Art by Michael Rancic; Peter Rock’s “Brown Leaf” courtesy of Pexels

Welcome to the fifth issue of New Feeling! 

This one is particularly exciting for us because its release marks a new milestone: we are now 100% reader and member funded. 

From the beginning of this project, we didn’t want to make the same mistakes we’d seen and experienced at other outlets with regard to ownership and funding, and how those complex relationships can often take precedence over, and negatively influence, the work. So as a cooperative we’ve been very adamant that however we go about funding our work and paying the writers and artists we work with, it has to be in line with our values

We want to produce quality writing from perspectives you don’t often see or hear from in the Canadian music media landscape, and we want to pay for that work fairly. At some point during our careers, most if not all of us at New Feeling have been asked to write for free. Being able to compensate for that labour is a priority of ours exactly because we know how pervasive it is and how the unpaid labour of so many writers props up a system and model that doesn’t have their interest in mind. 

This latest issue feels like a huge step in that direction, but being funded by our members poses a new challenge, which is evident in the overall size and scope of this issue. We’re only into our third month of fundraising and membership drives, and have yet to hit the funding targets we set for ourselves to be able to afford to produce the kind of work we had been doing previously out-of-pocket. 

This new reality has forced us to think on our feet and be creative with how we use the funds we have. Ultimately, our Editorial working group chose to focus on record reviews as it allowed us to cast a wider net by covering and engaging with a greater number of musicians, and it allowed us to work with a greater number of freelancers. Two new freelancers appear in this issue, Montréal’s Dave MacIntyre and Yara El-Soueidi. 

You’ll also see reviews from familiar names like Tom Beedham, Jesse Locke, Michael Rancic, Laura Stanley, and Daniel G. Wilson. 

The real showpiece of this issue is Kaelen Bell’s scene report from Winnipeg, Manitoba, the latest instalment of our column Yes In My Backyard. We were lucky enough to work with Kaelen for our previous issue, and when it came time to commission another report from a scene that doesn’t get enough love, we knew exactly who to ask. Kaelen’s enthusiasm for Winnipeg is evident in the thoughtful way he introduces each act, and the spectrum of sounds his report covers. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did. 

If you’re a regular reader or this is your first time, welcome! Either way, if you like what you’ve read, please consider subscribing to New Feeling. We rely on the support of our readers and members to continue doing this work and to help build this platform into a sustainable one.

– Michael Rancic