Zoon (or Zoongide’ewin), the powerful musical expression of Daniel Monkman and his magnificent debut album ‘Bleached Wavves,’ has just been Long Listed for the Polaris Music Prize. Bleached Wavves is testament to Daniel’s patience and perseverance, along with his ability to reverse engineer with minimal gear (his guitar and a digital delay pedal) and record at his home the intricate sounds and layers of music texture he was intently chasing for this record. The soundscapes he shaped largely from 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 debuts of 2020.
Revisit two distinctive tracks from ‘Bleached Wavves,’ via videos for A Perfect Sunset, Ahead and Clouded Formation both directed by Emma and Peter Cosgrove. Watch the beautiful video sequences via YouTube below.
Zoon recently released a spellbinding version of Beck‘s Round The Bend, reimagined and intentionally channelling Nick Drake, two artists Daniel counts as huge musical influences. He was just included in an INDIE88 post highlighting their top 10 indigenous artists to listen to now.
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.
The Polaris Music Prize is a not-for-profit organization that annually honours and rewards artists who produce Canadian music albums of distinction. A select panel of music critics judge and award the Prize without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity. The Polaris Music Short List will be announced on July 15, and the winner will be announced this fall.
‘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.