Petra Glynt’s wake-up call
On My Flag Is A Burning Rag of Love, the artist makes danceable pop music with a progressive conscience.
She describes studying classical music as a child and digging into the mechanics of melody and harmony; as a teenager, she discovered the music of Rancid and NOFX—bands whose musical and social motivations were rooted in a thrilling sense of dissent. Among the bands closest to her teenage heart was Propagandhi, who Mackenzie still remembers admiring for their message as much as their sound.
As she speaks about this musical and moral education, the picture she paints begins to sound uncannily familiar—“I could get into it and get real embarrassing,” she says with a laugh. She listened to her records; she began organizing around human rights at her high school; she became a vegetarian. Hers was a classically teenage, punk coming-of-age.
She went on to study at art school, where her peers “were making really out-there music, arty, different music,” she says. “I met all these people who were super visually inclined or conceptual, artistic, subversive.
“It’s funny—I look back on those times and think ‘Of course I’m making this music,’” she says. “When I left [art school], those punk ideologies or those aesthetics from when I was a teenager and from art school kind of came together. That became my music education.”
The music that she’s making now— My Flag and This Trip, plus a prolific five years’ worth of Petra Glynt demos and EPs before that— sounds little like Propagandhi. But dig into the corners of her sound and the influences are there: it’s fast, it’s sharp, it’s unwaveringly anti-establishment. In another world, poppunk might have sounded a little less like its Y2K heyday and a little more like Petra Glynt.
“There is a huge part of me that feels like, as much as we do need positive music, music to make us feel less stressed, I do feel like there is a place for more popular music to be more politically engaged,” says Mackenzie. “There are just so many things in the world to react to right now.”
for 15 miles, his face bare to the elements. All to earn a pittance of a wage trying to keep shoes on our feet and food on our table. The work was hellish.