EP Review :: Prairie :: Prairie (demos)

Band members sit in a field of praire grass staring either into the distance or with eyes closed in either early spring or late fall with a smattering of snow on the ground.

By Mykhailo Vil’yamson

It’s not often that one is privileged to hear demo recordings as a band’s first release, as so much of the “music industry” remains built on making public only the most curated versions of an artist’s material. But there’s something alluring about being able to hear the earliest incarnation of a group – before the stratification, calcifying and polishing of fully-produced albums. It’s reminiscent of bygone days when musician friends would share cassettes with each other of the latest songs they wrote, asking: “What do you think of this?” As for  this collection, I’d say: “Sounds bloody brilliant! Can’t wait to hear what’s next.”

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Album Review :: Vivat Virtute :: Hold Music and June First

"June First" stitched into a knit wall hanging

by maggie astrid clark

Unless you’re really dialed into the local music scene (although, given that you are currently reading Stylus Magazine, this might be a fair assumption!), it would have been easy to miss a pair of records released last year by Vivat Virtute. You might not know the name, but you definitely know its members – Winnipeg indie rock mainstays Christine Fellows and J.S. Fellows. 

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Album Review :: Ghost Woman :: Hindsight is 50/50

Ghost Woman Hindsight is 50/50 album cover. Read felt covered with angel and baby jesus porcelain decorations

by Mykhailo Vil’yamson

If it were possible to audio-capture the coldest brooding glare, the album Hindsight is 50/50 is what it would sound like. Thick with weighty bass notes, menacingly minor overtones, and steeped in echoey resonance, this is the third full-length project by Albertan musician Evan Uschenko in less than two years. However, the latest manifestation of Ghost Woman is no longer a solo undertaking, as Belgian drummer Ille van Dessel has joined him. As shared at the end of last year via Dine Alone Records, Uschenko conveyed that this project “finally captures the true nature of the band” – and its tracks. Whereas the past few releases sound like a foray into 1970s reminiscence, Hindsight is 50/50 forges ahead into new sonic territory.

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Album Review :: Paige Drobot :: The Psychics Album

album cover of Paige Drobot older woman in a yellow checker dress stands on the side of a country road or highway gesturing at a large metal eyeball looking thing

by Mykhailo Vil’yamson

The first full-length album by Paige Drobot is a veritable time machine, but not only because of its largely 70s-inspired aesthetic. She definitely took her time on this one, as all of the songs on the project first came into existence many years ago with her band, The Psychics. In fact, all of the songs on The Psychics–except for “Each Another’s Creation”–can be found on the 2016 release Live at the Graffiti Gallery, which was captured on the fourth anniversary of the original band’s formation, bringing us all the way back to 2012.

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Album Review :: Now and Again :: VVonder

Wonder stylised as VVonder, Now and again album cover psychedelic wires surrounded by pictures of parts of a person.

By Niqui Lampa

VVonder is a rock band born out of a noteworthy musical tie in Canada. A veritable mixture of the best local talent the heart of Winnipeg has to offer, this band consistently guarantees and lives up to soulful and highly entertaining rock music that resembles the early ’70s and late ’60s. VVoner takes the listeners on an existential journey throughout their new album Now And Again.

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Album Review :: Death Cassette :: Get Rid of It

Death Cassette album cover - man laughing while burning money

by Mykhailo Vil’yamson

When a band releases their debut album in March of 2020, it’s got to have felt like a shoulder thrown right into the asphalt. However, the members of Death Cassette are back on their feet with the follow-up EP Get Rid of It, and it’s hard-hitting. All four members are the same since their formation back in 2018, led by frontperson Amanda Sousa, Lindsey Hawkes on guitar, Chuck Barchuk on bass, and Brock Macpherson on drums. As for the audio master of this project, it’s none other than John Paul Peters from Private Ear Recording (who – name drop — has recorded and produced for other bands such as Cancer Bats, Propagandhi, and Yes We Mystic).

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Album Review :: Still Depths :: Best Plan For Your Life

by Gabriel Fars

Still Depths has a very casual grunge sound to their music. If you’re a fan of Nirvana, or just 90s rock in general, I’d highly recommend this album. There’s a sort of half-angry, half-apathetic theme to the songs. Best Plan For Your Life will give you the existential crisis that you need and make you reassess your life plan. 

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