Awards, Charlottetown, PEI.


Contribution by Nikki A Basset and Kate Lahey

PREMIERE: LO SIENTO’S “BRUJAS”

Sometimes isolation and social withdrawal isn’t conducive to healing from our cumulated hardships. Building up communities that share pain, frustrations, and disappointments is an act of reslience.

The latest release from Lo Siento, Brujas (translation: witches), is a narrative of finding strength and solidarity through femme friendship during times of distress. Based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Lo Siento is Pepa Chan (guitar/vocals), Andrea Mcguire (bass/backing vocals), Allison Graves (drums), and newest member Jake Nicoll (keys/synth).

lo siento 2

Lo Siento: Pepa Chan, Allison Graves, Andrea McGuire
Photo by Knoah Bender

Brujas delivers the same spanish naive punk as their first release, Bingo Bango, but with the addition of pop melodies from Nicoll on keys and synth.

While Brujas delivers a sound that is light, enthusiastic, and cheerful, a deeper look into Chan’s lyrics will reveal that Lo Siento is a very political project that isn’t afraid to talk about all the hard things with all their complexities. Her voice, scrappy yet sweet, sings to us about coping, grieving, and resisting.

Brujas offers consistency. Together, Chan, McGuire, Graves, and Nicoll have developed song-writing that is cohesive and specific to Lo Siento. A standout track, for me, would be Despierta-aahhh, a song about struggling with insomnia (“si me acuesto me desvelo” translation: if I go to bed I wake up). The guitar walk-down that is punctuated by three snare hits really mirrors the way that restlessness can feel.

I think it’s okay to name that Lo Siento is an outlet, and a place of refuge, for when everything you are living is becoming too tough to manage alone.


See Lo Siento live:

March 15th – Brujas release w/ Pillowcount, Black Market Hard-Tack, and Hay Carbon! @ Peter Easton Pub, St. Johns, NFLD.

March 16th – Brujas release @ Fred’s Records, St. John’s, NFLD.

April 13th – Kazoo! Fest, Guelph, ON.

April 15th – w/ Property @ Burdock, Toronto, ON.

April 17th – w/ Property @ TBD, Kitchener, ON.

April 19th – w/ Property @ Black Squirrel Books, Ottawa, ON.

April 20th – Presented by Out of Earshot w/ Property @ La Plante, Montreal, QC.


Contribution by: Nikki A Basset

ALBUM REVIEW: “ABSENTEE” BY MARY DEAR

Mary Dear’s Absentee is 10 tracks packed with diaphanous harmonies floating over mellow and severely locked in grooves. The band delivers complex lyrics that seem to touch on themes of being fed the fuck up, dreamy narratives and (sometimes painful) realizations.

Recorded in St. John’s in January 2017 with Jake Nicoll, keyboardist and vocalist Esmée Gilbert and guitarist and vocalist Leslie Amminson had collected most of the 10 tracks for Absentee over a few years from demos and RPM Challenge projects. Throughout their 6+ year career, the band grew from a two-piece to a five-piece band (Sarah Harris on bass, Peter Lannon on guitar and Jack Etch on drums), Gilbert says that many of the tracks hadn’t been backed by a full band before. You’d be hard pressed to guess that if you weren’t familiar with the band’s history as the album sounds very cohesive and very clean.

Spare instrumentalism (I say spare but it leads up to a really bomb guitar solo that really rips the hell out of er so don’t like crank it first thing) on “Nothing” showcases almost Baroque-ish harmonies. “Please Don’t Lie To Me” absolutely crushes some poor dork with a “simple mind” (ow) but like in the sweetest sounding way possible? Like you’d obviously perish if this song was about you but you’d also have to hand it to them because it also owns. “Strange Sort of Joy” has some real strong Plumtree vibes, noted and appreciated. And what a goddamned BOP is “Backbiting”—the bass bumps all to hell and back, just try and stop it. You can’t, so don’t try.

mrdr

Photo by: Heather Nolan

Amminson and Gilbert’s vocal skills alone could carry Absentee, but thoughtful lyrics and dynamic musicianship make the album super lovely.


Contribution by: Stephanie Johns (she/her) 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.

ALBUM REVIEW: “MERCURY RETROGRADE” BY YEE GRLZ

This August was busy for yee grlz as they released their EP mercury retrograde right before playing Out of Earshot and going on tour. A quick google search tells me that mercury will be in retrograde again on November 17th – a time when intuitions are high, coincidences are likely, and reflection is encouraged.

Deviating from their typical sound, s.a.d. starts the EP at a slower pace with more pronounced vocals. Vocalist Catherine Roberge sounds pissed off, sad, and aloof at the same time. The track ends with the lyrics, “night falls and light falls and so does everything”, making you feel like you won’t be able to pick yourself back up from sadness… until you switch to the next song thrift store treasure. I could be wrong but I think thrift store treasure is a love-lost song about a troll doll, which couldn’t be more on brand for yee grlz. I mean, “light pink hair! big brown eyes!” sound like admiration lyrics to me. The third song troll addresses an internet troll. Troll is my favorite track because the drums absolutely command the song. From the build up in the intro to the cymbals in the outro, drummer Jess Barry masters punk time (signatures) – the only punk time I don’t want abolished. The lyrics “you think you’re the authority / you think you are the shit / you make me wanna cry / you make me wanna quit” kind of gives you the idea that yee grlz feel defeated by this troll despite calling them out. However, the final track, authority, is the powerful response to troll. Authority makes no apologies – the killer riffs between sisters Becky Gibson (guitar) and Jess Gibson (bass) feel symbiotic. Authority finishes the way all good punk songs do – with a sick breakdown and one final riff that says “I don’t fucking care!”.

yee grlz

Photo by Isobel McKenna

Contribution by: Stephanie Muise (“smuise”)