Cadence Weapon’s Year of Radical Thinking

Cadence Weapon’s year of radical thinking

By: Tabassum Siddiqui | Photo by: Mat Dunlap

Given the ongoing interminable grind of the COVID-19 pandemic, few of us will likely look back on 2021 as a banner year—but for veteran Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon (aka Rollie Pemberton), the rollercoaster of the past several months included some career-topping moments to balance all the uncertainty facing artists during this strange time.

Winning the Polaris Music Prize after more than 15 years of making music—and two previous Polaris shortlist nods, including in the very first year of the prize in 2006—certainly tops that list, but his critically acclaimed, tough-and-tense fifth album Parallel World wasn’t the only breakthrough after years DIY-ing it within a ruthless industry. Always a wordsmith at heart, the former Edmonton poet laureate (now based in Toronto) drew on his sharp pen for more than just lyrics in 2021, starting a Substack newsletter and working on a book due out this spring that’s part memoir, part deep dive into hip-hop history.

Turns out Parallel World, with its unflinching examination of systemic and societal breakdowns set to moody electronic beats, was only a glimpse into what Pemberton had on his mind last year. In July, he wrote a revealing essay about the financial and artistic fallout from signing a 360 deal with an independent label at 19—a common enough agreement in the record industry, but one few artists talk openly about. The deal, he explained bluntly, allowed the label to profit off not only his music, but every other revenue stream, for years afterwards—an exploitative model that pushed him to the edge of nearly quitting music altogether.

His honesty resonated with musicians, other artists, and fans around the world—and reminded us that Cadence’s secret weapon has always been telling truths, no matter how uncomfortable.

It’s perhaps no surprise his output over the past year landed him on several year-end lists of the best in music in 2021—during a time when we all were trying to wade through the fog, his words and sounds offered much-needed clarity.

As 2021 wound down, New Feeling checked in with Pemberton about landing some big wins in mid-career after playing the long game, how community lies at the heart of what he does, and why coming together might just be the answer to so many of the questions that underpin where we find ourselves today.

Tabassum Siddiqui: You had quite a 2021, with a critically acclaimed album and the big Polaris Prize win—what were some of the highlights of the year for you?

Winning Polaris was the major highlight obviously, but also my first show back at SAT [Société des arts technologiques] in Montréal was a significant moment for me. Signing with Kelp Management was big because I had been doing everything mostly on my own for the past eight years. Getting the vaccine was really emotional for me and my partner. In April, I threw a virtual album release party on Twitch with my fans and that was surprisingly memorable.

TS: The Polaris win in some ways felt very full-circle, given that you were one of the very first nominees of the Prize early on and have been nominated several times over the years—what did it mean to you to win the award, especially now?

CW: It was extremely meaningful to win Polaris at this point in my career. I can’t help but compare the inaugural Polaris in 2006—where it was mostly white indie-rock bands—with this year, where the field was so much more diverse. After Hope in Dirt City was nominated in 2012, I didn’t release an album for six years. I had to rebuild my whole career after my former managers bailed and the label I was on collapsed. I worked tirelessly for years to make it back to this point, so it was incredibly gratifying to win this year.

TS: You mentioned after the win that you hoped to use some of the prize money to organize some voter registration events in the municipal/provincial elections. You’ve been very vocal, and also written about, your thoughts on our political policies and systems in recent years—why has it been important to you as an artist and a person to raise awareness of these issues?

CW: As we’ve seen throughout this pandemic, we’re all more connected than we realize. A world where artists are afforded the space to create is a world where everyone benefits. I started thinking more about the institutional forces behind inequality and gentrification—the deeper reasons for why it’s so hard to live in the city these days. Learning more about civic politics was empowering.

Seeing the power of collective action through the Encampment Support Network, Black Urbanism TO, the George Floyd protests and other initiatives really encouraged me to think about what kind of impact I could make by using my personal platform. These upcoming elections are rare opportunities to show our displeasure with the status quo and make a difference. I want to get to the end of 2022 and be able to say that I did everything I could to help improve life in Toronto and Ontario.

TS: As you know, New Feeling is a new music-journalism initiative centred in community-based values, so we’re keen to get your take on what some of the pressing issues are that we should all be mobilizing around. People can often feel a bit helpless to do anything to help foster change—what are some of the steps they can take?

CW: Canadian music publications need to actively seek out young BIPOC writers. Representation really does matter. I didn’t know what to expect going into this album run, but I was heartened to see so many amazing BIPOC journalists on the other side of the virtual screen. They routinely had the most thoughtful questions out of all of my interviews and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I also think it’s important to chart your own path as a magazine and not feel obligated to cover what the American publications do. I find that I lose interest when I see Canadian publications trying to keep up with the Americans because they think it makes them look more relevant.

TS: One of the many compelling aspects of Parallel World is the collaborative approach—there are so many fantastic producers contributing, not to mention the few guest spots. Did you have a sense of what sort of production you wanted going into making the record, given that its overall sound is so hard and urgent, or did that sound come about more organically as you went along?

CW: The only songs on the album that were written before the pandemic were “SENNA” and “On Me”—the rest of it was recorded remotely in the summer and fall of 2020. That involved me reaching out to producers and artists around the world, discussing themes with them online and sending files back and forth. The beats I gravitate to are usually hard, minimal and futuristic. These were words I used when I talked to producers about what I was looking for. We would also discuss the overarching concept of the album. There were a couple examples where I would receive fragments of ideas that producers already had but mostly the beats were made specifically for this album.


The thing with me is that I’m always making songs and not always thinking in terms of whether what I’m making will end up on a record. But I’ll notice when songs start to have similar themes and maybe I’ve locked into a particular rhythm, and suddenly I know that it’s Album Time. That happened in a strangely intense way when I made Parallel World. I felt a deep sense of urgency to speak to what was happening in the world.

TS: Your essay on your experience with the music industry and being exploited as an artist went viral—particularly among fellow artists/musicians, who have been dealing with these issues for so long, but many were afraid to speak up. What made you want to write about that topic so frankly, and what did you find interesting about the response?

CW: It’s something that has weighed on me for years. I just woke up one day and decided to write about it—it felt like the right time to speak up. Seeing Britney Spears and her conservatorship drama inspired me a bit. I felt like I had survived what happened, and had gotten to a stable enough place in my career where I could openly speak about it and maybe help other younger artists so they could learn from my mistakes. I also rarely saw artists publicly discussing their contracts. I wanted to demystify that side of things because the secrecy allows the cycle of exploitation to continue.

