Really Well, the new record from Halifax band Mauno, is an expansive, idiosyncratic study in the creases in intimacy, authenticity, and labor, and the ways that music—guitars, bass, drums, synths and vocals—can explore and express them. Written by vocalist/bassist Eliza Niemi, vocalist/guitarist Nick Everett, guitarist Scott Boudreau and drummer Adam White and recorded at Chad VanGaalen’s Calgary studio, the record collapses the personal and the professional within critiques of capitalism and creative labour. Musically, too, it is non-linear, jutting from the twisted, plucky indie-skiffle of the opener “Really, Really” to the charged post-punk march of “Half It”, to the spring-reverb-tweaked riffing of “Reeling II”, to the dreamy, sidestepping guitar pop of “Expectations”, to the gorgeous, macabre slow-jam of “Vampire”.
Lyrically, the record deals with Mauno’s preoccupations with the nature of creative labor, relationships, and the self under capitalism. They note that their critiques are filtered through a lens of the absurd, turning them playful. “There’s something about humour and laughter that is is very subversive and deeper than I think a lot of people realize”, Niemi says. “With these songs, I was trying to sort of dance on the line”. “There’s a double meaning to everything”, adds Everett. “You have to leave space for people to think. Where is the place for the listener if they’re not going to contribute their own thoughts, or their own interpretations?”
Keturah Johnson is an artist who traverses the deep caverns of her mind through music. Since 2009, Keturah has made a name for herself in Ottawa making music that resonates with audiences of varied tastes.
As front-woman of psych-rockers Heavy Medicine Band, Keturah puts listeners in a trance as her voice weaves between and soars above the bands’ krauty grooves and stoned guitar riffs.
Keturah’s voice is as electrifying in the studio as it is live—the sheer impact of her songwriting and abilities cannot be understated as she entrances listeners with her stage presence, profound lyricism, and unforgettable vocals that command unwavering attention until the final note.
Morgan O’Leary’s songwriting explores themes across the entire spectrum of the meaningful to the mundane, each track standing as a short, concise portrait of the peculiar thoughts and stories that define our lives. Her narrative seems to simultaneously ask “what does it all mean?” and answer with a definitive “it doesn’t matter, let’s get on with it.”