The songs of Jon McKiel are born of the bruised marshlands of remote New Brunswick, from the craggy shores of the Atlantic coast; places where nature is a powerful wonder and the made-world is in slow decay.

His new album, Hex, is a bloodshot pop record steeped in our dystopian present, tempered, across its ten tracks, by an existential umami. It’s the follow-up to 2020’s cult favorite Bobby Joe Hope, which Aquarium Drunkard called “an unlikely masterpiece” and Gorilla vs. Bear listed as one of their favorites of that god-forsaken year.

 – listen to ‘String’ and ‘Hex” // pre-order LP/CD/DIG –
“psychedelic soul” – Stereogum
“otherworldly blues” – KLOF Mag

After two solid decades of refining his practice, during the creation process for Bobby Joe Hope, McKiel unlocked new sampling techniques, fundamentally changing the way he makes music. Hex sees that practice extended into even more evocative terrain.

“Lyrically it wonders what darknesses might be at at play, personally or collectively,” explains Mckiel. “Sometimes observing systems and people on the brink of collapse, it feels as though there is a hex on all of us ~ a self imposed one given that the game was so long ago fixed. Social media puts a magnifying glass over all this, while the great reflection keeps our attention.”

Performed and produced again in close collaboration with JOYFULTALK’s Jay Crocker, the duo offer up another collection of songs as disquieting as they are comforting. Expertly evoked by Paul Henderson’s twisted collage on the cover, Hex is equal parts flower field and burning building.