The last time Exclaim! caught up with Petra Glynt was at a set in May of 2015, and quite a lot has changed since then. During her performance at House of Targ on Friday night (February 3), Petra Glynt, otherwise known as Alexandra Mackenzie, brought the audience up to speed on the new music she's been writing, and what we have to look forward to from her.
Mackenzie has relocated from Toronto to Montreal, where she's been holed up in her studio working on her follow-up to 2013's Of This Land. Her trademark floor tom is now augmented with some digital drum pads for extra effect, and it looks like her sampler setup has doubled in size. The result finds Mackenzie sounding bigger and more imposing than ever before.
Her earlier lo-fi aesthetic embellished a kind of blown-out noisy quality, but while that noise has subsided somewhat, in its place Mackenzie has created these dense, intricate soundscapes. They're living things, sounding a bit like industrial music written by the Ents from The Lord of The Rings — organic and planet-centred, rather than cold and nihilistic.
Though the tom and percussion in general still inform much of the project's sound, performatively, Mackenzie was unafraid of moving out from behind the tom for some of the poppier moments of her set, making full use of the stage and having more opportunity to engage with the crowd as they revelled in her new work and incredible voice.