Monster of the Miramichi
The most unsurprising thing about Halifax’s Jon McKiel is that he is from Halifax. From the opening chords of “Monster of the Miramichi” you can tell that he has mastered that slacker-rock, East Coast aesthetic. This song has a great use of space; the simplicity of the arrangement (one guitar, one voice, bass, drums) makes it sound sparse in a good way, cutting out any unnecessary embellishments. The chords of the chorus, the almost-urgent downstrokes, manage to sound thicker than they really are. All this proves a great framework for the down-and-out fuzz solo to punch out and soar, rather than get muddled in with the rest of the song.
“Monster of the Miramichi” is off the Confidence Lodge EP and is a personal favourite, but Jon McKiel also has a full-length album, Tonka War Cloud, which received very favourable reviews. Sounds bounce between acoustic vs. electric, but it all carries a surprising emotional resonance from one of the calmest singer/songwriters around.