For those who are receptive to it, art can have healing powers. Restorative powers even. An old girlfriend of mine taught art classes at a women’s prison and she would sometimes tell me what the inmates created during these sessions, each one drawing from segments of their own lives and imaginations. Making art, whether it’s good or bad is not relevant, is often used as a way to release emotions that may otherwise stay bottled up inside of us. I feel I’m always seeing flyers for poetry and creative nonfiction courses advertised on community message boards and the brochures for summer ad-hoc community college courses that somehow find their way into my mailbox on a more than regular basis.
These are things I often forget about when I’m in a museum standing in front of a Van Gogh, or a Picasso or a Lautrec say, or listening to Sonic Youth or Beethoven or reading Sartre, the fact that not all art has to be universal genius, it only has to say something about the way the artist views the world. The rest is simply subjective and left up to those awful people who write criticism and think they know everything about everything.
Vancouver, BC duo Blueberry Moon threw me for a loop roughly thirty some seconds into their whimsical debut EP Attitude Of Gratitude on the opening title track. “I used to have a problem with my attitude / I was nervous, I was scared, I was mad at you,” Mira Malcolm laments powerfully but then her cohort Dustin Quasar interrupts “mad at me?” stopping the momentum, and the song and the two break down the fourth wall to have a funny conversation about the fact that they’re recording a song, and then, without missing a beat they launch back into it, continuing with a bump and run sing song that is deliciously catchy happy and catchy thanks to some pretty wicked electric guitar spasms that Yossi Rouch adds to the mix.
This feeling of happiness continues on “8 Hugs A Day” on which Malcolm serves up a lyrical recipe for happiness over post rock melodies. The love of people turns to a concern for the love of the land on up-tempo “The Waters Rose.” On the final track “Free Culture (feat. Willisist)” the pair turns up the heat bringing in renowned Vancouver MC Willisist to add a bit of free flowing flavor to the tune.
The universal themes that Blueberry Moon bring to the table make their music that much more relevant. Their music is progressive and political but it is also heartfelt and beckons for the change that the world as a whole needs to hear. They preach a message that is pretty simple. Love yourself, love each other and love the planet you are on. And they do so in a way that is musically diverse, fun and funky which is rare, in my estimation, for a four song EP. Blueberry Moon is a positive force with a positive message, one that in this reviewer’s opinion hopefully won’t fall on deaf ears.
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