Northern Transmissions reviews 'Ok Vancouver Ok'

Kingfisher Bluez Records


Ok Vancouver Ok

Food. Shelter. Water

Vancouver based Ok Vancouver Ok is Jeff Johnson’s experimental collective pop project, and will be releasing a new album entitled Food. Shelter. Water, out on Kingfisher Bluez Records on April 22nd. The ten track album was produced by Eli Moore from LAKE and is anti-capitalist indie music with an environmental message.

Opening track “Food+Water+Shelter” begins with a mash of noise and then infectious drums, Johnson’s vocals echo over top; “Food and water, shelter over” chants repeat. “I’ve Been Since I’ve Been” is a wistful and beautifully simple love song listing intimate moments and events; “I’ve been fingers in your belly button, I’ve been cooking up a storm, I’ve been hearing all your great ideas, I’ve been holding back your hair….since I’m in love with you”.

A more jangly, guitar prominent track on Food. Shelter. Water, “Pit House Tree House” is a track about living more simply. Johnson stresses about three syllables in his pronunciation of the “house” in “tree-house” which gives it a playful vibe. It ends with an interesting instrumental. “I Want Children to Swim in a River They Can Drink From” is a slow, building song, Johnson is joined by a number of voices chiming in for the chorus.

Lead single “What’s my memory for?” is a stand out track, more forceful and with lo-fi sounding vocals, the question rings out “What’s my memory for, if I can die, what’s to come back for more?”. In “Snowman in the Sun” high pitched female vocals bring a new dimension and hints at global warming whilst “Loving You” sounds like something by American singer and guitarist Calvin Johnson, with it’s clear, calm, speak-y vocals over a running single note.

“At Home in the Garden” has the most direct environmental memo; “what else to do but keep the planet clean…water clean, air clean, shelter comfortable we can relax a little more, we can relax a lot more” and “capitalism won’t be around forever so take the plastic with you”. “Griselda” sees up-beat guitar, drums and keys and more female vocals joining Johnson’s before closing track “Camping” ends the album positively: “I love everyone” he says. Ok Vancouver Ok’s Food. Shelter. Water is subtle, creative and beautiful music with an environmental message.

Reviewed by Heather Welsh.


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