The response really took me by surprise. I had dozens of artists in my DMs saying that similar things had happened to them with labels. The response was almost totally positive, too. People were really surprised that this kind of thing happens with small indie labels, not just the majors. I think it got folks thinking about the exploitation of musicians in Canada.

TS: Among all the other inequities the pandemic has shone a spotlight on, it’s also revealed many of the issues artists/musicians are facing in terms of everything from the ability to make a living to working conditions—what lessons can the music industry, and individual artists, take from this time?

CW: The number-one thing that needs to change is streaming. The system needs to be overhauled. Personally, I would like to organize a protest where as many Canadian artists as possible remove our music from every platform until things are fairer. The last thing these tech companies want is for us to organize, and I think that’s something I want to remind my fellow musicians of. These corporations are worthless without our labour—we’re stronger together.

TS: After live music was shut down for so long, you played two local Toronto shows right after the Polaris win, went on tour with Fat Tony, and were supposed to play a few shows back in Alberta to round out the year—how was the experience returning to the stage, but also then dealing with restrictions once again?

CW: The July Talk shows in Alberta were postponed because of COVID, which goes to show you how tenuous things are right now. It was amazing to play shows again and share that experience with the people. That’s what I wished for most during the early part of the pandemic, just to be able to play the Parallel World songs for a live audience.

Playing festivals over the summer and the tour with Tony was so cathartic and really fun, but the protocols were exhausting. Touring is hard enough, but it’s just another layer of uncertainty on top of everything else. Now with Omicron, I don’t see how a U.S. tour like the one I just did [this past fall] would even be possible.

The future looks unclear. I had a lot of cool shows planned for February and March [2022], but who knows if they’ll actually happen? It’s really just about carefully monitoring the situation and taking everything one day at a time.

TS: As if you’re not busy enough, you’re also writing a book, due out this year. Can you tell us a bit about your writing process, and what made you decide to take on more of a long-form writing project?

CW: I’ve finished writing the book! It’s called Bedroom Rapper and it comes out with McClelland & Stewart in May 2022. I started working on it in late 2019, but wrote the majority of it during the pandemic. My process involved a lot of getting up early, filling up a pint glass with ice water, and just letting it rip before my typical everyday obligations started knocking on my door. I’d be writing the book in the morning and afternoon and then recording Parallel World at the studio at night.

Writing this book was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. It involved a lot of research, going through emails from a decade ago, retracing my steps. It was interesting to take inventory of my entire career at a moment when the whole world felt frozen in time. I’m used to the flow of making a record after doing it for over a decade, but writing a book requires an intense level of sustained focus that’s unlike anything I’ve ever had to do before. I’m excited for people to read it!

Our Favourite Songs of 2021

Art by: Michael Rancic

“These last two years have felt like the longest pre-drink in recent history,” writes Leslie Ken Chu in one of his contributions to the list below, and it’s difficult to disagree. As we enter another period of uncertainty with the mutating strains of a worldwide virus, prolonged by governments who refuse to put the safety of people before profit, it can feel like we’ll never escape this space of transitional purgatory before the party starts up again. Thankfully, live music returned in some capacity in 2021, as artists of all genres continued to share the fruits of their creative efforts, offering small doses of joy, catharsis, and resilience in a deeply strange time. The industry-backed artists receiving the lion’s share of mainstream music coverage in so-called “Canada” might still be hard to differentiate from the curated mediocrity of streaming service playlists, but we hope these hand-picked suggestions turn you on to a few songs that you may have never heard before. For the second year running, read on and press play through an unranked list in reverse alphabetical order followed by our personal top picks.

The Halluci Nation – “Tanokumbia” feat. El Dusty, Black Bear Singers (self-released | Ottawa, ON / Corpus Christi, Texas / Manawan, QC)


A Tribe Called Red technically released “Tanokumbia” in 2019, but its inclusion on this year’s One More Saturday Night—the group’s debut as the Halluci Nation and one necessarily concerned with generating space for rebirth—is plenty ground for consideration in a year desperately in need of a hard reset. Swirling in from a place of quiet, loss, and abyss, the carnivalesque opening notes sound subterranean before they’re fully clarified. Building from a fevered free reed melody, new elements percolate slowly, the Black Bear Singers’ powwow calls and El Dusty’s nu-cumbia dembow struts throbbing with resilience, connections in resistance recognized, reflected, reimagined. (Tom Beedham)

The Body and BIG|BRAVE – “Oh Sinner” (Thrill Jockey | Portland, OR / Montréal, QC)


“Oh Sinner” swaggers like a cowboy on horseback, with the kind of slow-rolling confidence that clears dusty main streets and casts long shadows on canyon walls. It’s not exactly a country song, but its punishing folk-rock shakes and stomps with some of the genre’s old-world grit, a legend that echoes through the hills. The highlight of the Body and BIG|BRAVE’s weighty collaborative record, Leaving None but Small Birds, “Oh Sinner” transmutes the two groups’ experimental corrosion into a lumbering piece of folklore—it’s not entirely clear where it’s headed, but you’d best get out of the way. (Kaelen Bell)

OMBIIGIZI – “Residential Military” (Arts & Crafts | London, ON / Toronto, ON)


Anishinaabe artists Adam Sturgeon (Status/Non-Status) and Daniel Monkman (Zoon) come out of the gates hot on the first single from their collaborative project OMBIIGIZI. With a classic indie-rock sound reminiscent of Pinback, Sturgeon tackles a deeply personal topic of the residential-school-to-military pipeline followed by his grandfather. Conjuring evocative imagery of a birch-bark canoe paddling down the freeway, he introduces the concept of “Indigenous Futurisms”—looking back to wisdoms of the past to imagine a brighter horizon. (Jesse Locke)

Narcy & Thanks Joey – “Jeff Bezos” (We Are the Medium | Montréal, QC / Los Angeles CA)

With (now ex-)Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in his sights, Iraqi-Canadian rapper Narcy punches up however he can, but resistance still feels futile, deflated. He claims to “rock the black mask like Space Ghost,” but the cartoonish atmosphere producer-collaborator Thanks Joey has spun together weighs the action down to the black-and-white class divide of hard-boiled noir—the muted, repeated sigh of a trombone embodying the anti-glamour in all its monotony. “This part of history will be cancelled,” a spoken sample declares at the track’s close. No doubt. (Tom Beedham)

Mustafa – “Stay Alive” (Regent Park Songs | Toronto, ON)

