GATHERINGS - An International Women's Day Mixtape
We have a little springtime offering for you! Over the years we have been lucky to have met some pretty incredible musicians both here at home and in our travels, so thought it might be a cool idea to try and get some of these beings to donate a track to release in a fundraising compilation. Some of these tracks have been written especially for this, some are tracks off upcoming or recent releases, some are never-before-seen versions of songs already released, and some are works in progress. It's been a heartwarming few weeks to see them all fill our inbox and we're so excited to share with you. We've chosen for all the proceeds of this compilation to go to Pads4Girls, a Vancouver-based charity started by Lunapads...here's a little bit about them:
Pads4Girls seeks to address an often-overlooked problem that hundreds of millions of girls and women in developing nations face: missing school or work for several days every month because they lack adequate means to manage their periods.
The long-term effect of these missed days is devastating, resulting in earlier school dropout, teenage marriage and pregnancy, increased maternal mortality and reduced earning capacity. Providing girls with sustainable menstrual supplies is a simple yet highly effective way to give them a chance for a better future. Research is increasingly showing that educating girls is the most effective strategy for alleviating many development issues, including violence, disease, poverty, famine and malnutrition, not to mention infant and maternal health.
Since its inception, in partnership with dozens of groups, individuals and NGOs, Lunapads has provided over 2,000 girls and women in 15 nations with thousands of menstrual pads or underwear, giving them an immediate, essential and sustainable means to remain in school or at work.
Read about our friends and learn more about their music! Click HERE to listen along to the compilation!
Vancouver Island raised "swoon rock" artist, Alexandria Maillot, is carving her name in to the Canadian music landscape with the help of her debut full-length, Time, released on June 10 2016. At 25 years, Alexandria Maillot's gritted, inflective vocals and lyrical narratives have often drawn her comparisons to music heavyweights such as Feist, Loretta Lynn and Alabama Shake's Brittany Howard, and “Time” has proven to be a body of work that has merited national radio attention and widespread critical acclaim amongst industry peers and music lovers alike. "Make It Out" is an empathic anthem to the artists stuck in creative purgatory.
Bre McDaniel is a singer/songwriter and visual artist that loves to find how her different communities and disciplines can inspire something fresh in each other. She was born in Vancouver, BC and has been touring Western Canada in support of Light Pollution -- her most recent EP that has "an ethereal but intimate dream-folk sound," (Georgia Straight).
Spark is a darker track on the EP, about experiencing reoccurring grief that comes in waves. A friend once remarked that losing a loved one is like an entire library burning down; the loss is hard to describe and with it goes previously tidy descriptions.
"Thin Skin" is a triumphant synthpop track that celebrates the confidence of being sensitive, of not letting the little things get to you but rather get through to you. Written, recorded, mixed, and mastered all by Caitlin Cook and within her bedroom in Brooklyn, "Thin Skin" explores and embraces the strength in shedding your armor. "Thin Skin" is next installment of the Grand Pacific Series, her personal challenge to release a new single each month of 2018.
This song came from a 5-min songwriting exercise I did and it was one where I just thought, I'm going to write something really un-pretty, and what I think, would be kind of intimidating to perform because it was quite personal... But for an exercise I could write about struggling to rise to my independence and undertaking a tougher journey to be stronger and my own person.
Being an artist and a woman, I feel present different challenges and gains. For one, and it's something I think about, is how I feel there's this internal countdown where if I want to pursue a musical career I ought to do it ASAP because I'm not getting younger and I have to try to work towards having a stable income and think about family, etc etc. I think about my image and age often too. But I also think it's an enriching experience, to be a woman lately you really still need to fight harder to be heard and taken seriously and that kind of necessity brings out strength and compassion and flexibility.
“Here You Are Tonight” is the first song to be released off an upcoming six song EP from Vancouver writer and producer Daggerss. After years of having the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented creative individuals, I desperately wanted to write without compromise. I wanted to hear what I had to say, completely uninhibited by any other ideas or opinions. So, I wrote and produced the entire EP and this song is my first offering from this collection of new material. “Here You Are Tonight” is inspired by sonically groundbreaking artists like Caribou, Thom Yorke and Tei Shi. Lyrically the song is about dealing with depression and the ups and downs that life brings us. It’s about how depression can sneak up on me just when everything is feeling alright, look me in the eye and say, not today love. It’s a sexy, devastated, heart broken, lusting synth party.
Written, Produced and Performed by Laura Smith, Vocals Engineers by Andrew Braun, Mixed by Elisa Pangsaeng, Mastered by Brock McFarlane
Into The Wild is a song about running away from your feelings inside, when you just don’t know where to go or what to do and you just want to run away to another world where everything is all you want it to be. This song was written during a period in my life when I really wanted to deal with all my different emotions, but I didn’t know how to. All I wanted was a place to run to where I could place all my feelings, and that’s what Into The Wild became, my escape from reality.
