# 5. Jon Mckiel: Tonka War Cloud

So I’m gonna try to stick with every second album being an independent release. If I don’t stick to it religiously, that’s fine, but I will try my best.  Which brings me to Jon Mckiel. I’m a huge fan of “Confidence Lodge” which Jon released last Winter and I have been lucky enough to catch him live a few times. He’s easily one of my favourites, if not my favourite act in the Maritimes right now. I’ve been holding out for the vinyl release of his new album, “Tonka War Cloud” but have decided to stream it from bandcamp for my purposes tonight. I also apologize Jon, because this album deserves my 9 AM with coffee and sunshine full attention, but it’s currently after 10 PM and I’m wrapping christmas gifts. I’m still super excited though…

I already love the first 3 songs, with the 3rd working its way into my head nicely. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is I love about Jon’s music, but I love it.  It’s endlessly poppy and catchy without ever being cheesy, predictable or safe. It’s a noisy slugfest at times and a pristine example of grungy pop rock done right.

Seems to be a little darker and heavier than the EP. The rollicking 1st side is followed by a more mellow, sombre and stripped down side filled with strings and dark, dark lyrics. Beautiful harmonies and melodic ukulele end the album wonderfully.

This album  has solidified  Jon as my favourite Halifax artist for sure.  Can’t wait to get my grubby hands on the vinyl.  A perfect companion to the EP and stiff competition for my favourite album of the week/year.

Highlights: “old problems,”  holy ghost

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