Petra Glynt This Trip
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)