Petra Glynt // Harbourfront Centre // 14.07.13
Petra Glynt (or, Alexandra Mackenzie) looks a lot like Grimes: she’s got the coloured hair, the trippy clothes. But the moment she begins to sing, the similarities die down. Her voice is deeper—she has a background in opera—and heavy drumbeats dominate her music.
At the Harbourfront Centre Soundclash Festival, Petra Glynt had an afternoon slot on the Redpath Stage. She opened with “Fantasy Fieldtrip” off of her album Of This Land (2012/2013) and followed it up with the titular track.
There were some troubles with the sound—Petra Glynt requesting, more than once, that the sound techs turn up the sampler and monitors and asking the audience if we could “hear everything okay? More bass?”—that didn’t help with the competition already going on between lyrics and visual aesthetics. Many of her songs focus on themes of social justice (take, for instance, the opening lines of “Fantasy Fieldtrip:” ‘this world cannot lean on the lives of the poor / it cannot leach off the forest and ocean floors’). But it’s just as easy to get caught up in the visuals of her performance: the three panels of gold, glittery curtains that functioned as a backdrop; her sampler decked in faux jewels; and the vibrant, almost neon, drums. Both aspects are captivating, and a dimmer venue, like the Drake Underground, would better complement the haunting sounds of her music.
Mas Aya—the second artist of The Music Gallery’s Emergents series—joined Petra Glynt on stage for her last couple of songs. Their collaboration was seamless and at that point the venue actually did them justice, as they were all smiles on the sun soaked stage.
She and Mas Aya were lovely closing acts for the Soundclash Festival, and both are artists to keep an eye on. For now, you can find Petra Glynt’s work on her bandcamp page (all of the releases have incredible album art) and you can catch her playing shows around Toronto throughout August.
For more photos of Petra Glynt, click here.