Alternative, Indie Pop, Powwow, Trance
In the Ojibway language, the word Zoongide’ewin means “bravery, courage, the Bear Spirit.” It’s no wonder Daniel Monkman adopted Zoon as his musical moniker. The Hamilton-based musician has spent the better part of his 28 years finding and channelling his strength to overcome such adversities as racism, poverty and addiction. Bleached Wavves is the first true document of what has been dubbed “moccasin-gaze,” a tongue-in-cheek nickname for the amalgamation of Monkman’s shoegaze influences with traditional First Nations music. Like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, a record that changed everything for him, Zoon pushes forward that famously quixotic, effects-laden sound with a distinctive, new approach. Like most things in his life, making the album didn’t come easy for Monkman. His gear was stolen, leaving him with virtually nothing and forcing him to get creative. He recorded the songs in his bedroom and his jam space, using only a Fender Deville guitar, a DigiTech delay pedal and - channelling his hero Kevin Shields - some “reverse engineering.” While there is a healthy population of nu-gazers creating beautiful noise all over the world, Zoon’s debut stands out from all the others. Bleached Wavves is notable not just for its breathtakingly inimitable sounds and giving birth to a newfangled subgenre (see “moccasin-gaze”), but also for its modest, resourceful creation, the sign of a true sonic genius-in-the-making.