Photo: Stacey Lee



Ky is the new ‘solo’ project of Ky Brooks, best known as vocalist and lyricist of noise-punk trio Lungbutter and a slew of other Montréal-based out-music projects, including eight-person queer punk collective Femmaggots and experimental/improv trio Nag. Ky is a long-standing and shining figure of Montréal’s music underground: they co-founded essential Montréal DIY space La Plante a decade ago, and alongside playing and performing in all sorts of projects and contexts ever since, they’re also a recording and front-of-house sound engineer about town (and on the road with acts like Big|Brave).

‘The Dancer’ is one of the album’s standout electro tracks – in this case melded with the ‘band’ configuration that also features sporadically on Power Is The Pharmacy: guitarist Mat Ball (Big|Brave), bassist Joshua Frank (Gong Gong Gong), and drummer Farley Miller (Shining Wizard) join Ky and the album’s core electronics collaborator Nick Schofield on a song anchored by crisp, phased synth arpeggiation and ghostly pads. As the band kicks in with a wicked little whiplash rhythm, Ky walks a fine line between bemused irony and unadorned sincerity (as their abstemious poems-turned-lyrics so often do) while synth ostinatos and sheets of whitenoise guitar add momentum to the inexorable groove.

The video by Ky’s friend Eric Bent features an animated child learning to move and crawl and walk, through dance: an ode to the primordial immanence of moving to music, and a fitting companion piece to the album’s most danceable track and its lyrical literalism.

Of our video premiere, ‘The Dancer’, Ky writes:

I wrote this song while staying in the woods during the first summer of COVID. My partner at the time (the titular dancer) and I had left Montreal because it felt unsafe to be around people, and I had this feeling of life passing by so quickly, especially in the absence of normal social contact- normal early-thirties ennui accentuated by the experience of intense loneliness that characterized the early pandemic. I thought the song was meant to be an emotional ballad of some kind, and worked and re-worked it with piano and guitar but never got anywhere. Then I was messing around with my volca fm synth and came up with this loping, irregular synth sequence, and I realized it could be delivered in a more bitter way. Josh (Frank) came up with the bassline after an afternoon music-listening session when we got back to Montreal, and Farley (Miller) heroically found a way to play drums that work with the irregular rhythm. Finally, Mat (Ball) added a guitar filigree over everything. The animated music video was created by my friend Eric Bent- we were imagining a kind of soft, pastel style like the Matisse painting ‘la danse’.


Ky‘s debut album, Power Is The Pharmacy, releases on May 12, 2023 via Constellation Records, and can be pre-ordered here.

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