“Stay Alive,” the opening track of Mustafa’s When Smoke Rises, introduces listeners to the grief that floods the entire album. The debut record from Mustafa is delivered gently—the singer-songwriter, poet, and filmmaker describes his music as “inner city folk songs.” But When Smoke Rises is shaped by the violence in Mustafa’s home, Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood (Canada’s largest and oldest social housing development), and the deaths of his friends, and is full of thunderous emotions. On “Stay Alive,” Mustafa, over the soft tread of a running guitar melody, urges, “just stay alive, stay alive, stay alive.” It’s a simple refrain, but much like the album itself, it holds enormous weight. (Laura Stanley)

Debby Friday – “Runnin” (self-released | Vancouver, BC)


“Runnin” ramps up over 45 seconds of incantatory backmasked vocals before the beat drops like a heart monitor rhythm from Kurupt FM. As the song swells into a vaporous mass of drums, whispers, and distant squeals, it becomes what U.K. post-punk group This Heat might have described as music like escaping gas. Rather than alternating between dynamic passages, this ominous loosie released in February simply sets a pace of simmering menace and filters out until the valve is shut off. Debby Friday vocally struts over the bleeps, oozing with confidence and unafraid of whatever shadowy figures linger just outside of the frame. (Jesse Locke)

Club Sofa – “M.E.L.T.” (self-released | Vancouver, BC)

Content warning: sexual assault


The pain of deep-rooted trauma wells up on Club Sofa’s “M.E.L.T.” Though known for the catchy, swaying finesse of their self-described “emo surf,” the band of jazz students lean into the burning anger of their harder-edged influences like Bikini Kill and the Stooges.

“M.E.L.T.” cycles through the shame, self-blame, and self-pity that are the lingering vestiges of sexual assault. The narrator feels sullied, like they’re a burden to others. “I’ve been so unclean / I dirty up your sheets,” singer/rhythm guitarist Payton Hansen sings before worrying, “If I never get better / Will you still stay forever?” She also laments, “I never win / But who’s really keeping score?” When the damage is immeasurable and ever-changing, though, it’s hard to define personal victories. But by confronting her past, Hansen can chalk one up for herself. (Leslie Ken Chu)

Cartel Madras – “WORKING” (Royal Mountain/Sub Pop | Calgary, AB)


Sister rap duo Cartel Madras dropped their intoxicating hip house track “WORKING” at precisely the right time—these last two years have felt like the longest pre-drink in recent history. Returning collaborator Jide curates hypnotic late-night vibes as the song runs the lifespan of a party, from an uncoordinated rendezvous (“Hey, I’ve been here for like 20 minutes. Where are you?”) to messy quarrels (“Yeah, she was just talking shit about me, in front of him. Yeah, no, she’s a huge bitch.”) “WORKING” perfectly captures that feeling of reveling in the heat of the night that’s so sorely missed. (Leslie Ken Chu)

Brittany Kennell – “Clean Break” (Agence Ranch | Montréal, QC)

Brittany Kennell’s debut LP I Ain’t A Saint was a spark of joy in an otherwise wretched year. The Montréal-based country artist (and The Voice alumna) writes catchy and clever songs that often soundtrack situations so distinct that you didn’t even realize that a song about them was missing. Do you distract yourself from the present by grabbing a sponge and scrubbing every surface of your home? Cue “Clean Break,” a lemon-scented break-up tune about doing chores so you don’t think about an ex. Even though sadness lingers in the corners of “Clean Break,” Kennell makes this song shine. (Laura Stanley)

Amos the Kid – “Island of Troubles” (House of Wonders | Winnipeg, MB)


If Dolly and Kenny’s “Islands in the Stream” is love at its softest and most saccharine—chiffon-draped and bathed in sunlight, a breezy walk on some dream-world beach—then Amos the Kid’s “Island of Troubles” marks the moment when the wind picks up and waves start crashing faster than your flip-flops can carry you to safety. A frayed, sand-kicking duet with Yes We Mystic‘s Jensen Fridfinnson, “Island of Troubles” is all push-and-pull, an acid-tongued barn-burner that finds catharsis in the hurt. “You destroy my house,” Amos Nadlersmith deadpans before the song cuts out—play it loudly enough and you might destroy your own. (Kaelen Bell)

Laura Stanley
Ada Lea – “Damn”
Charlotte Cornfield – “Headlines”
The Weather Station – “Parking Lot”
Brittany Kennell – “Clean Break”
Mustafa – “Stay Alive”

Leslie Ken Chu
BIG|BRAVE – “Of the Ilk”
Cartel Madras – “WORKING”
Club Sofa – “M.E.L.T.”
Divorcer – “Bug”
Ducks Ltd. – “Old Times”
Kylie V – “On My Mind”
Le Ren – “I Already Love You”
Soul Boner – “SUMMER SONG”
Visibly Choked – “Mother Tongue”
Yu Su – “Xiu”

Tom Beedham
Cadence Weapon – “Play No Games”
Narcy & Thanks Joey – “Jeff Bezos”
Fucked Up – “Year of the Horse”
Breeze – “Come Around”
Kae Sun – “404 Eros”
Dorothea Paas – “Anything Can’t Happen”
The Halluci Nation – “Tanokumbia”
Fiver feat. The Atlantic School of Spontaneous Composition – “Leaning Hard (On My Peripheral Vision)”
YlangYlang – “Penumbra”
Vallens – “If I Don’t”

Jesse Locke
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – “I Pity the Country”
Myriam Gendron – “Go Away From My Window”
Ducks Ltd. – “Under the Rolling Moon”
OMBIIGIZI – “Residential Military”
Dorothea Paas – “Anything Can’t Happen”
Cedric Noel – “Allies”
Debby Friday – “Runnin”
Mas Aya – “18 de Abril”
Fiver feat. The Atlantic School of Spontaneous Composition – “Death Is Only a Dream”
CFCF – “Punksong”

Kaelen Bell
Cedric Noel – “Comuu”
Tired Cossack – “Machina”
Dorothea Paas – “Waves Rising”
Ada Lea – “Damn”
Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu – “Persona”
The Body and BIG|BRAVE – “Oh Sinner”
Julien’s Daughter – “The Dealer’s Hand”
The Weather Station – “Loss”
Amos the Kid – “Island of Troubles”
Virgo Rising – “Sleep in Yr Jeans”

Yes in My Backyard: Winnipeg

YES IN MY BACKYARD: WINNIPEG

By: Kaelen Bell | Art by: Laura Stanley (Clockwise from top left: Dana Waldie, Anthony OKS by Graham Wiebe, Hut Hut, Vagina Witchcraft by Jess Mann, Julien’s Daughter, Virgo Rising, Warming, Tired Cossack)

Winnipeg understands extremes; too cold until it’s too hot, too quiet until it’s too loud. Squeezing under frost-caked doorframes and crawling up from sweltering basements, the music that the city incubates covers every degree of that unstoppable pendulum, from skull-crushing metal to nocturnal art-rock and everything between and beyond. 

