Editor’s note: This article was updated on March 8 to correct the release date for Witch Prophet’s album.
By: Petra Chase, Arts & Culture Editor
Released on Valentine’s Day along with a music video, “INtrID” is your new go-to soundtrack for sapphic longing. Naledi Sunstrum, a.k.a. OK Naledi, is a Motswana-Canadian Afro House musician bringing a “queer, gender diverse presence to the Afro House genre — something that is still lacking in this genre.” In this deeply vulnerable track, Sunstrum recounts “falling in love with a woman at a time when homosexuality was illegal in Botswana.” Building anticipation and intensity through the lyrics and uplifting piano, it’s the type of song you put on a loop as you daydream for hours. The beautiful video that accompanies the song feels like a hazy, joyful memory, pulling you into mise en scène of Sunstrum’s storytelling. OK Naledi’s debut LP, Bones, was released on March 3 as the “first chapter” of their storytelling through music.
With a synth sound as crisp as an autumn breeze, Edmonton-based band, VERTTIGO, shows off a unique blend of punk rock and dream pop in their debut track. Citing influences such as Cocteau Twins, Alvvays, and Beach House, the intensity of lead singer K A R Í M A H’s soaring vocals also draw comparison to Evanescence. The song captures feelings of longing with dark undertones, reflected in the stunning music video’s gothic aesthetic. It’s shot in a cabin built in the ‘30s which has long been a “hidden gem” in Edmonton’s arts scene. Stay tuned for their upcoming album, which is set to be released this year. You can also watch them live in Vancouver at Verboden Music Festival in May.
“Energy Vampire” by Witch Prophet ft DillanPonders
“Energy Vampire” has a commanding energy. The laid-back hip-hop beat is built for strutting in self-assured bliss. The term “energy vampire” to describe those who drain your energy is a powerful revelation; this song will empower you to recognize and block energy vampires in your life. Witch Prophet is a “queer, East African singer-songwriter” based in Toronto. The music video feels psychedelic, with steampunk-like visuals showing off their unique style.
Her new album, Getaway Experience, comes out on May 1. It’s named after a “CIA report where they studied the use of sound tapes to manipulate brain waves with a goal of creating altered states.” “As a neurodivergent artist who struggles with focal seizures (Déjà vu, out of body experiences, lucid dreaming, memory loss etc) I feel like; sharing my experiences through my music is one of my paths to healing,” she said. “Gateway Experience is an album focused on the connection with the human brain, seizures, god, and otherworldly abilities.”
Listen to The Peak’s regularly-updated “New Music” playlist on our Spotify profile.
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