“How many of us are scared shitless?/ Who’s got a world-changing wish list?”
Petra Glynt, a.k.a. Alexandra Mackenzie, asks her pointed questions on “Up to the People,” a recent single from her upcoming full-length debut, This Trip. The song starts with a joyous shout and a short burst of laughter, settling into a driving beat that flips the song on its head: “There’s something on the horizon/ the people are rising up."
“Up to the People” isn’t simply a roll call; it’s Glynt’s rallying cry for change. And the timing of a Petra Glynt debut album could not be better.
The electronic artist grew up in Ottawa, taking operatic vocal training from seven to 18 years old, then moved to Toronto for art school. The majority of This Trip was written in the city — Glynt told the Toronto Star that “90 per cent of my DIY education was accumulated [in Toronto]” — but these days she calls Montreal home.
Signed as the first musician on Vibe Over Method, a new label for Grammy-nominated producer Damian Taylor (a longtime Bjork collaborator who has mixed for Austra and Doldrums), Mackenzie has been crafting and performing her songs for years under the name Petra Glynt, sharing stages with US Girls, Austra and Doomsquad. This Trip was self-produced in her Montreal apartment, with Taylor mixing the project. The singer has also created an art show to pair with the release, with paintings and sound installations that individually interpret the 10 new tracks.
On This Trip, Glynt’s operatic vocals soar through electric protest songs made for 2017. Targetting sexism and environmental devastation, the message is clear: these songs are a soundtrack for waking up.
Mackenzie told the Fader that the album’s title track is “a general call for urgency.” Arguably, the entire album demands the same.
This Trip will be released Oct. 27. Pre-order it here.