Jowita Bydlowska's Music Recommendation:
I’m really into electronic music. I have a hard time listening to anything with lyrics so when I write it’s all beats—from minimal Richie Hawtin to Amelie Lens to whatever Adam Beyer comes out with. However, lately I’ve been really into Indigenous artists in that genre and I love how a lot of them there combine the dance elements of electronic beats with traditional music. Some favourites are Classic Roots, DJ Shub, and A Tribe Called Red (and Snotty Rez Kids who are hip-hop), but the one that I’ve been listening to on rotation is a band called STOiK. Their debut album, Pareidolia was released in 2019 and has been described by one journalist as “a mix of electronic dance music with a hint of Pow Wow techno.” The concept of the band is quite contemporary, speaking to a bleak destiny that we’re probably hurling towards unless we stop our apocalyptic ways. In their bio, STOiK says they live in the future (2042), with other Indigenous survivors persevering on scorched land, and led by Gidochige (“he plays music” in Anishinaabemowin). The songs are a mix of lyrical and instrumental and the themes are environmental with a few catchy numbers about love or seduction that would totally make my pre-gaming playlist if I still went out to clubs (remember when we had clubs?). I love their look as well, which is kind a cross of traditional Indigenous with Steampunk and Mad Max (check out “Rod Crowhop” video).
Jowita Bydlowska was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland and immigrated to Canada as a teenager. She's the author of the bestselling memoir, Drunk Mom, and the okay-selling novel, GUY. Her next book, Possessed, is coming out in May 2022 with Dundurn Press. It's a book about sex, ghosts, travel and mental illness. Her story Mother is featured in the new Summer Fiction issue of The Fiddlehead. Jowita lives in Toronto.