Hi! I'm Brennan, a student and writer from Halifax. This is my blog.

I write for Weird Canada and PORTALS



We reflect on TOPS’ new album Picture You Staring.

I wrote about the great new TOPS album for Portals! It reminds me a lot of the Alvvays record from last month: a disquieting string of journal entries coupled with pitch-perfect adherence to a familiar sound. 

Alvvays 😍 (at Dalhousie University)

a note on this week's issue of "The Media" 


last december the media held an open editorial meeting at the all-ages venue that liz now lives at, the silent barn. at that meeting we met jacob weingast, a 16-year-old from the suburbs of nyc. he happened upon the meeting by chance, and mostly was at the barn to see marissa paternoster’s set…

The Coast

For my own personal interests (and perhaps yours too!), I’ve compiled all of the writing that I did during my summer internship for The Coast, Halifax’s alt-weekly:

Post-Arcade Fire bliss. (at Parc Jean-Drapeau)

Note to self:

This is not a music blog. This is not an obligation. You are not here to impress anybody. 

This is a journal, a place to enthuse and a place to be critical, a place to write because I feel pulled to do so, a means of connection. This is an honest way of documenting things—my thoughts, my feelings, my life!—that may otherwise be lost. 

The Space Between: On touring as a non-musician 

I really enjoyed  this essay by Chris Lee, taken from the most recent issue of The Media. Here’s a quote that stuck out to me: 

I don’t identify as a musician, music writer, or show-booker—not because I don’t care about those roles or haven’t occasionally tried them on, but mainly because I don’t consider them the primary markers of my reality”

As someone who wears a handful of hats—I love to write (about lots of things, including music), I love to read what others have written, I love to go to shows and sometimes I try to organize them too, etc.—but still has trouble identifying as something indicative of any of those things, this resonates with me. 

My favourite albums of the 2010s (so far)

Because list-making is fun, because Pitchfork is doing it, because Josh did it and his list was great. Here we go! 

  1. Destroyer - Kaputt (2011)
  2. Atlas Sound - Parallax (2011)
  3. The New Pornographers - Together (2010) 
  4. Beach House - Bloom (2012)
  5. Braids - Flourish // Perish (2013)
  6. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs (2010) 
  7. Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe (2013) 
  8. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest (2010) 
  9. Kathryn Calder - Bright and Vivid (2011) 
  10. Braids - Native Speaker (2011)
  11. Cousins - The Palm at the End of the Mind (2012) 
  12. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy (2011) 
  13. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire For No Witness (2014)
  14. William Tyler - Impossible Truth (2013)
  15. Nap Eyes - Whine of the Mystic (2014) 
  16. Purity Ring - Shrines (2012)
  17. Cousins - The Halls of Wickwire (2014)
  18. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972 (2011) 
  19. Sharon Van Etten - Tramp (2012) 
  20. Arcade Fire - Reflektor (2013)

Anonymous asked: the way portals calls their album reviews "reflections" is so fucking pretentious it's so sad


Three things:

  • 1. I’m not in charge of that.
  • 2. It could just be a semantic distinction for you.
  • 3. The point of our “reflections” isn’t to make a qualitative judgment about the music because, as I understand it, there’s sort of a philosophical problem with the ‘power’ granted (by readers? by nobody?) to actually ‘rate’ music in the way that reviews typically happen these days. All that a critic can legitimately say with respect to music on a PURELY qualitative basis is “I like this” or “I don’t like this” based on a set of predisposed tastes that, frankly, aren’t very interesting to anyone who doesn’t share those tastes. In academic fields, nobody writes about literature, for instance, by saying “I like this” or the reverse. They analyze the work for themes and tone, consider the broader context in which the author was working, et cetera. We do this with music at Portals, but we also bring in a personal element that’s absent from both academic writing and traditional music reviewing. We’re analyzing the music and reflect about ourselves. If you think what we’re doing is just writing reviews, you should think about what a ‘review’ really is, or you should read our work more deliberately. 

Nailed it. 

are you queer and not a cis male? do you like to write about music?


if your answer to both of these questions is “yes,” then i have a super-secret writing project for you! please reply/message me or send me an email!

(via microphoneheartbeats)

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