Kelly McMichael & the Gloss in Peterborough on August 1st

Peterborough-raised singer-songwriter releasing her new EP Liminal at The Garnet

Kelly McMichael (publicity photo)
Kelly McMichael (publicity photo)

Recorded in Toronto during a cold slushy week in April, Kelly McMichael’s brand new EP Liminal is being released in the midst of summer — and the sound suits the season perfectly.

The five-song album has a pop-rock flair with sensibilities of ’90s femme-rock and a touch of ’80s synth tones. Engineered by James Bunton (Ohbijou, The Wooden Sky, Evening Hymns), it features Cam Malcolm (Huron, Toledo) on bass and Daniel Banoub (Gramercy Riffs) on guitar. James covers percussion and Kelly performs on vocals, keys, guitar, and synth.

Liminal is upbeat yet plays on themes of angst and the female experience, and how to overcome the challenges of big city living.

Kelly originally had envisioned a straight-ahead rock sound but, through recording and experimentation, things went in a more “shimmery direction” according to Kelly.

“It took some time to wrap my head around going that way, because it wasn’t what I originally imagined,” she explains. “But I’m happy we went there. Now I love the synths on the album.”

The Gloss features Geordie Gordon (The Magic, Islands, Diamond Rings) and Robin Love and Emmott Clancy (Peterborough hidden gems). The big influences on the Kelly McMichael and the Gloss sound include Liz Phair, Land of Talk, and PJ Harvey. “And — I’m not afraid to admit it — early Sheryl Crow,” Kelly adds.

Kelly was raised in Peterborough and was part of the city’s great arts community from a young age. Her love of arts in general and music in particular led her to study art at the University of Guelph.

From there, she moved to Toronto and has since kept some very impressive musical company. Over the years, Kelly has performed with Gentleman Reg, Rouge (she was a founding member), Ohbijou, Sarah Harmer, Hidden Cameras, Forest City Lovers, Allie Hughes (ALX), The Magic, and Devon Sproule. These pursuits have taken her all over Canada and in August she will be moving to St. John’s Newfoundland, but promises to come back to Ontario to tour, record, and — of course — visit.

Kelly McMichael and the Gloss will release the new EP on Thursday, August 1, at 10 p.m. at The Garnet. Folk singer-songwriter Nick Procyshyn opens the show at around 9 p.m., and alt-country/Cajun band Mayhemingways will close the show at around 11:30 p.m. It’s only $5 to get in, or $10 with the purchase of Liminal.

You can listen to the EP on Kelly’s page at Bandcamp and listen to and download the track “Solo” below.

Nick Procyshyn – “I Don’t Mind”

Mayhemingways – “Wanderers”

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Josh Fewings
Josh Fewings is a local writer and musician who plays with Mayhemingways, Grainne and the Sons of Birches, Occam's Blazer, and Slim Picket and the Union Cards. He's a regular contributor to kawarthaNOW, covering music, musicians, and upcoming concerts. You can follow Josh on Twitter at @JFew82.