Joanne Pollock Up Here, Sudbury ON, August 17
Published Aug 18, 2018Rolling through Sudbury with more than a handful of new tracks at the ready, Joanne Pollock brought Up Here a more propulsive version of the lonesome electronic sound she debuted on last year's Stranger. The songs are still washed in emotional angst and inner turmoil, but now Pollock's blasting them through the ghosts of house music while grappling with her own emotional tuning and lifting up the community surrounding her in pieces that rally from sunken dirges to climbing rhythm sections.
The black holes that pervaded Stranger are still present, but they dissipate. So it made sense that the only album track to make the cut was album opener "Carnival," its tilt-a-whirl meditation on deep winter dread bridging a slower block of songs — including a shimmering Scorpio waltz about "not understanding how to not be an ice queen" and an overcast cover of Freda Payne's "Band of Gold" that floated on rain clouds before reaching a booming climax — with a dipping "aspirational song" called "Hollywood" that had a faithful row of people dancing, eyes shut, in the front.
In keeping with the night's theme, she capped it all off by inviting Aaron Funk (aka Venetian Snares) onstage to tend the electronics as the duo premiered a new track from their Poemss project, and with it a new sound favouring the splattercore percussion Funk pursues under his solo alias over the woozier vibes on their self-titled debut.