Zoongideewin — Bleached Wavves (June 19, 2020) ↵ “Moccasin~gaze” project of indigenous Canadian musician Daniel Monkman.
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Shoegaze, Dream Pop
Album release: June 19, 2020
Record Label: Paper Bag Records
01. Clouded Formation 1:06
02. Vibrant Colours 4:36
03. Was & Always Will Be 3:11
04. Bleached Wavves 3:27
05. BrokenHead 2:49
06. A Perfect Sunset, Ahead 0:55
07. Light Prism 3:55
08. Infinite Horizons feat: Jesse Davidson 2:06
09. Landscapes 2:58
10. Help Me Understand 4:29
↵ The debut album from Zoon, Bleached Wavves, is now available Pressed on limited edition, apple red vinyl and released on June 19, 2020 on Paper Bag Records. All artwork for the record is by Danielle Roberts.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson ⌊ JUNE 2020 ⌋ Score: ★★★½
↵ Canadian musician Daniel Monkman fell in love with shoegaze as a teenager, and the music has always helped him cope with his life struggles, from facing adversity due to his indigenous heritage to poverty and drug addiction. After near~death experiences and a close friend’s death due to an overdose, Monkman sought spiritual guidance and cleaned up. In order to get his life and music career back on track, he moved to Hamilton, Ontario, and started a band called Bloom, which he renamed Zoon after the Ojibway word Zoongide’ewin, meaning “bravery, courage, the Bear Spirit.”
↵ The project’s debut album is curiously titled Bleached Wavves, as it doesn’t really have much to do with the beachy indie punk of either Bleached or Wavves. His masses of elaborately sculpted guitar noise inevitably bring to mind My Bloody Valentine, yet the shuffling rhythms of songs like “Vibrant Colours” are a bit closer to the Madchester scene, but without the drug~fueled hedonism. His spiritual quest is reflected by tracks like “Was & Always Will Be,” which is less a song than a mantra, with Monkman chanting over a focused haze of buzzing, nestled guitar feedback and entranced percussion. “BrokenHead” is named after the Ojibway Nation in Winnipeg, where Monkman was raised, and the swaying instrumental conveys a sense of being at peace in one’s home environment, even if that wasn’t always the case throughout his upbringing. The album’s most gripping moment is “Infinite Horizons,” wherein Monkman delivers a spoken monologue reflecting on his ancestry and his quest to understand his history, over sporadic drums and gliding guitars. “Landscapes” is the record’s most ecstatic cut, expressing its glee through a squall of guitars and hard rhythmic panning rather than words. The album concludes with the majestic procession of “Help Me Understand,” the clearest indication of his search for enlightenment.
↵ Monkman covers a wide range of styles and moods in just half an hour, but it all ties into his message of healing and empowerment, along with a hint of nostalgic longing. He clearly has an abundance of ideas, and it’ll be fascinating to see where he goes from here.