Michael C. Duguay - Yankee Swap

from Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada XII by Oh! Canada

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What would happen if The Tragically Hip joined forces with The E-Street Band at a recording session overseen by the Elephant Six Collective? “Yankee Swap” might just be the answer. The song has an anthemic feel, lifted by parping horns and a rousing refrain giving way to bells and sleigh-bells. The tale of the challenges of returning to a hometown - and dealing with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

2020 marked a return to the music scene for Michael C. Duguay having dropped off the map following his debut album Heavy On The Glory back in 2012. A one time member of The Burning Hell and Evening Hymns, anxiety, panic attacks and addiction crept in, leading to a journey around the country, searching for an unidentifiable resolution that remained perilously out of reach. The journey saw him spend time in the drunk tank, and eventually jail, in homeless shelters and various hospitals- a vicious spiral of issues that he recounts in detail on The Winter Of Our Discotheque. Recorded in various sessions after reconnecting with former Evening Hymns bandmate Jonas Bonetta in 2018, the record tells the story of the last 10 years in what Duguay terms Southern Ontario Gothic style. From Honky-Tonk, twanging country and folk to rumbling anthemic pop-rock, each song finds Duguay take a step in the right direction, surrounded once again by collaborators and friends, reclaiming a little bit of himself each step along the way.

Speaking to New Feeling he explained “I’ve lived with this existential dread of being a misfit my whole life and the process of making this record has been incredibly cathartic,” he adds. “I can look at those liner notes and be reminded that I have friends. I’m grateful to have friends. I’m happy to have a community.” This community rallied round once again to produce a remix album of his work, taking, reworking and remoulding the songs in new form, much to Duguay’s transparent delight. It all feels like a new start. Here’s to 2021.

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Oh! Canada

Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada is a series of seasonal records by Canadian artists curated by Ro Cemm for The Line Of Best Fit

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