It’s a city that knows isolation better than most, which means it also recognises the necessity of community like few others—for the wide breadth of disparate sounds that the city offers, there’s a nucleus of togetherness at the core. And after a year that sent us inside our homes and inside ourselves, Winnipeg feels like it’s finally emerging again—as winter returns, there are few better ways to stay warm than huddled at the foot of a stage. 

The city’s sound has only gotten wilder in its dormancy; there’s a sense of urgency and inventiveness to the music being played, with a whole crop of new artists who’ve honed their voices in the past year’s quietude.

Anthony OKS

Though it was released at the beginning of autumn, Anthony Sannie’s latest release as Anthony OKS—the lush In the Garden EP—feels like a capsule of summer. With richly drawn, knocking production and Sannie’s sharp-eyed lyricism, it recalls the heat, hedonism, and hardship of a season that found us all redrawing lines both socially and personally. He’s an emerging key-player in Winnipeg’s hip-hop scene, and his music is some of the city’s warmest and most human. 

TIRED COSSACK


Tired Cossack’s Stephen Halas understands the worth of knowing—where you’re from, where you’re going, where you wanna be. His alt-country-infused post-punk is steeped in Ukrainian folklore and a palpable sense of longing; whether it’s for the homeland, a lost love, or some unseen place around the corner, his music is constantly reaching for something beyond itself. His most recent release is the chugging single “Pea Roll Along,” which sounds a bit like alternate-universe Ukrainian Joy Division performing in the bed of a pickup. If that description doesn’t make it clear, it’s very good, adding some wide-open-sky optimism to a genre known for its macabre self-seriousness. 

WARMING


Brady Allard, Warming’s primary songwriter, hasn’t released anything new in a hot minute, but his band’s return to the stage has marked a distinct confidence shift—tighter, bigger, and dancier. Warming’s punky, twisted take on ’80s-indebted synthpop feels more urgent than before, and more than ready to face whatever’s coming ’round the bend next. 

VAGINA WITCHCRAFT


No other band rages quite like Vagina Witchcraft, because no other band has Kayla Fernandes at the helm. The poet, activist, and doom-metal world-destroyer illuminates the four-piece’s pitch-black tides of sound with a vengeful fury, a demand to be heard that pierces even the most floor-shaking riffs. In a city rife with police misconduct and racialized social inequity, the band’s self-titled debut album is an unrelenting document of retribution, an onslaught of doom-metal sludge that finds hope in devastation and points the way to a new kind of world. 

JULIEN’S DAUGHTER


Julien’s Daughter seem destined for something big—maybe it’s world domination, or maybe it’s just one perfect, untouchable pop song. They seem capable of both, possessing a confidence and immediate musical chemistry that belies the fact that the four-piece met on Kijiji and local music message boards. Their debut EP, The Static That Carries Over, is glittery, airtight, guitar pop, equal parts grit and sheen. Though they’ve just started, they already feel too big for the stages they stalk, and new single “The Dealer’s Hand” is already pushing their sound to new, dance-indebted places. 

VIRGO RISING


Virgo Rising’s music sounds every bit as celestial as their name would suggest—prickly, math-rock guitars and warbling violin careen like meteorites while Emily Sinclair’s lyrics find the universal drama in everyday minutiae. They’re another electrifying new addition to Adam Fuhr’s House of Wonders label, and their brand of darkly intelligent, deeply felt music already feels like the small label’s calling card. 

DANA WALDIE

Dana Waldie is all about the slow burn. The French-speaking artist makes the kind of lush, patient pop that could feel at home in any place, in any decade. Inspired by 1960s Yé-yé but woven with the synthetic textures of modern pop, her music lives on the line between the unfamiliar and the brand new. Her newest single, “Que toi,” feels like an artist coming fully into their voice—there’s little else like it in the city. 

HUT HUT


Deeply inspired by the Dismemberment Plan’s caustic, anthemic art-rock, Hut Hut are guitar-pop experimenters in the truest sense—they are the sound of shattered beakers and boiling serums, the music of a mad scientist let loose in the studio. Frontman Matt Klachefsky’s helium-pitch voice is not for the faint of heart, but he tempers his sideways impulses with a knack for memorable, crystalline harmony and an unrelenting sense of momentum—good luck getting “Hey Strangers” out of your head anytime soon. 

Efy Hecks – Somnifère

Efy Hecks
Somnifère
Bonbonbon Records
Montréal, QC
RIYL: Drugdealer; Harmonium; Plantasia; a good psych drug trip

From the first notes of Efy Hecks’ Somnifère, his newest album, it’s hard to ignore the influence of ’70s psych rock, Americana, and Mort Garson’s Plantasia. Opening with two instrumental tracks that set the tone to this release, Vincent Lemay (a.k.a. Efy Hecks) brings us with him through what seems to be an experimental drug trip turned very creative. 

There aren’t any limits to what Lemay explores with his album. While rooted in the signature psychedelic rock sound that is found in all of Bonbonbon’s artists, he still manages to keep us wanting more of his particular voice, one that feels like a warm musical blanket. This album won’t put you to sleep, as his name suggests. It will make you dream of unexpected and colourful sights that only Efy Hecks can create through his music.

– Yara El-Soueidi

zouz – Vertiges

zouz
Vertiges
Lazy At Work
Montréal, QC
RIYL: Karkwa; Malajube; the sound of the early ‘00s

After their two EPs in 2017 and 2018, Montréal’s zouz have finally released their first album Vertiges with local rock label Lazy At Work. Well known for their powerful indie rock that resembles major bands like Interpol or, closer geographically, Malajube and Karkwa, this new offering sends listeners down a trip to memory lane.

From the first 10 seconds of “Vertiges,” the opening title track of the album, it’s hard to ignore their resemblance to older indie rock bands from Québec, bands that are now defunct. Every song opens up with the same sound that defined those bands, down to the delivery of the lyrics on “Nager.”  It feels like zouz are still stuck in an era that doesn’t exist anymore, one that was left behind for greener pastures. This being said, the album holds up and transports us through the colder season upon us. Lead singer David Marchand’s voice is a lullaby for the soul.

