Zoon (or Zoongide’ewin) is the powerful musical force of Daniel Monkman. His debut album, ‘Bleached Wavves,’ is a record intentionally shaped upon his deep love of shoegaze (notably My Bloody Valentine) merged with his Ojibway heritage and upbringing. It became one of the most critically acclaimed and internationally celebrated debut records of 2020.
It was covered by Brooklyn Vegan, Talkhouse, Paste, Magnet, Exclaim, American Songwriter, Under The Radar, The Fader and elicited a 9/10 album review from Exclaim Magazine who noted, “Zoon’s debut album is nothing short of remarkable” and “it also blazes new trails in shoegaze, particularly in the way it implements sounds from traditional First Nations music, an inventive mixture Daniel Monkman cheekily calls ‘moccasin-gaze’.”
Zoon returns with a cover of Round The Bend from Beck’s reflective 2002 ‘Sea Change’ LP. And, via the Zoon filter, it remarkably feels like much of what he did with his debut LP: recalibrate the music he loves via his own distinct lens. It sounds like Zoon reinterpreting his connection to Beck’s heartbreak, alongside an intentional, steady, gauzy and dreamy introspective style of folk icon, Nick Drake. Watch the Round The Bend video via YouTube below.
You can also stream the track here.
More about Zoon
“Growing up in my hometown of Selkirk, Manitoba, it was really hard to find new music that resonated with me,” says Daniel. “One day someone introduced me to Nick Drake. I had hoped it was a new artist, but I found out he had passed away in the early 70’s and I was pretty upset. I was explaining to a friend my frustration and they told me to check out Beck’s album, ‘Sea Change,’ and after my first listen I was so moved and at the time I was going through a pretty bad break up and this album helped me process my depression. Throughout my time away from music I’d always have a copy beside me; it kept inspiring me that I could try any kind of music style. I chose “Round The Bend” because it was like a contemporary Nick Drake song.”
On ‘Bleached Wavves,’ 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 creation of the LP was a testament to Daniel’s ability to reverse engineer with minimal gear (his guitar and a digital delay pedal) and recording at his home the intricate sounds and layers of music texture he heard in his head. He was sometimes forced to wait days or weeks to return to working on songs, this patience and reality of ‘waiting’ currently something the entire world is similarly and collectively experiencing right now. All artwork for the record is by Danielle Roberts.
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; Daniel 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.
‘Bleached Wavves’ track list
1. Clouded Formation
2. Vibrant Colours
3. Was & Always Will Be
4. Bleached Wavves
6. A Perfect Sunset, Ahead
7. Light Prism
8. Infinite Horizons
10. Help Me Understand
‘Bleached Wavves’ is available here.