“Sequel” by Gang Signs

Vancouver’s Gang Signs capture that high post-punk energy but infuse it with a visceral feel that is all so today.

From ‘AUDIO: An Experimental Noise Compilation’ (Excellent Jacket, Vancouver)

“Arctic Hallows” by PIQSIQ

Sisters Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Ayalik return as PIQSIQ.

“Arctic Hallows” is an intriguing journey, with its synth backing and ethereal (although not always heavenly) vocals. The odd twist is that the song seems to moving backwards and forwards at the same time.

Video Premiere: “Spell” by Hermitess

The animated “chalk” drawings in the video are indeed spell-binding. Created by Jennifer Crighton herself (aka Calgary’s Hermitess).

“Spell was created during the lockdown. I had originally planned to make a live action dance video for this tune, but given how things went this year I had to change my plans a bit. I asked  friends to send me videos of them dancing, and then I created this animation to conjur the wished-for group dance party that could not have physically happened at the time.”

Interview with Kim Glennie (of Mi’ens)

Irregular Dreams had the pleasure of speaking with Kim Glennie, who along with drummer Evan Heggen, form the band Mi’ens.

Is there a story behind the band name?

Mi’ens is actually one of my nicknames because I usually wear mittens. I drive scooters and the electrical is never working for the turn signals, so I have to signal with my mittens. Also, we are a two-piece, like a pair of mittens. It’s the first time I’ve written my own music, where I haven’t been in a  band with other people writing melodic stuff. In French “la mienne” is mine. Then there’s the many moods you can have with music, and “mien” means demeanour or mood. So there’s a bunch of meanings, but it’s just fun to have a name that people go “how do you say that?” It’s a point of interest. 

With a two-member band is there a special dynamic you need between you?

Yes. With a two-piece there’s nowhere to hide.  You both have to come into it with some ideas. If you reduce the number of elements then those element must be more defined and interesting. We both like working with polyrhythms and polymetres, things that go in-phase, out-of-phase. Sometimes I’ll be playing one time signature and Evan will be playing a different time signature. Sometimes we both play with the looped time signature, and sometimes we branch off from that. Because there are just two  of us there is more room to experiment. 

How did you two get together?

I moved to Vancouver in ’99. I had lived in Montreal and went to school in Montreal. When I moved here I was in a couple of projects, but I really wanted to do my own project. I was working on layering loops, coming up with ideas. So I just put an ad out there for a drummer. I mentioned I liked Don Caballero, Fugazi, Battles, Slint. Evan answered the ad and we just started jamming together. He’s a very technical and talented drummer, so we came up with a lot of ideas together. We recorded our first demo and kind of kept going. 

Tell us about your new album, ‘Future Child’.

It’s a thematic record because it’s almost like a sci-fi novel. The cover [picture] is based on a ‘70s cover of Dune I saw and I thought I want make something like that for my next album cover. We’re still finding ourselves in a little bit of a dystopia right now. “French Disko” and “Future Child” start off and it’s hectic, it’s energetic. There’s a little bit of anxiety there. It’s like someone going out into the city and they’re in their world. They’re just trying to get through their day, but then these things are coming up. All of a sudden we realize that there are all kinds of stuff that going on that we need to attend to, whether it’s the environment or the pandemic or whatever. So then it gets into to “Charge Dodger” and “Rift Valley” and things get heavier and weirder. On this journey, the character, maybe the listener, is trying to resolve things. Then there’s escapism on “Nu11 Set” and ‘Ice Cream Ponies”, and then with “Mondlandung” the characters actually blast off for another world. So, instead of handling what’s going on on Earth they are leaving this dystopia to find a new utopia.

You seem to like working with discordance.

That’s my “go to”. When something is discordant and it resolves itself sweetly there is more catharsis. There’s this contrast and you really want the resolution, and when you get it it’s….  I kinda feel that art owes you that catharsis. I definitely don’t do music for money, I do it because I think it’s so meaningful. When you think about what people have done during the pandemic, what has made them feel better, it’s usually music or film or art or reading. We completely owe it to ourselves to pursue those things.