Monday, July 7, 2008

Reviews:: KoAk Morningside Stumbles

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Does anyone remember the New Brunswick edish of our Canadian Mixtape project? Well, you should because those bands were hungrier than a van full of up and coming emcees and for a collection of unknown artists, it holds up really well to some of the more well known provincial scenes.

You might wonder why I'm bringing up old news? Well, mainly because one of the last additions to the mix was was actually one of my favorites and has a new record for your pleasure.

KoAk - the cryptic moniker of Fredericton's Ian Wilson - plays lo-fi folk music. Oddly enough, the most generic of descriptors can be applied to this eclectic artist, even though the songs are all over the map and challenge every limitation usually imposed on the genre. Folk based yes, but he adds guitar solos, sonic bursts, and jams to create a sludgy mix that oozes around his words and makes the listen much more rewarding.

For any fan of lo-fi, bedroom style recordings there are a bunch of tracks that will peak your interest. The opener, Something's Going On, relies on nothing more than a finger picked riff and double tracked vocals, but Wilson uses that structure as a blank canvas to experiment with. Splashes of guitar and drums are added and removed, and makes the song seem like a six minute epic, instead of a quick 2:48.

Although Wilson might prefer a constant tempo, the songs are anything but repetitive. Won't Be Long quickly gets to the point, settling into the riff and adding his vocals, but the meat of the song is the instrumental improvisation he adds to the last minute. The sledgehammer bass and guitar solo turn the slow moving track into head nodder. The aptly titled Foggycoast casts a shoegazey haze over the record and shows that Wilson's talented is much bigger than the bedroom studio he records in.

After even one listen, it's easy to realize Morningtime Stumble - out now on Delorean Recordings - is a tidy collection of ten songs, but it's the depth of the album that is more immediate. Echoes and textures roam freely around the chords Wilson strums, but they only add to the vast and desolate nature of the songs. On There is a Lion, he asks, "How could I be any stronger? How could I feel any stranger?" over simple strums, but it's the bursts of electric and chaotic outro highlight his inner torment and it's that understanding of sounds that makes this record so enjoyable.

So, long story short: This record is well worth your time. Instead of a 15 piece sugary sweet pop collective, you can go back to your roots and settle into some creative, DIY style tracks. Still not sold? Check out Foggycoast and enjoy what koAk has to offer.

Posted at 11:33 AM by ack :: 4 comments

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At 3:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

this is a rad album to be sure!


At 2:31 AM, Anonymous Geoffry did sayeth:

can i download this album? i saw them perform at Sappyfest this past summer, and they were a show stealer!


At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

the album is available on


At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

is this the latest album from koak, or had he released something more recently?


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