Newfoundland Music Spotlight #4 — Navigator Black & the Indighost


How about something different for your ears this time? I think the main misconception among Mainlanders is this idea that all Newfoundland music has a folky or Celtic quality to it. In a way, I think it is why so many people don’t even realize that Hey Rosetta is from St John’s. Well if you think that, I can tell you, you are dead wrong. In preparing for Road to CMW I have encountered metal, punk, post-rock, hip-hop and now some of the more intriguing electro I have came across in some time.

Two things jump off the page at me about this band: #1, they have a stated “no software” policy, which is rad because a lot of acts that try to do this style of music are far too quick to press play and awkwardly dance around on stage; and #2, they use a totally unusual instrumentation that features one guy on keyboards, synthesizers, and drum machines and the other using lap steel, flute, FX pedals, and loops. What do you get with it all together? Well, one reviewer called it “An energy drink for your ears.” If you’ve been to CB’s, then there is a good chance you might have watched this energy drink for your ears while under the influence of Jager bombs. I’ll have to try this in 2014.

This is the type of music that makes you want to strap on a pair of headphones, go into the world, and let it be the soundtrack to whatever it is you are doing that day–though things could get a bit weird when a song like “Baker’s Dozen” reaches its most frantic state. Alternatively, I feel like this music would have made a sweet soundtrack for the movie Dredd; maybe they’ll get them to soundtrack the sequel?

Ever heard a futuristic electro surf song? I have now. “Time Surfing”–one of the few tracks featuring vocals on the record–actually pulls off this insane idea pretty well. The whole idea of doing things that musically you aren’t supposed to do seems to be a regular theme of Navigator Black & the Indighost, and you have to admire that.

I don’t necessarily expect you to spend the 100-plus minutes it would take you to consume the full Navigator Black & the Indighost Bandcamp–or at least not in one sitting–but make sure you sample a few tracks. Even just pick your favourite names, because they have some good ones–like the alliteration masterpiece “Tiny Tim Robots Terrorize Town” or “Bloody Titties,” which actually sounds just like the title, believe it or not.

This is obviously a band bursting with creativity and energy, and anybody who knows Paul Sheppard even a little would never doubt the drive he has for music. Smart money says that if they harness everything just right, they’ll make an album or EP that makes waves nationally.

Check out Navigator Black & the Indighost at Bandcamp and on Facebook. Navigator Black & the Indighost will be playing the Road to CMW event at CBTG’s on Jan 9th.

Stay tuned to for more spotlights on Newfoundland acts, and remember that Road to CMW is going to have a satellite site set up to vote for the acts you are most interested to see us bring to Toronto for Canadian Music Week.


Dan Wolovick


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