DOMINIONATED: A compendium of classic Canadian songs covered by contemporary Canadian artists.
What happens when you ask a group of contemporary artists from the Dominion of Canada to voice their opinion on their favourite Canadian artists and songs of the 80s and 90s? You get DOMINIONATED, a cover song compilation with a uniquely Canadian perspective, the first ever assembled by Quick Before It Melts, released as a free download on Canada Day, July 1, 2014.
The songs on DOMINIONATED span space and time, offering only a glimpse into the Canadian musical landscape B.D.D. (Before digital downloads) and A.M.M. (After MuchMusic). It’s the first of what hopefully will be an ongoing series of cover collections pairing modern Canadian artists with their historical muses, and the first compendium has already set the bar high.
Cowboy Junkies’ Michael Timmins helped produce three of the covers (Jerry Leger’s take on Neil Young’s “Wonderin”; Ivy Mairi’s version of “Dear Darling” by Mary Margaret O’Hara; and Lee Harvey Osmond’s interpretation of Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet”) and contributes a cover of John Bottomley’s “The Ballad of Jacob Peck” as timmins&Blood.
Initially planned as a project to mark Quick Before It Melts’ eighth anniversary as a blog, DOMINIONATED has taken on a life of its own. It became very clear that DOMINIONATED would be more than just a clash of song and interpreter; it would be a celebration of art, of culture, of memories, and community. Canadian visual artist and illustrator Shannon Reid (allisplural.ca
) joined the project to create a distinctive visual identity for the compilation, which she has done spectacularly well. As the contributing artists enthusiastically came on board, they started sharing the stories and memories behind their cover choices. Kashka’s Kat Burns says her decision to cover Sandbox’s 1995 hit “Curious” springs from a childhood paper route, and memories of hearing the song on the radio as she worked away in her family garage, inserting flyers into papers she was about to deliver:
“… I would listen to music on my dad’s old sawdust-covered radio. I don’t remember what station it was… but they played ‘Curious’ all the time. It was a song that I always got in my head, and to my little mind it was a really sad, longing song for someone far away; maybe a parent or friend long-lost. Years later… I still get those nostalgic feelings when I hear the first few bars of the song. And yes, it still gets in my head and stays there for days.”
Along with “Curious”, the 21 other songs on DOMINIONATED have all proved that, not only can they get stuck in your head for days, they can live in your heart for years.