Somewhere out in the wilds of British Columbia, Daniel Glen Monkman is putting trees into the ground.
Who is Monkman and why should you care if he is spending his days toiling away in the foothills of B.C., baggin’ up at tree cashes and screefing topsoil? Monkman is the principal songwriter and driving force behind the Blisters, and each tree planted brings him 12 cents closer to releasing their much anticipated, psych-infused, shoegazer opus tentatively titled, Are You Awake.
The Blisters hail from Selkirk, Manitoba and began when Monkman was just a teenager smitten with the sounds of Brian Wilson’s pop confectionary and the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s unbalanced mix of throwback peace, love, and jaded 90s’ ironic detachment.
They have grown from one-man home recordings to a full live band that includes musicians who have become some of the shining stars of the Winnipeg music scene.
Lyzie Burt, outside of the Blisters, is a talented solo singer-songwriter with a gift for subtle yet heartbreaking lyrics.
Danny Hacking is from the Hoots, a brooding crew of party boys that have turned heads over the last two years with their twisted garage rock sounds.
Skitty Popes and Marc Lenevue come from the Bad Nerves, Winnipeg’s newest keyboard loving punk rockers.
Lucky enough for us we get a sneak peek at a couple of songs Monkman and company have been cooking up for the yet unreleased Are You Awake, via YouTube. You can pop on over to the Blisters’ Facebook page and give “Playground” a spin. It’s a pensive piece of My Bloody Valentine-esque shoegazing excellence that explores the theme of growing up, replete with the sense of loss that follows the changes life brings. Next on the docket is the titular “Are You Awake,” a song that makes the perfect soundtrack for long fall walks under a cold grey sky.
So take a listen to the Blisters’ sneak peeks, and then keep your eyes peeled for their triumphant return to the Peg, scheduled for whenever Monkman gets back from tree planting and decides to start playing music for us again.