Published Oct 25, 2017On new album This Trip, experimental pop artist Alexandra Mackenzie, aka Petra Glynt, is honest about her intentions. The album's cover, drawn by Mackenzie herself, is a dazzling, multi-colour harbinger of the news: "R.I.P. Patriarchy," a tombstone reads. But "Rest in Peace" is a mere formality, and when first track "Propaganda" hits, it is clear that the plan is to dance on the grave.
"I am propaganda / do it like the sound of / a modern day enchanter / or a military commander," she sings over a haunting backtrack, layered with her own voice and a violent drum track. Mackenzie's pounding percussion has always been a signature of her sound throughout her musical career (see: "Caterpillar Massacre" by Romo Roto, get: blown away); they're part of the reason her live shows are consistently so sparkly and energetic. As an artist, she's compelling on every level: visually, politically and viscerally. Her work straddles the borders of art-pop and punk, and her beautiful and skilled vibrato is the cherry on top.
Highlight "The Cold" demonstrates Glynt's versatility. Beginning with chanting vocal loops, the song has a meditative quality that builds as the drums circulate, gain and thereby deflate the tension of the lyrics. "Be quiet my heart / in search of home / no matter where I land / I still face the cold" becomes a mantra as Glynt reflects on finding a space of one's own — artistically, emotionally and spatially — over pounding toms. This one will induce goosebumps on every play.
This Trip meets at a satisfying intersection of sound and politics. The cover's pick-up trucks dumping Greek columns of the Ionic Order and colonial statues reiterate the message of a movement from tradition; Petra Glynt is among the best of the Canadian vanguard. (Vibe Over Method)