In the Ojibway language, the word Zoongide’ewin means “bravery, courage, the Bear Spirit.” It’s no wonder Daniel Monkman adopted Zoon as his musical name-sake. The Hamilton-based musician has spent the better part of his 28 years finding and channelling his strength to overcome such adversities as racism, poverty and addiction.
On his debut album, ‘Bleached Wavves,’ which is set for release on June 19, 2020 via Paper Bag Records, Zoon paints a message of hope and fortitude, lessons he learned studying the Seven Grandfather teachings after experiencing the lowest point of his life and channeling it all through the shoegaze filter with nods of inspiration to one of his favourite and formative bands, My Bloody Valentine. The ‘Bleached Wavves’ LP is lead by the shimmering lead track, Vibrant Colours.
With Vibrant Colours, “I started to improvise melodies but they kept slipping away and that’s where the lyrics in the song come from, and that reference of memories slipping away comes from my experience with my grandmother who suffered from dementia,” says Daniel. He further expands on the idea behind the song in a heart-wrenching and heart-felt essay he wrote for Talkhouse.
Vibrant Colours is further revealed via the video, directed by Christopher Mills, who noted “This track made me have a dream about a conversation with the wizard of Oz beneath a waterfall. The video aims for a playful portrait in glitch dimension of one of the warmest human beings I have had the great fortune to work with.”
Watch the Vibrant Colours video clip via YouTube below.
You can also listen to Vibrant Colours.
‘Bleached Wavves’ is a 10-track, album document of what has been cheekily-coined as “moccasin-gaze” – and in part, a culmination of Daniel’s First Nations heritage coupled with his love of the shoegaze genre – arguably best exemplified by the Dublin-born, Kevin Sheilds helmed late 80’s + early 90’s band, My Bloody Valentine whose timeless LP, ‘Loveless’ being one that changed everything for Daniel. Zoon embraces a similar effects-laden sound with a distinctive and new approach on his debut. While recording, Daniel faced the challenge of limited gear and creating everything in his bedroom using only using only a Fender Deville guitar and a DigiTech delay pedal which resulted in him employing some decidedly creative, reverse engineering and recording techniques.
‘Bleached Wavves’ tracklist
1. Clouded Formation
2. Vibrant Colours
3. Was & Always Will Be
4. Bleached Wavves
6. A Perfect Sunset, Ahead
7. Light Prism
9. Infinite Horizons
10. Help Me Understand
Born and raised in Selkirk, Manitoba, a small prison town outside of Winnipeg he describes as “one of the roughest places,” Daniel has constantly faced an uphill battle. In his teens, he was victimized for his First Nations heritage, which led to him abusing drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. His best friend died of an overdose; he nearly followed him on multiple occasions. But with the spiritual guidance, he learned from 12-step therapy, Monkman got clean and began to follow a passion for music he discovered from a young age growing up within the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.
Zoon is set to play select dates including New Colossus in NY in mid-March and Kazoo in Guelph on April 18, before announcing further shows around release. All dates are below and on sale now.
Upcoming tour dates
March 12 – Piano’s / New Colossus Festival, NY, NYC
March 13 – Delancy / New Colossus Festival, NY, NYC
March 14 – Bowery Electric Map Room / New Colossus Festival, NY, NYC
March 15 – Piano’s/ New Colossus Festival, NY, NYC
April 18 – Kazoo Festival. Guelph, Ontario