Ottawa is full of talented musicians that write music full of soul. Yet, there is one that stands out in particular. Keturah Johnson is a musician that has spent her years in the Ottawa music scene playing dimly lit bars and open mics surrounded by cold stone walls as a solo artist. Without exaggerating, her musical presence in a room is spellbinding – very few people have a voice and a style that can completely silence a crowd. If that wasn’t enough, in 2014 she and three others formed The Heavy Medicine Band. The combined talent and full sound we get with Keturah at the helm is, as far as I’m concerned, unparalleled in Ottawa.
The Heavy Medicine Band has released two 2-track EPs in the last year and played a handful of shows for us to grasp what they’re all about. However, after listening to their brand new 4-track Conduit EP a few times over, it’s clear that the band knows exactly what they are and what sound they are going for. Keturah’s usual grimy, raw folk and blues influences are heard in the sublayers of the EP, and the newer psych/shoegaze elements that we hear reverberate into our ears are more than welcome. The resulting effect is a short album that is completely coherent in its construction, and shows just how dynamic this band is. The guitar tones that Keturah and Rob Cooke combine are mesmerizing, and her vocals are as good or even better than we’ve ever heard. The resulting effect is haunting and ethereal.
With this one, you really need to find a comfortable place to lay down, put on some headphones, and close your eyes. This music speaks for itself, so have a listen below.
Catch The Heavy Medicine Band Oct. 14 at House of Targ tomorrow night along with Big Moan and Moon Destroyer. 9pm/$5/19+