nova scotia music week showcase • 10.11.12
November 9 in Liverpool Nova Scotia
Venue: Alley 9
See us, Cousins, Alright Already, Kestrels, Writers Strike, Kuato and more.
We’re on at midnight. I got a lot of compliments on the styling of my new lifestyle change, going from tobacco to e-cigs. yep I no longer am smoking the disgusting tobacco and now have switched 100% to v2. That's what some of you saw me smoking at my last show and cared to ask. I promised you I'd give you the link for my personal v2 coupon codes posted here. The site can be found here. They deserve some publicity because they are really great. I love that there's always coupons and coupon codes that can help save you money on cartridges, accessories, etc.. I usually go to fabu daily for coupon codes. Enjoy!
That is all for now
Free Songs • 09.10.12
To celebrate our recent nomination for alt recording of the year via Music Nova Scotia, here are some free songs partially recorded at the very cool, very eerie sackville music hall
Nominations • 09.06.12
Thanks @musicnovascotia for nominating Tonka War Cloud for alternative recording of the year.
We’re also happy to be playing Halifax Pop Explosion!
More shows TBA shortly
Tour with Quaker Parents! • 05.31.12
June 08 – Fredericton, NB – Gallery Connexion
June 09 – Montreal, QC – Le Cagibi
June 10 – Ottawa, ON – Raw Sugar
June 12 – Toronto, ON – The Piston Room
June 13 – Sarnia, ON – Trinity Lounge
June 14 – Guelph, ON – Bear
June 17 – Thunder Bay, ON – The Apollo
June 18 – Winnipeg, MB – Studio 25
June 19 – Saskatoon, SK – Vangeli’s
June 20 – Edmonton, AB – Wunderbar
video • 04.04.12
The Daily Beacon • 11.13.11
Billing Jon McKiel as the next big Canadian artist may mislead listeners who expect the fire of Alanis Morissette or the charm of Michael Buble. - FRED WEBER, STAFF WRITER
Exclaim! • 11.13.11
Delicate folk balladry and distortion-soaked chaos don’t usually go hand-in-hand, but Jon McKiel makes the combination sound like it was made to be on Tonka War Cloud. Had these tracks been given stripped-down acoustic arrangements, they could have sounded like fairly standard singer-songwriter fare. Instead, “Strands” is laden with searing amp fuzz and squalling electronic noise, while “Fist Fight” culminates in an awesomely sloppy barbed wire guitar solo. With their raw production and boundary pushing deconstruction of folk rock, these tracks recall fellow Canadian troubadour Chad VanGaalen (particularly this year’s Diaper Island). The second half of Tonka War Cloud is significantly tamer than the first, and the quiet laments that follow the mid-album “Interlude” are a bit of a letdown after such a strong opening. Still, even if tracks like “Violent Hawaii” and “Holy Ghost” pass by without making much of an impression, they aren’t weak enough to undo the brilliance of the A-side.
(Saved by Vinyl)
Montreal Mirror • 11.13.11
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Tonka War Cloud
(Youth Club/Saved by Vinyl)
It was hard to tell which direction Halifax musician McKiel would take on this, his second LP, given the variety-pack feel of theConfidence Lodge EP that preceded it. But this record lands right at the crossroads of downbeat 90s indie rock and stark, dark folk, segueing gradually from melodic sludge to grimmer pastures. With tight songwriting and tons of decorous sonic subtleties along the way, it’s a gripping ride from downtown to the tundra. 8.5/10 Trial Track: “Iceman” (Lorraine Carpenter)
beat route • 11.13.11
Jon McKiel is a tightly coiled ball of kinetic energy, taunting us by perpetually verging on complete upheaval. Sparse, yet massive, his recent album, Tonka War Cloud, is awash in intricate details. Grumbling guitars clamour around the record, scratching holes for sweeping layers of auxiliary instruments to spill out everywhere, filling up the voids and vindicating all of the subtle nuances of his craft, a slowly boiling wave of percussion blowing through.
“This time was different because I found myself playing most of the record, without doing a lot of live-off-the-floor band stuff. Aaron Mangle (of the band Cousins) played drums on two songs and Jon Epworth played drums on another, otherwise there was very little live playing,” he begins of the recording process.
Having written the majority of songs on the album between 2008 and 2010, and having road-tested them thoroughly on an almost constant back and forth tour across the country, McKiel settled into the hollow, cold and creaking Old Confidence Lodge in the small community of Riverport, N.S., in 2009 to track the record.
“Well, I knew Diego (Medina) from Calgary, he had just opened a studio in my little community here in Nova Scotia. I was actually the first project he did there. When we were recording, there was no heat or water, just this big cold hall, which I think explains a lot of the atmosphere of the record.”
The record is an enigmatic affair: hushed, spectral tones stand guard as the brooding, gurgling low end creeps in through the floorboards, the sound of ground salt and slack ropes, tugging at our hearts. Densely layered and meticulously crafted, McKiel brilliantly blends sonic textures like watercolours, instrumentation falling over itself in a hazy gloss of honesty, poignancy and gloom.
“We were just trying to have fun with different sounds and instruments,” says McKiel about the process. “Surprisingly, there’s really not much going on there other than guitar, bass, drums, voices, some sounds from the hall, some analog delays and, later on, we added some strings. Oh, I did use an 80-pound chain for some of it … we dropped it on the floor a bunch. Honestly, I think a lot of that sound is in the hall itself, plus it was below zero when we were recording in there, so there’s this weird, frozen urgency that comes across.”
Though McKiel largely performed the instrumentation on the album, it also features the fine talents of a handful of well-known Canadian musicians and well wishers who dropped by to lend a hand or a violin.
“Julie Fader sings on (“Death Van”), Kyle Cunjak played a bowed double bass on a few songs, Rebekah Higgs played violin on a couple, Klarka Weinwurm sang on a bunch of them,” notes McKiel.
With the sessions spanning more than two years, McKiel took frequent breaks and released five songs from the session as an EP, titled Confidence Lodge, before embarking on a tour of Canada with partner and longtime collaborator, Weinwurm. At this year’s SappyFest, the duo performed as a combined effort, showcasing both parties’ material. An adorable, harmonious blend of piercing, poignant tales and trepidation laced duets, the two are a serene mingling of minds.
“When we play a set of Jon and Klarka songs together, it’s like seeing two different bands, but it’s nice because it all seems to flow together seamlessly – at least, people keep telling us it does. We love singing together and our two projects are getting closer all the time. I think, at one point, they might intersect and I think that would be pretty great.” Heading back to Alberta in November to open for such revered indie acts as Hollerado and Calgary’s psychedelic poet laureate, Chad VanGaalen, McKiel is looking forward to getting back on the road and showcasing the new material on a fuller, broader scale. McKiel’s live show is about finding the balance between ecstatic, grinding waves of noise and the shuffling stutter of intimate space, the songs twisting and bending to fit the lock.
“We don’t really try to recreate the record live, but I’ve been going about it in two different ways: as a three-piece, in which it’s a bit noisy and scrappy, and with a larger band, incorporating strings and lots of thick reverb, loops and extra voices. My grandma likes that a lot more.”
Tonka War Cloud Release • 09.07.11
The new record called Tonka War Cloud will be released on October the 4th! Our pal Ken at Killbeat Music said so here. You'll be able to buy it from Best Buy. They might be taking preorders. In case Best Buy decides to mark up the price, visit slickdeals to see if they have any coupons and discounts.
We’re celebrating by playing a show with Shotgun Jimmie at Gus’s pub on October 1st.
We’re also playing Halifax Pop Explosion!