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.

The Coast - - ARTS - BY BREN­NAN MC­CRACKEN

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.

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