The woods of backcountry Ontario can be a strange and seductive place. Time spent Wandering through unknown forest has always left we with a sort of surreal feeling. The quiet and peacefulness would seem to drag me to a seat beneath the trees, with a great need to do nothing but contemplate. And yet there is always a sense of uncertainty amidst the comfort of the close woods. While it may seem as if the world is completely at rest there is tremendous concealed activity just behind the bushes, and the soothing air is coupled with a sense of mystery and adventure. Any number of things could peer out from behind a curtain of leaves. On this journey the thing peering at me is a timid creature named Megan Bonnell.
Hunt and Chase, the debut album of Megan Bonnell, feels like it just came crawling out of the woods. The record is like taking a peek into the wilderness to find only the very edge of a vast and unexplored world. Bonnell sings with a kind of awareness of her surroundings that can only come from long hours spent meandering through field and forest. As a person who has spent plenty of time in the exact same manner, listening to the record is almost like being transported from my city home into a very familiar nowhere.
So much of the wild character present throughout Hunt and Chase is contained in Bonnell’s voice. She is certainly powerful and evocative in her singing, but there is another more unique quality residing in her words. I’m not sure if it’s the half-whisper which can build into a roar, the clear and colourful accenting, or the exquisite vocal harmonies, but there is a constant force of nature carrying the savageness out of the wild and harnessing it in the form of music. This over a beautiful backdrop of folk instrumentals which pull the listener straight into the forest with Megan.
Take a walk through the dim and dark in the crests and valleys of Megan Bonnell’s Hunt and Chase.