Allyson Blush
Disappearing Act
Self Released
Charlottetown, PEI
RIYL: Chelsea Wolfe; Angel Olsen on solo guitar; Mount Eerie

Despite the title of Allyson Blush’s Disappearing Act EP, the stirring songwriter makes a lasting impression. Cocooned in nothing but an acoustic guitar and ambient hiss, her spellbinding, vibrating voice has plenty of space in which to thrive as she sings of abandonment. 

A magician vanishes from the stage on the title track, leaving his audience and assistant bewildered and in tears. “Does it feel good to be out there with the debt and the noise? / With the tuition and the neighbors screaming back at your poise? / … / Are you happy to have an empty kitchen and no more me?” she asks whoever has left her for the city on “Heart Degree.” Like that song, “Trigger” feels urgent, as she fears she’s running out of time: “If there’s a reason that you’re not here, well, honey, I ain’t waiting, so there’s not much time to spare.” 

With minimalistic, haunted folk arrangements that hang like cobwebs in her scenes of abandonment, listening to Disappearing Act is an arrestingly isolating experience.

– Leslie Ken Chu

FSHKLL
Sashimi Shoreline EP
Independent
Charlottetown, PEI
RIYL: Cold Warps; Terry Malts; Tacocat

FSHKLL are goofy and playful, but don’t call them egg punk. They let you know how much they hate the versatile shelled viand on lurching Sashimi Shoreline track “Eggman”: “No eggs in potatoes, no eggs over easy, no eggs in a bun,” singer Brad Deighan decries. 

Elsewhere, the five-song EP is relentlessly catchy, like on the positive mental attitude anthem “Dark Thoughts.” “Let’s do something great and focus on the positive,” he encourages. The soda shop punch of power-pop bottle rocket “Run-Out” makes it the most fun song you’ll hear about beating up Nazis. FSHKLL can pack a wallop, too. They come in hot with snarling EP opener “NYST,” on which Colin MacIsaac’s bass lines swing like a sledgehammer. 

Sashimi Shoreline ends in similarly hard-hitting fashion with the sarcastic “Canadian Dream.” “We comin’ for you,” Deighan warns on “Run-Out.” FSHKLL aren’t coming for me, though, so I’ll gladly chase them for more.

– Leslie Ken Chu