– Yara El-Soueidi

October 2021 Member Q&A

Last month we hosted our first ever member Q&A for Community and Advisory members to learn a little bit more about what we’ve been up to, and to open the floor for any questions or concerns those members might have. Organizing members Katerina Stamadianos and Michael Rancic addressed and updated attendees on what we’ve been up to and our plans for the future. The session was recorded and you can hear it in its entirety above. We’ve also transcribed the Q&A so you can parse through the info at your own pace.

If you weren’t able to make the meeting, we’d still love to hear from you at your convenience. Especially on the following topics:

  • Would you use/participate in a community Discord?
  • Are there any organizations that you think we should reach out to and partner with?

If you have any thoughts or suggestions not covered in the recording above/transcript below, please feel free to contact us at newfeelingcoop@gmail.com, with the subject heading “October 2021 Member Q&A.” Thanks!

Transcript

Opening remarks

Katerina Stamadianos (00:01):
So we wanted to have this check in with everyone because we launched [memberships and subscriptions] about a month and a half ago now. And we are really looking to get our member activities into motion or to really like start off strong with our membership. But there are a couple of considerations that we have up in the air and a couple of things we wanted to update you on. Just because the membership is such a large part of what New Feeling is from our standpoint, but I don’t really think it’s quite public yet what we’re trying to do with it. And so this was an opportunity to introduce you to some of the things we have planned for members. As well as answer any questions you may have.

New Issue, budget, membership drive

Michael Rancic (01:52):
So last month we relaunched with a new issue and simultaneous membership drive. And for this new issue, we were fortunate enough to pay writers for their work. Thanks to a SOCAN grant of $1,000. The way that the grant works is that the money is sort of conditional on the production of the issue. So we will be reporting on it after the fact. So co-founders Leslie Ken Chu, Laura Stanley, and myself I’ll pooled funds to compensate the writers and artists for their work upfront, so that there wasn’t like this long wait time. We’ve never applied for this grant before. So we don’t really know how long it will take for a) for us to report on it. We’re aiming to report on it by next month, once things have kind of like wrapped up for the, the issue. And then b) we’re not sure how long it will take for us to hear back. So we didn’t want to leave people hanging. So all the writers and artists for that issue have been paid. And yeah, the reporting kind of involves us basically saying how the issue launch went how it fulfilled the goals that we proposed in our grant application and how it helped us launch our membership drive, which has sort of set us on a path to this financial sustainability that we’re aiming toward. So to that end, we’ve added about 20 some odd people to the co-op as community or advisory class members over the course of this month in a few days. So that’s really great. We, and that means that we’ve raised about $750 so far through this member drive. That said it was sort of like falling short right now of what our goal is, which is ideally hitting about 200 members to really sort of like reach the goal of being able to pay people a fair wage which we looked at, I think it would be about like 30 cents per word to sort of start, and then we can kind of grow it from there. And then we didn’t, we didn’t really know what to expect, like how long this sort of like membership drive action would take and how long it’s going to take us to, to sort of reach our goals.

(04:11):
So yeah there was a bit of a hiccup early on with our payment gateway. Oh yeah, so I’m the team lead of the budget working group. So that’s something that I directly oversee. And there were some sort of unexpected issues with that in terms of when we basically we’re doing all of our membership coordination through a plugin that we added to our WordPress site and that plugin works very nicely with different payment gateways. But what we didn’t really realize at the time was that in order for subscriptions to work with PayPal you need to have a PayPal account. So everyone at checkout had to pay using a PayPal account. And that was sort of a deterrent for people who didn’t have one, or who don’t use PayPal but it was also creating issues with the form itself. So some people were able to actually successfully check out without creating a member ID because PayPal is sort of, for security reasons, sort of sends you away from the site in order to finalize the transaction and then brings you back to sort of complete it. So people were submitting their form and not really creating like a user ID. Thankfully we were able to match the transaction order with the member who signed up because of the information that PayPal pulls, but ultimately the web team and budget team sort of worked together to resolve the issue, which basically means switching to a different payment gateway, which has Stripe. So this doesn’t affect people who have currently signed up using PayPal. And there’s no need for us to push those individuals to sign up using Stripe because those memberships are sort of self-contained and we’ll sort of continue on a, on a renewing basis, no problem. But immediately, as soon as we switched to Stripe, anyone who signed up after the fact, we haven’t had any sort of issue either with the form because everything stays nicely on the website. And then also, because it just generally accepts credit card without having any sort of like, need for login information. So yeah. Do you want me to take, oh, no, you got this one. Okay. I’ll pass it over to Katerina.

Editorial output + Publishing schedule

Katerina Stamadianos (06:31):
Okay, great. So Michael just talked about our members and their dues and kind of the, the amount of funds that, that kind of amassed for us in order for us to pay writers. And that obviously has to correspond with our output from an editorial standpoint. So moving forward and this wasn’t necessarily a decision made based off of budgeting, but more so I think our general workflow and, and the workflow that helps us meet our goals. We decided that publishing monthly was just something that we weren’t really interested in doing, because it’s a big churn, there’s a lot of turnover, like a lot of deadlines need to be met way in advance of publishing. And so it kind of looks like a constant year round effective publishing. All of us actually have other jobs and other responsibilities outside of New Feeling, and so it just kind of seemed like too much. And something that’s a bit more sustainable, both from a budgetary perspective, but also from a just general quality of work perspective, as well as just respecting everyone’s timelines is publishing on a bimonthly schedule. So every other month we’re hoping to publish an issue. What that issue looks like is something Mike will touch upon in a second. But essentially the schedule is better for us to give us more time to fundraise, to cover the cost of paying writers fairly and just take more time so that we can produce content we like. A big part of starting New Feeling was that we felt like a lot of publications for, for good reasons and bad were kind of just pushing out content perhaps popular news stories, get clicks, et cetera, et cetera. But we wanted to actually be really intentional with what we publish. And so we think taking more time to do so is a really big a really big priority on our end. And of course our biggest priority remains to compensate writers for their time and for their work. And this is just better done on the bi-monthly publishing schedule, but Michael can speak just because Michael, sorry, I realize we didn’t intro ourselves. I am Katerina, and I do primarily the member related activity planning as the lead of the membership working group. And also previously the organization slash the board working group. So I worked primarily on setting up a lot of our membership structure and the bylaws that kind of undergird New Feeling. And so I have less of a role in the editorial side of things just because it’s something I’m interested in, I’m interested in taking part in going forward, but I think that’s kind of the beauty of our organizing structure is we were on a bit of a rotation basis. So this is all to say Michael can tell you more about what our next issue is going to look like.

