Not You: Halifax’s new dark punk pioneers cast a slippergazed haze

April 21, 2017 in features

A flock of four, Nancy Urich (Dog Day), Stephanie Johns (The Stolen Minks), Rebecca Young (Soaking Up Jagged) and Meg Yoshida (Bad Vibrations) hold court near the ocean and perfect their sound. Slippergaze being the adjective given to describe their muffin fueled melodies. You could say that if the chip is Not You’s darkened alternative rock, then the guacamole would be their ability to sooth, with haunting harmonies and even guitarmonies.

In little over a year’s time the band have managed to be named one of CBC Music’s 11 best new bands of 2016 and play showcase gigs at both Pop Montreal and the Halifax Pop Explosion. All of this on top of preparing to release their debut E.P Misty. Recorded by Urich at home and due out May 12 via Fundog, these six songs give us the first taste of a band on the rise.

“Mabel” rolls in first with a tambourine stomp, as delicately harmonized vocals sit firmly on top of big muff guitars. “LL” is hook laden, and with the help of their relentlessly tightknit rhythm section is a standout gem. “Soup” is a perfected recipe, again seasoned with ever interesting guitar moves and eerie vocals. “twofour” starts with guitars beeping like a scope, and rides a wave of 90’s nostalgia. “PT” breaks the cycle with off kilter versus of eccentricity and the first single “haha” is a non-stop blast, hear it below.

I caught up with Nancy Urich for a little more insight…

KB: First thing I’m interested in knowing is how the band came together and got started?

NU: It came together because I was feeling like I wanted to play with somebody, just for fun. I messaged Stephanie and she was down – I really just wanted to drink beer and play loud, she wanted to add the other people and make a band. It was easy to pick Meg and Rebecca once we realized we needed to. Though none of us really knew each other that well. It was needed it seems, all of us needed to drink beer and play. And so we do! a beer outlet, inlet? lol enablement.

KB: Drink beer and snack?

NU: Yeah, snacks are important.

KB: Is there an agreed upon top favourite snack?

NU: Our most frequent snack is probably guac and nachos, but chips (many flavours), chocolate, cookies and muffins have been what’s up at times.

KB: So from drinking and snacking and jamming to recording the E.P in the same space as well?

NU: Yep, same spot, same snacks. Less beer during the recording process

KB: Only after in celebration?

NU: Yeah beer for edits

KB: You were in control of the whole recording process?

NU: Yeah

KB: Do you think that let you and the band explore new things in the recorded realm?

NU: Sort of. I kept it pretty simple. Lots of nailing down parts during that time. We didn’t spend that much time recording to be honest. it just took a long time, over months because of having a lot on our individual plates in life.


KB: Does the same theory apply to releasing the E.P on Fundog? having the control and time in your hands and not working around another labels time lines?

NU: Well, yes sort of. We have created our own little world out here with Fundog. We’ve released many records over the years and worked with different labels, we’ve had some great times. But the last few records we’ve done ourselves have been the most rewarding for sure. Doing it at our own pace is important. Around here all of the different arts feed the next type of art, so pace is important so we can give each the attention they need.

KB: I meant to ask about musical influences, in your bio it mentions the Wipers and Abba in the same breath.

NU: Yeah Wipers are one of my faves, I’ve always loved the gritty surfy sound. Abba is just something everyone can agree on, those pop hooks and harmonies.

KB: Yeah, both of those elements come through in the songs.

NU: Yeah I’d like Abba more if they were a bit dirtier, lol.

KB: If they had a cooler pedal board?

NU: Haha, love the dirt. we’re somewhere in between those two bands anyway, or at least we like to think we are.

KB: You are dirty Abba.

NU: well…Haha

KB: maybe not totally accurate, what’s the live show like?

NU: Shoegazey, I stare at the inside of my eyelids. We are loud, I really enjoy using my “amp army” as it’s been called. I just bought a new hand truck today to assist with that, calling it Ryan.

KB: So Ryan is helping out because you play multiple amps?

NU: Well our amps are just big, and they are really hard to lift for me because I’m vertically challenged. I’ve been bringing peanut butter sandwiches to shows in my purse to try and persuade people to help carry them. It’s so worth it though. We are a guitar rock band for sure, love cranking those things. Some vocal effects too, some space echo and other delay units.

KB: Who coined the term “Slippergaze”?

NU: Stephanie, because they wear their slippers during practice. sometimes me too Haha. We just like being comfy and having snacks to compliment the big rock sound.

KB: Any tour plans? Shows this summer?

NU: Yeah, we are playing a bunch of un-announce able showcases. We’re going to tour the Maritimes and do Charlottetown, Sydney and Moncton. Then maybe Ontario in the fall.

Catch Not You at the Lawnya Vawnya festival in St. Johns, with more dates to be announced soon and pre-order their debut Misty:

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By Kevin Bell

Kevin Bell is a Hamilton based musician, writer and record enthusiast.

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