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Stop! Look! Listen! Kyra Smith's Music Recommendation

A year ago, I moved to another continent just as COVID-19 was finding its feet (sorry, Mum and Dad). Stuck indoors for months and unable to connect to my new surroundings, I found myself seeking out and appreciating Canadian content more than I had when I was home. I began listening more and more to young Canadian artists – Faouzia and Scott Helman, in particular.  

Faouzia, with her voice like a battle-cry, steeled my nerves and fortified my resolve during moments of doubt and fear. I dare anyone to listen to “This Mountain” and tell me they didn’t feel unstoppable for at least a few bars.  

Scott Helman provided a softer sort of comfort. His early hits, such as “That Sweater” and “Machine”, were the soundtrack of late-night drives down country roads with high school friends. Now, they deliver nostalgia in safe doses. His latest album, Nonsuch Park, brings me hope in the form of “EVERGREEN”, a powerful call-to-action in the face of the climate crisis, while “Wait No More” is an invigorating reminder to live life in the here-and-now.  

Kyra Smith grew up in rural Southwestern Ontario before moving to Kingston to study biology. There, she wrote creatively in several genres and capacities – even when she should have been writing lab reports. She is currently living in Italy, where she is pursuing her master’s degree in sustainable development. 

Her short story "Shiver" appears in Issue 294 (Winter 2022)