Michael Rancic (09:47):
Yeah. and just to sort of like add to what Katerina was saying too about the bi-monthly thing. You know, after learning, we learned a lot just by taking some time to sort of sit back. And one of the things as we sort of realized very early on was that we weren’t really ready to publish regularly on a monthly schedule and it was sort of forcing us to make decisions that weren’t really in line with our values. And as we’ve sort of learned, you know, having a sense of urgency around stuff really sort of promotes a like white supremacy culture. And so we saw that in full view in terms of, you know we were really only getting pitches from predominantly white writers. And then we were, you know, because of the time crunch also had to having to give those opportunities to white writers. And it just it didn’t really make sense. If we want to be a little bit more thoughtful about this, and that really seemed like the best path forward. And it also seemed like it would help us sort of raise a little bit more money to sort of put out good work and pay people well. So, yeah as far as the next issue is concerned I’m not on the editorial team, but I did attend that meeting. And because we’re not quite at our goal yet, rather than building the issue around a theme, it’ll sort of focus on a specific writer somebody that we’re eager to work with and a topic that they’d like to focus on in a sort of feature as well as the return of a regular popular column, which is Yes In My Backyard. So it’ll be a smaller issue. But you know, I think our first priority is to pay people fairly. And so when we were looking at the numbers we couldn’t really do the sort of like grand thing that we’ve done in the past. And so this is kind of the benefit of having a little bit more time to think about things is that we can sort of adjust to what our situation sort of demands. So yeah no theme, but really prioritizing, just like working with people that we want to, and yeah, shining a light on, on emerging, great emerging Canadian talent. So I think that’s sort of it for the next issue stuff. I can throw it back over to Katerina to talk about more community stuff.

Member discord server

Katerina Stamadianos (12:14):
Yeah. So the rest of the meeting, I think we’re going to just cover what we have planned on the member side. And then we’ll, we’ll answer any questions you have. But like I was saying earlier, the membership is something that we’ve put a lot of thought into and we’re really excited to show our members what that means. And I think it’s through forums like these, that we can actually start to build everything out and really communicate to you at what we envision membership being. And partly that’s because we want it to be member, you know, inspired and member run. And so it’s really based like the community membership of which many of you are part of is based on the idea that you’re also a stakeholder and you can also build your perspectives on how New Feeling should be run into this. And so what that looks like is really up to all of us. And so that’s why I think sessions like these are important, but another kind of way that we can pursue that goal is by having a place where people can speak to each other more regularly. And so what we’re interested in developing if there is interest at the community member level is a Discord channel. So Discord is something that you feel like uses really regularly. I think it started off as like a messaging or like workflow or whatever app for gamers, which is really sick. But I think a lot more of like community based organizations or like people based around a certain interest or people super interested in even like, I’m sure there’s a music Discords there places where it’s like basically a messaging board where people can converse with each other and about like a centralized topic. So for example, I am on several Discords and some of them are kind of like self-help based, other ones are like, based off of volunteering things I have. But what we had envisioned is a community member Discord where members specifically, could come together to chat about everything and anything related to music made in so-called Canada. We want it to be a place where people can ask questions about New Feeling, but also post music they really love not necessarily their own, you know, we’ll have to come up with rules surrounding what the I guess conduct is. And I know that some people really have feelings about what soliciting looks like and if they want that, but anyways, sorry, that’s a bit of an aside in general. The Discord can be a forum for people to ask questions about New Feeling, propose ideas, chat about music, chat about, you know, genres chat about events coming up, chat about maybe some things that they don’t really feel like they have a community for elsewhere. But we do want to do this responsibly which would include like moderating some of the chat just because we do need to open ourselves up to the possibility that a member may post things that we don’t necessarily stand behind and we want to make sure that the Discord is a safe and respectful online environment for everyone. And so we’re still figuring out what this would look like, and we’re still actually trying to figure out if the Discord is something that people would actually be interested in. So later when we turn to taking your questions, I may actually pose one to you on your experience using similar programs, and if you’d be interested in it. And I think what we may also do is the leaps done a lot of like Twitter and like Instagram polls before to see where people’s interests lays. And so we may do the same. So don’t feel like you’re deciding for everyone, like this is something where we’re, we’re testing the waters of in general.

Writer Member class

Katerina Stamadianos (16:53):
The next thing I want to talk about is the writer membership class. So we originally thought of our membership structure as taking three different classifications, the first being the community members structure that you’re a part of. And I guess kind of similarly the advisory members structure where community members are supporters of New Feeling, and they essentially are also helping to fairly compensate writers for their work. But also we thought of something a bit further, which is the writer member class. The writer member class would be interested in supporting New Feeling’s, growth, and like benefiting from the the decision-making structures that each of you have as members of the co-op, but they would also be interested in pursuing writers activities provided by the cooperative. Essentially these individuals would be working towards writing two or more pieces for New Feeling in a calendar year. And that would be inclusive of shorter reviews. But this is not to say that they would receive first dibs on pitches. Like this is just something that we would work towards. It wouldn’t be a hard and fast rule, but essentially it would be an avenue for writer members to work on something they’re trying to develop, which is their writing, and also be a forum for members to receive writing assistance, not assistance, but programming that is beneficial to developing their writing as they scale. And so the membership breakdown working group when we do instate this membership class will be responsible for coordinating these activities and working with writer members to facilitate their contributions to New Feeling’s editorial while prioritizing equity and opportunity for marginalized writers. So some of these recurring writer’s activities would be like Q’s and A’s with guest speakers who have experience in certain subject matters skillsets tutorials for specific skills, writing circles, writing buddies, mentorships, the kind of things that go both ways. So that people who are a part of New Feeling can also professionally develop by you know, offering a writing tutorial. That’s also something that I, I know a lot of writers are looking at doing is, is kind of building out that sort of teaching skill. So community members, the way we envision it will be able to switch their membership classification to be writer members when we do instate that level of membership. However, we’re just not sure when exactly we do want to instate that, the idea here being that we want to build up our community level memberships first and kind of get ourselves familiar with working with people external to the organizing membership before we really try and add all of these different elements into the pot, because I, we realized it could be confusing not only just for us, but also for members who are looking to join, but not really sure what they want. And essentially what we’re planning on doing is rolling this out sometime in the future. And this isn’t something we really publicize a lot, but we did want to bring it up today just to like, keep it you know, at the back of your head that this is a possibility for yourself if you’re interested and just to get involved in a different capacity with New Feeling. And also it’s a possibility for other members and perhaps down the line, this could be a really cool way to actually to actually attract new members. I don’t know if Michael, you are down to chat about the annual general meeting, but I can, I can go as well.