(Credits: Vocals & Lyrics, Clarinet – Georgia Newman, saxophone – Jonathan Chung, guitar and bass – Michael De Souza, Drums – Jonathan Davis, banjo – Andrew Slaven, mandolin and trumpet – Will Sullivan, recorded and produced by Callum Albrow)
We set ourselves a challenge to write an album in 12 hours, and this is one of the products! We came up with the music together and then I wrote the lyrics about the tension between action and passivity, strength and submission, learning and teaching each other how to listen properly, who is allowed to be loud and take up space and who feels like they can’t. It was recorded in our living room by Callum and all his gear!
London-based singer-songwriter, Hayley Harland said she began writing music before she could talk as a way to wake up her poor parents at 5am. Growing up on the edge of Portsmouth, she drew influences from the folk greats such as Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell alongside more anthemic bands like Fleetwood Mac and The Who. She melds these into a unique blend of lush folk, indie-pop and psychedelic-rock with delicate fingerpicked guitar and and an etherial backdrop of vocals. Over the years she has played at festivals such as Glastonbury, The Great Escape and Reading & Leeds and you’ll often find her busking on London’s Southbank as she is one of their licensed street performers. Her debut single ‘Open Up' is about that desperate moment when you’re locked out the house because the person on the other side of the door is mad at you. She is currently recording an EP with her band Tigermylk as well as writing with other artists.
Janette King is a songwriter, vocalist, musician and DJ. On top of leading her own band, Janette King & THE BAD, she also produces music with electronic music producer, Jordan Esau. Their single, “Come With Me” was chosen as Montreal's number one entry in the CBC Searchlight 2017 competition.
When she is away from her band, she is mixing the most eclectic records at various night clubs and venues throughout Montreal under the name DJ Janette King. Whether it's her soothing voice, body shaking DJ selection or her intriguing and hypnotizing production style, Janette King will be sure to leave a good impression.
Janette has performed in bands such as Sophia Danai, and with two time Grammy Award-Winner Chin Injeti (Eminem, Dre. Dre, Pink). She has played at various music festivals including Shambhala, Montreal Jazz Festival, Pop Montreal, Victoria Ska Fest, and Mural Festival Montreal. Janette has also shared the stage with Toots and the Maytals, Barrington Levy, Shaggy, and Cody Chesnutt.
I wrote ‘Scars’ last spring when some of mine hurt again and I found strength in honest vulnerability rather than feigning invincibility. I see music as a medium in which we can safely feel safe, particularly as an artist being seen and heard, I love to share that genuinely feeling is nothing to be afraid of – that we are more than our scars.
I recorded the song in my bedroom in Hanover, Germany, and am happy that my dear friend and inspiring musician Stephan Püschel joined me. It was mixed by Tmø – Thank You to the both of You.
Although blooming from the suburbs of Calgary, AB, Kirsten Ludwig belongs to no set of roads and dwells in transition. A nomad at heart, Ludwig finds true solace in her quiet ambition, gentle voice, and mellotron-induced thoughts. With a soft demeanour and heavy mind, Kirsten Ludwig achieves simultaneous vulnerability, strength, grace, and madness.
This song was written about essentially breaking someone's emotional seal and the way your senses absorb and interpret your surroundings during those new moments together.
Lajla Jean (Vancouver, BC) - Coffee In the Morning
This song is called Coffee in the Morning. It’s about missing the little things in life that we sometimes take for granted. I wrote this song as a songwriting challenge for myself. I chose a random song (Coffee By Miguel), and wrote a new song based on the title.
'Grow' is a track about written the times I used to hear 'girls don't/can't/shouldn't do that' when I was younger. Even if it was something said in innocence on the school playground, or things I watched in films, they were things that created barriers I felt I had to work hard to break down for myself. It was written in hopes of releasing for last International Women's Day, but I'm excited to release it now. I recorded it on a rainy Thursday evening on my kitchen floor, underneath a makeshift vocal booth made from two stools and a duvet.
Written during the production of my self-titled EP, Horse Of Whittled Wood didn't make it onto that first release so I'm very pleased to release it now with Terrified Swan's compilation for International Women's Day.
Although I knew my own feelings behind this song it took a while to work out where the story would go, to find a way to communicate without telling the listener directly what to understand and feel. I only hope that I got it right and that not everybody interprets it solely as the classic tortured artist tale.
It was recorded in a converted church hall with a lot of natural reverb years ago in Melbourne. I chose to revisit and work with that version as it feels pure and vulnerable which is
On being a woman in the arts... there were many years of insecurity before gave myself permission to pay attention to my own music and feel entitled to do the things that I wanted, like playing a show, and releasing an EP. I had long spent time on other people's projects not speaking up about my own desire to create. I still struggle with pushing myself creatively, and I do think that a lot of that can be attributed to my experience of being a woman and my feminine characteristics. It's not that feminine qualities are at all bad, its simply that the world is not really built to benefit those traits. I have found, not just in music but across life, I often resolve to behave in ways that appear stronger, tougher, louder or more resilient than what comes naturally to me, just in order to be heard or to be taken seriously in a world that is largely built for men. It's exhausting at best.
