Editor’s note – issue 2: the fear

Illustration: Sam Reilly

As a musician and freelance journalist, The Fear has been strong in 2020. Every day brings closing venues, closing newsrooms, and an absolute lack of certainty for the future in a pair of industries that had already been pronounced dead before the pandemic. What’s kept me pushing forward is a renewed focus on reorganization, finding ways to band together outside of the system and create something better, like we’ve done so many times before.

That’s the ongoing motivation behind New Feeling, as we now share our second issue. Behind the scenes of assembling these features and reviews, the members of our cooperative have been busy. This includes formalizing our set of values and putting a business plan in front of our steering committee, which you’ll be able to learn more about in the near future. Our collective numbers have grown as we welcome three new members: freelance journalists Chaka V. Grier and Luke Ottenhof, and organizer Lenore Maier, who also drums with spooky surf-rock group The Garrys.   

On the editorial side, we’ve assigned a few roles that will rotate between New Feeling members. I’m currently taking on the position of Features Editor, and Laura Stanley is now our Reviews Editor. Other members have been active elsewhere, with Katerina Stamadianos appearing on the ISO Radio show Solidarity in Sound to chat about what we’ve been doing, and Michael Rancic guesting on the podcast Nick Flanagan, Weakly. Last month, Melissa Vincent moderated the Venus Fest panel Shifting The Conversation (co-presented by New Feeling and Pop Montreal), where she joined a group of panelists to discuss the evolving roles of media support and marketing for artists.

It’s been an inspiring process to pull our second issue together, hearing the seeds of ideas planted in spirited Discord meetings and watching them emerge as fully bloomed features. Rather than offering you straightforward scary stories for the month of October, we decided to put our own spin on what “The Fear” can entail. That includes Laura Stanley’s compassionate profile of musician Michael C. Duguay, who has struggled through experiences with homelessness, addiction, and spending time in jail on his road to recovery. Leslie Ken Chu spoke to Vancouver experimental hero Anju Singh about the ways funeral music and Mozart requiems have helped her confront mortality. Michael Rancic is our MVP this month, turning in a fascinating feature on the ways sample clearance hinders the creativity of artists like horrorcore rapper Backxwash, and the first edition of our Deep Digs review series on Lucifer’s Black Mass, the 1971 Satanic music album by Moog composer Mort Garson. The scary cherry on top is this month’s cover design by artist Sam Reilly.

Alongside a wide-ranging selection of album reviews, this issue also includes the results of our first Reader Survey. Katerina Stamadianos has collected the responses of 144 individuals and transformed them into a compelling report, illustrated by Melanie Nelson, with additional commentary from musicians Cadence Weapon, Paul Carpenter, and Dusty Lee. As Katerina writes in the survey, “we believe that a successful publication is one that is both responsive and accountable to the community.” This issue continues our baby steps towards the process of collective ownership. We hope you enjoy reading it as we rally together against The Fear.

Jesse Locke, co-founder, New Feeling