Plans for our first Annual General Meeting

Michael Rancic (21:12):
Basically every co-op has like a, an AGM and typically the first one is the one that you have to sort of vote on the collective’s bylaws. You use it to elect a board to represent the different member stakeholders of the cooperative. This is a big priority of the organizing working group that Katerina and I are a part of. We are sort of holding off on having one at the moment until we sort of like build our membership to a sort of slightly larger state. So kind in tandem with meeting our membership goals that I mentioned earlier, in terms of like, for budgetary reasons, we’re also looking at sort of like increasing our numbers to a point where it would make sense to have this first AGM because the way that sort of things are stipulated, and you can sort of see this information. I don’t know, Katerina, if you want to paste a link to the bylaws real quick in the chat, just so people have it as a reference, but right now, the way that we’re sort of envisioning the board is that there would be typically like three seats per membership class or thereabouts. This is a conversation that, that we all will have as a co-op, but in order to do that, we need to, you know, a substantial amount of people. And I think that there would be, you know, a strong enough showing right now in community and certainly in the organizing side, but right now our advisory class is a little smaller and, you know, we’re, we’re sort of trying to get a better sense of when this writing member class would be, would sort of fit in. So right now we’re sort of looking at probably like early next year for the first AGM that would give us some time to sort of grow a little bit, and then also basically develop what we need to before then. That said you are all co-owners of New Feeling. And so we won’t do any, anything to substantively change the cooperative on our own without first coming to all of you. So there will be other opportunities to have general all member meetings in the future when we make decisions that affect all of us. But right now we’re sort of operating on the basically on the designs that we’ve sort of established why we took a break and it was just sort of laid out in the bylaws as well as yeah, I think just mostly the bylaws. But yeah, I think that’s kind of it for the AGM stuff. So yeah, basically we’re aware this is something that needs to happen. It’s definitely a priority for us, but we would just want to sort of like get everything in line before we, we do it.

Q&A

Michael Rancic (24:16):
So I think that sort of wraps up all the things that we wanted to talk about. We did have a question submitted beforehand. We asked everybody in the email, if you had any questions outright that you could send it in and we could address those here. So that question was: “are there partnerships with other orgs, such as artist run centres that new feeling is interested in pursuing in interested in, or pursuing, sorry. I’m just thinking, especially about the diversity mandate and tapping into writers who are interested in, but not necessarily as attached to the music scene.” That’s a great question.

(24:56):
It’s definitely something that’s been on our mind. So we have a social media slash community focused working group and the real focus and priority for that working group is everything that’s like public facing. So that’s all of our social media, but then also our the way that we sort of connect to different either community members or community groups. And so in that working group have had multiple meetings talking about, you know, reaching out to different organizations, like-minded organizations. So first so, so the short answer to this is, yes, this is something that we’re thinking about but we haven’t done it enough. Partially because before we approached anybody, you know I said “like-minded organizations,” we can’t really talk to anybody who’s like-minded before we really figure out what it is that we want to want to be. So we needed to solidify our values. So the values development process was a month long process that basically started from the very first like iterative conversations that we had before New Feeling even had a name to when we brought on our steering committee and basically ran by a draft of our values to them, which they then give us feedback on. And then that became the published version, which exists on our website. So now that we have those values in place, we have a better sense of checks and balances in order to sort of like say, okay this group, do they, or don’t they sort of fit into that? So one way that we’ve sort of talked about potentially like partnering with other community related organizations is that one of our steering committee members, Anupa Mistry, suggested partnering with other organizations to do sort of like editorial takeovers.

(26:53):
So we wouldn’t be setting or determining what the editorial for the issue was. It would be through a community partnership. And I really liked this idea because I think it would help us reach audiences beyond our own. And that’s really important to us in terms of just like growing as a publication, but then also adding new members to a New Feeling, but it’s sort of a difficult strategy to have without first having some, some money to compensate people fairly. There has been like a, sort of a wave of outreach that we in the social media slash community working group have done. But most of the organizations that we’ve reached out to. So one of them is n10.as, the radio station in Montreal, the Encampment Support Network in Toronto, All Access Pass in Vancouver, which is a radio show and Face the Music and Entertainment, which is like a professional development music focused organization based in Vancouver. A lot of them didn’t get back to us or yeah, we never, we never sort of like heard back. So we basically sent out emails basically, just sort of saying, hi, this is what we’re about. Would you be interested having a conversation about the way this so we can sort of like help each other? One successful conversation that we did have was with a cooperative based in Vancouver, they’re called VALU Co-op they are a visual artist run co-op and there’s also a union component to that. So that’s gone really well. Basically like tying things back to our values again VALU co-op actually their values on their website are actually were very informative to the development of our own. So they’ve been an organization– they’ve kind of formed about a year before we did and we’ve really looked to them as an inspiration because a lot of cooperatives tend to hide the fact that there a cooperative. There was a period of time where it wasn’t really cool or hip to, to start one. And so they sort of obscure that fact, whereas VALU are sort of very transparent in how they’re organizing, why they’re doing it, the fact that they’re organizing around labor, which really resonated with what we’re trying to do. And so they’ve been really great and we’ve had some very early conversations with them about ways in which that we could work together, which would involve I can’t say too much because we haven’t really like fleshed it out, but potentially could involve more writing opportunities for members of the cooperative. And it could involve more organizing around labor as writers as well. So we will keep you all sort of posted about that and we will very likely be having conversations amongst the organizing team soon about ways to sort of move forward with that. And then once we’ve sort of had that conversation, we’ll sort of bring that forward to you all, the community members to sort of discuss our options with these partnerships, not just with VALU, but with other organizations that we, we like. So that kind of covers our response to that question. I think now we can probably open it up to the floor if anybody who’s joined has any, any questions that they want to run by us? Anything that’s been unclear anything that they want to know more about just yeah, you can drop yourself off of mute and fire away.

Katerina Stamadianos (30:44):
So also if anyone has any ideas on, if they’d be interested in a Discord or any other platforms that you may not be aware of, happy to chat about that as well.

