“Success is a gift, I hope you enjoy your present” – B-Flat
Earlier this year a group of writers from Manitoba’s most prominent newspaper compiled a list of the best songs to ever come out of this city and province. Of the 150 songs those writers chose, only five were rap songs. Winnipeg hip-hop deserves more than just 3% of a list. We deserve our own fucking list: The Top 100 Winnipeg Hip-Hop Songs, according to myself alone.
Collaged together with undying bop power, Edmonton based Wares’ album Survival, has already garnered national praise. One of 40 albums nominated for the Polaris Music Prize Longlist, the ten song album is lyrically devastating and compositionally stirring.
With Nowhere No One Knows Where to Find You, Slow Spirit continues to push traditional rock boundaries. The band’s utilization of an electronic sound gives depth to the production, all while keeping it refreshing and compelling. Punchy drums anchor most of the songs, which see jazz-like instrumentation built on top. The effervescence of Natalie Bohrn’s rich alto vocals bounces around, blessing the chaotic instrumentation.
Music can have different meanings to different people. It can be the soundtrack to a memorable moment, a form of displaying feelings that are kept within, and the opportunity to share thoughts that must be heard and advocated for in this world. To local artist, Osani Balkaran (sometimes known as The O.B.) creating music was a systematic process that resulted in healing, transformation, and an unimaginable freedom. Stylus Magazine had the chance to speak with him about his evolving career, the meaning behind his authentic sound, and catch a glimpse of his creative progression.
Over the course of their career Tough Age has been refining and evolving a style of jangly indie pop with a fuzzy, lighthearted punk edge. Originally planned for release earlier in the year but postponed due to the state of the world, Tough Age’s newest album, Which Way Am I?, finds the band in tried and tested form, with some added twists.
A few months ago, we interviewed Winnipeg artist Rayannah about her experience in isolation. We got to catch up with Rayannah again after she returned to the stage at the West End Cultural Centre for their ‘Bring Your Own Mic’ concert series. The series is ticketed partially for in-person experiences and for online experiences, a method that supports artists in a great new way.
“There could never be justice on stolen land” – KRS One
I immediately thought of that scene from “Network.” “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!” It feels like the whole world is there right now. As it should be. But there was another, less quoted, line from that same monologue which stood out, “I’m a human being, goddammit, my life has value!”
Woman / Everything, the latest release from local musician Paige Drobot, is everything that your summer playlist needs. Drobot takes rock and roll and turns it on its head, offering a completely unique perspective on the genre with tidbits of jazz peppered throughout her work. Much like its album artwork, Woman / Everything feels and sounds ethereal, taking you to a distant place and working its way into your mind where it stays for hours after listening to it.
Written and released during quarantine, this digital album available on Bandcamp is an outstanding example of how humans process feelings and experiences through creativity. birdsacrosswater’s music here is decidedly lo-fi and sun baked. This EP is the direct result of the covid-19 pandemic and is perfect for staying indoors for long periods of time, becoming anxious and/or infuriated by the news, finding solace in watching dust float around a room, and that subtle feeling of impending doom. These sentiments are all barely addressed but can be felt in the songs of Dirty Omen.
From rocking the party as a DJ and creating diverse beats, Zuki has played and created unique styles and dispensed groove for several years now. From adolescence to young adult Zuki travelled the globe finally settling in Winnipeg at the age of 20. Through these travels he was able to experience the world for what it is, and never fought it, just embraced it.