Published Mar 08, 2017Midway through Memorial Ten Count, Jon Mckiel loathingly refers to himself as a man "with only one vision." While certainly humble, this self-description is antithetical to the sounds presented on the record; in the span of 34 minutes, Mckiel and his band expertly weave together styles including garage rock, alt rock, folk and psychedelic, proving Mckiel's vision is far from narrow.
The latest from the Nova Scotia-born songwriter is a refined and matured version of his established garage-folk sound. Less reliant on distortion and speedy tempo than on previous releases, Memorial Ten Count has confidence and a strong identity. The songs share a rebellious spirit, though each one remains unique thanks to its subject matter: "Impossible GIF" examines individuality in the digital age with a sceptical eye, while penultimate track "Turf War" is Michael Jackson's "Thriller" levels of creepy, courtesy of Mckiel's eerie laugh replacing a traditional chorus. All the while, solid percussion and complementary guitars work in tandem to provide a necessary dose of punchiness to the project.
If Mckiel's "only one vision" was to produce a memorable folk record with dynamic musical and narrative range, then his self-diagnosed tunnel vision is dead-on. Marrying beautiful poetic lyricism with arrangements that feel new to folk music, Memorial Ten Count is a stunning aural portrait of Eastern Canada that should not go unnoticed. (You’ve Changed Records / Headless Owl Records)