I first heard Andrea Burgoyne at the Whitewater Wednesday Jam about two and a half years ago. Since that time, I’ve had the privilege of watching her develop her indie folk style, trying out new songs and adding them to her repertoire.
This effort has culminated in her first solo EP as brigs, One Step, Two Steps.
These songs were mostly written in response to long, dark, cold winter nights. They’re very emotional, but with light, catchy lyrics.
It’s Hard to Pump Blood (When it’s Cold Outside) is a view of a relationship through an extended, anatomical metaphor.
“It’s as if someone took out my eyeballs and tinkered with them, making it that they could only cry but not see straight.”
It’s these unexpectedly specific details that raises this emo-ish doomed relationship song to something outstanding.
While the songs — with the exception of All Signs Point to No — don’t have traditional, radio-friendly hooks and choruses, they succeed without such gimmicks.
Her song, The Night Wins (a shout out to The Weakerthans’ Night Windows?) captures its listener quickly, with Burgoyne’s business-like evaluation of a date:
“You’re insignificant in the grand scheme of our lives, an acquaintance of convenience at best.”
While brigs is a solo effort, with Burgoyne writing all of the songs and providing guitar and vocals, the recording is a collaboration with producer and former Yukoner Jordy Walker. In addition to recording and production, Walker added the other instruments.
His presence, familiar to those who remember Crash the Car and Father/Daughter, can be heard on Fists and Feet with the opening distorted guitar chord and jerky rhythm track that underlies Burgoyne’s vocal.
But Walker’s production and instrumentation actually support the songs, providing a solid base for her light and shifting melodies.
For her longtime followers, this EP shows what Burgoyne has been developing toward.
For new listeners, it’s something unlike anything the Yukon has produced so far.
Outstanding track: The Night Wins
Sanktuary, Black Magic Brew
Sanktuary is a Yukon heavy-metal quartet, currently on a one-way tour to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in support of its new EP, Black Magic Brew.
The tour ran into a major setback when all of its equipment was stolen from its van, leaving the members to scramble to find instruments to play their booked gigs. When they get to Halifax, they’ll also be looking for a new guitarist and drummer, as two of their members will be leaving the band.
Black Magic Brew, their second EP, features four songs of pure metal mayhem. From the opening doom overture of Beasts of Lore, almost quoting Black Sabbath or AC/DC, the band quickly throws itself into a full-on jam, punctuated by Alan Binger’s vocals.
But metal’s not about the vocals. While Binger’s singing is evil on Waking the Dead, it’s the Cole Hume’s driving bass and Ander Grasholm’s lightning fast drum that carry the songs.
Glen Emond and Binger’s guitars fill out the tracks with some fine solos, but it’s the low end that makes your adrenaline rush.
To really appreciate it, turn it up loud.
Outstanding Track: Waking the Dead