Galen (31:04):
I’ll just chime in quickly just to say, I appreciate all the detail. That was a lot. And yeah, it seems, it seems like it all makes sense, I guess, just to know that, you know, things are still getting worked out, but I appreciate all of the organization and, you know, just that bylaws page and will take some time, take some time with that. And yeah, in terms of the Discord topic, I’m, I’m, I’m still more of a, like a Slack person myself in terms of workflow, but I’ve from what I’ve gathered from some friends of mine that use Discord, primarily there seems to be some major advantages there. I think mainly that it has better options, I think, around the free plan, you know, just to keep things cost efficient. So, yeah, that makes sense there. So that’s, that’s all I have to say. I just appreciate your time and all the work that you Katerina and Michael have put in towards sharing all this information with with us.

Katerina Stamadianos (32:12):
Thanks. and just to to add to that, Tom Beedham joined us a bit late, who’s on the care team and has done a ton of work to support and make New Feeling what it is. So he’s also very appreciated. One thing that I do want to say about Discord over Slack is for some reason Tom, and I work on a project outside of New Feeling together and it’s Slack based and I find the work and generally just, I find Discord a bit more intuitive. I’m not sure what Tom thinks, but I find it’s way easier for chatting, which I think is what we’re trying to do. Less like assigning tasks cause I would never do that to you. And I it’s kind of like Slack’s cool sibling, I would say, which is kind of my, my, my, but that’s just a preference I think. But yeah.

Michael Rancic (33:17):
Cool. Any other questions from anybody who’s joined us today? No pressure. If you don’t have any we are always available newfeelingcoop@gmail.com or, you know, you can reach out to some of us on Twitter as well. But yeah, if you have any other questions, happy to answer them here.

Katerina Stamadianos (33:50):
Great. I think that’s all thanks so much for joining us, everyone. This will be available I think, in the coming days or week or so for listening back, if there was anything complicated or something you want to just hear again, or you loved it so much that you want to listen to twice it’ll be available and we’re going to timestamp that I think so that we can streamlined at all. So thanks again, really means a lot that you guys showed up and hope to, to chat more.

Michael Rancic (34:25):
Yeah. Thanks so much for joining and believing in what we’re trying to accomplish and yeah, showing up today aswell. It means a lot. And yeah. Thanks everyone. Have a good night.

Soul Boner – Liliana’s Divorce

Soul Boner
Liliana’s Divorce
Vain Mina
Montréal, QC
RIYL: Wasteland; WLMRT; 100 gecs

For the sake of full transparency, I selected this project to review because of the band’s name. That said, what I got when I pressed play was equally eyebrow-raising. Montréal-based duo Soul Boner’s debut EP, Liliana’s Divorce, is a five-minute, 13-second sonic caffeine rush that is short and sweet, but still packs a hefty punch. Feverish, blistering lo-fi noise punk meets hyper-pop à la 100 gecs, topped off with rapid-fire, deadpan spoken word monologues from front person Nara Wriggs—including one about refusing extra bread at McDonald’s to save money for fries, even if they’re “weird, dry, [and] soggy.” While any project at such a short length is difficult to properly analyze, it’s nonetheless a dizzying and sometimes eerie listen that serves as a memorable, in-your-face introduction to this duo’s raw, chaotic tunes.

– Dave MacIntyre

Ouri – Frame of a Fauna

Ouri
Frame of a Fauna
Born Twice / Lighter Than Air
Montréal, QC
RIYL: Aphex Twin; Arca; Oneohtrix Point Never

When you go from local scene fixture to full-fledged artist, you’ll want to make a strong artistic statement right from the jump. After dropping two excellent EPs (Maze and We Share Our Blood), frequently performing alongside producer CRi, and collaborating with fellow Montréal artist Helena Deland on their joint project, Hildegard, Ouri (born Ourielle Auvé) has emerged with her debut solo album, Frame of a Fauna. Made while travelling between London, Berlin, and Brazil, this LP encapsulates her frenetic-yet-expansive sound that has become her trademark, while tracing the marks life experience leaves behind. 

Meshing punchy industrial beats with ethereal synths and orchestral atmospheres (no doubt influenced by her background in classical music, studying both harp and piano), the Montréal-via-France producer/singer/composer combines her lush, forward-thinking production with her own breathy, soothing singing voice. With fellow Montréal artists Mind Bath and Antony Carle offering guest vocals to “Odd or God” and “Felicity” respectively, Frame of a Fauna‘s intoxicating take on trip-hop, ambient, and experimental electronic music sees Ouri making a hypnotic, dreamlike body of work that can be both danceable and experimental—often at the same time.

Dave MacIntyre

August 2021 Co-op Update

August 2021 Co-op Update

Hey! 

It’s been awhile since we’ve updated you all on what we’ve been up to. “Economics” is an apt theme for us to be relaunching with because in many ways, our decision to pause our editorial output last November was to study and subvert our own little economy in an attempt to try and make a change, however small, in The Big One. 

We wanted to prioritize paying writers equitably and competitively while remaining independent, community-oriented, and collectively owned. We wanted our editorial practices to reflect this goal. We needed to focus our energy on developing our cooperative from the ground up. 

And focus we did! Our Organization working group collaborated with our Steering Committee to establish a membership structure and corresponding Bylaws. The Budget working group established a financial plan to grow the cooperative sustainably. The Equity/Care working group authored a Code of Conduct to ensure that New Feeling is a safe, constructive and trauma-informed organization. 

Today, we are launching not only our new issue, but New Feeling’s two new membership classes for community stakeholders. By subscribing to New Feeling, you can join the cooperative as a Community Member or as an Advisory Member. These members become co-owners in the cooperative along with our founding Organizing members, and gain voting rights at member meetings, helping to set the direction of New Feeling going forward. This is an important step toward our goal of incorporation, and also financial sustainability. You can learn more about joining here.

Though we’re introducing the word “subscription,” we have no intention of paywalling our bimonthly issues. It’s important to us that our writing remains accessible to everyone. Subscriptions are an integral part of New Feeling’s compensation model. New Feeling’s members can find satisfaction in knowing that their dues are first and foremost dedicated to paying writers equitably. 

This relaunch only partially captures what we’d like to see from our cooperative arm and membership structure in the future. We want to grow as a community organization and intend to launch a members Discord for people to chat about local music and share their favourite writing. We will also launch a Writer Membership class which will provide access to workshops, peer mentorship, writing opportunities, and more. More information on the Writer Membership will be released in the coming months (note that Community Members will be able to switch their membership classification to Writer Member when this feature launches). 

NEW FEELING