Brodie Moniker has spent his 15-year career working collaboratively with other artists but now he’s finally calling all the shots.
This March the Regina-based singer and guitarist released his debut album, Nowhere Left to Ghost, a collection of mellow grooves and crunchy psychedelia. Some of the compositions date back to his time with a Moose Jaw group he describes as an “art rock, theatre thing” that would put on elaborate performances.
“It was over-the-top and wild but ultimately it was really draining. It was a lot of energy put into it and unfortunately Moose Jaw wasn’t exactly into it, so it wasn’t exactly like we were getting a lot of community engagement out of it,” he said.
“Eventually I just said, ‘OK, I’m going to take a break from this.”
At that time Moniker scaled back his operations and stared working with prominent Saskatchewan musicians like Jeffrey Straker and Megan Nash. He also began writing songs about trying to discover his identity living in a place from which he was feeling increasingly detached.
“They’re all kind of songs that I had written while I was living in Moose Jaw trying to figure out how I fit in there and maybe if I did or I didn’t. It’s kind of a cathartic thing letting go of a lot of stuff that I was holding onto.”
The album was a chance for him to grant himself the type of creative space and freedom he needed. As a debut record, Moniker was hoping that Nowhere Left to Ghost would establish his ability to “explore a lot of different options musically.”
“Where I was with other projects collaborating with people, you don’t have that freedom to just be like, ‘OK, well today I want to do this.’ You always have to throw that by someone else and then compromise and make adjustments so that everybody can work together,” he said.
“But with this I was hoping that the record has enough different colours, different ideas and different styles that it allows me some freedom to kind of just go off in whatever direction I want to go in.”
Moniker and his trio have now set off on a Western Canadian tour to bring the album across the prairies and over to mountains. He will be at the Corner Lounge in Nanaimo on Friday, Nov. 10. While some of the tunes are more than a decade old, they’re new to these audiences.
“Some of it’s been performed for a while but we haven’t even been to Alberta or B.C. yet,” Moniker said.
“So the goal on this tour was to get these songs to those places,” he said.
WHAT’S ON…Brodie Moniker performs at the Corner Lounge on Friday, Nov. 10, doors open at 8 p.m. music starts at 10:15 p.m.