Marie Feller (Berlin, Germany) - Dreamers
'Dreamers‘ was the first song I wrote and now finally recorded about three years later. To this day it is the one of my songs I feel most connected to, as it reminds me to stick to my dreams, to believe and to fight for them, no matter what.
Writing and singing my own music since then became my biggest love and it empowers me every day to be the women I want to be and to overcome most insecurities and doubts.
- Lyrics, guitar and vocals by Marie Feiler
- Piano by John Rosenfeld
- Cello by Sebastian Rateu
- Recorded and mixed by Rosenfeld Productions
(Written, recorded, and performed by Maryse Bernard, Vocals and lyrics by Maryse Bernard, Synth by Maryse Bernard, Beats by Solomon Krause-Imlach)
About: "Dis-Moi" is about wanting to open up about your darkest secrets (in my case, mental health issues) but being terrified of how it might shift the perception of those close to you. It focuses on shame and fear of being vulnerable, and wanting to overcome those negative feelings to be able to connect on a deeper level.
I recorded it in my home studio in East Vancouver in spring 2017 not too long before moving to Montreal.
Thoughts : Being a woman in music is difficult. We're constantly having to prove ourselves in an industry that objectifies women and often doesn't take us seriously as artists. But the #MeToo movement is giving me faith. There is a long-awaited reckoning under way that I hope will lead to a safer and more respectful space for us. It's only the beginning, but united together, I believe we can reclaim our power and lift each other to the place we've always deserved.
Maryse Bernard is a bilingual pop-R&B singer and songwriter from Vancouver who currently calls Montreal home. She also plays in the electronic duo Seaborne.
I want this track to be a song of healing – of working through – because that’s what it became for me – but it doesn’t have to be for whoever is out there, listening to this.
This song is the culmination of heartache over two years and the need for honesty and intention, originally written about a journey with one person – now a good friend, and that soon applied to another – still a good friend. I wrote it back in 2016, in the midst of pain, and some confusion too. The melody started off somewhere at home, played a little more in my favourite café in Singapore, and wrote itself pretty quickly one day – it all came pouring out, just as I have found the few other songs I have written have done. It’s been tweaked a few times – just words here and there…and lyrically, I think I am at peace with it. Melodically and wholly, I am proud. Purely because this is the first song that was born on my own guitar, from start to finish. A song that I created in its entirety. And I haven’t had that before. The songs of the past – the guitars fell into the hands of good friends who played out what I hummed and then added the rest. They somehow got my feelings and turned them into a piece of music that I heard inside – felt inside. Everytime I write a song, I hope that it’s true for someone; a moment of time where they can connect, feel it out, sing it out, move to it, find their way through wherever it’s taking them and whatever it’s saying to them, and then keep on going.
After pain, comes healing. And then it starts all over again.
And each time, we learn a little more.
This song is about truth, honesty, clarity, intent, the wait, pain, understanding, being caught up, absence, remaining, holding on, and letting go of expectations and the images you once had.
Be Honest (with me).'
I grew up in New Westminster and was fortunate enough to be part of a music composition program with so many resources. My high school had a recording studio, and while we didn't have state of the art technology, it introduced me to recording, music programming, and the art of music composition. The program was very self directed, and I ended up recording lost of music in that little studio. There wasn't a whole lot to do in New West, so I spent a good chunk of my teen years writing, painting, and jamming. I've been in lots of different projects, but nothing really worth mentioning. It's been a struggle to find a sound and band that I fully resonate with; something that is genuinely and sincerely me- I feel like my first solo album (out this spring) is just that. I wouldn't say “Plastic Waste” is 100% a reflection of the album… but there is definitely a garage rock feel to it. I worked with a musician who comes from an electronic/ producing background, so it's definitely less raw and heavy than the music I usually make. Musically, I come from a psychedelic rock/shoegaze/doom metal background; the album definitely is a mesh of those genres. Being a musician is inherently difficult in this city, and being a woman musician is an even larger task. I've experienced so many issues with band mates not being okay with just being bandmates, producers trying to use their work as leverage… and even withhold my own work, in order to progress from a working relationship to something more. As a woman in this industry, we are constantly objectified and it's easy to feel used or like your opinion/talent is worth less. This is especially a huge problem within the metal community; you constantly have to prove you are badass or worthy enough to be part of the boys club. It was really hard for me to have my femininity discount my strength, when there is so much strength in being a woman, and simply existing in male dominated spaces. I think that is a huge reason why I've backed away from the genre, that, and I just don't have that level of angst anymore. The lack of inclusiveness almost turned me off of making music in general, but I realized that would only be submitting to the music patriarchy. Outside of being a musician, I am a visual artist, writer, and recently, a music journalist; all in which I express for the underdog. I make music for so many reasons, but most of all, it's for my riot girl teen self, who deeply craved representation in music.
This song tells the story of a life-shifting interaction that I had with a woman that I met while travelling alone in Europe. It is about feeling lost, and then found, and then wanting to feel lost all over again.
(Credits: Written and performed by Sam Lynch, Recorded and mixed by Luca Fogale, Mastered by Kevin Kowal (Fader Master), Recorded live off the floor on October 26, 2017)