Pic by Ariana Moll

PREMIERE: Montreal’s Kue Varo recruits Alvvays, Preoccupations collaborators to say “No”

“As the only female-presenting member in a lot of past projects, I was often designated the ‘mom role,'” said Kue Varo songwriter, Katrina Spreen (they/them). “As much as this identity was imposed, I enabled it, and had to come to terms with my inability to say ‘no.’ Sometimes when you mean to do right by someone, it can be misplaced, and you have to learn to do right by yourself first.”

Today’s premiere, “No” hails from Kue Varo’s debut LP, Daffodil-11,which Spreen recorded at Montreal’s St Zo Studio. The album features Matthew Spreen on rhythm guitar, Chris Dadge (Alvvays) on percussion, Scott Munro (Preoccupations) on synth, and Rena Kozak (Child Actress) on bass and production duties. 

“Daffodil-11 is a reference to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slapstick, which is my absolute favourite book of all time,” said Spreen. “It’s roughly about human decency for human decencies sake, without attachment to outcome. This album starts with an angry introduction to the planet, and ends with me trying not to bury her. It’s a very vulnerable and sometimes uncomfortable undressing.”

The seven songs on Daffodil-11 each have one of two personalities attributed to them.

“Although I believe strongly that traits assigned a gender are silly, I enjoy exploring duality in the form of gender to help come to terms with what was imposed onto me,” Spreen said. “Gender presenting is a fun visual way for me to do so through my art. Each song on this album has one of two personalities attributed to it: the mod princess light and magnificent of the 1960’s and the grungy 1970’s/90’s beatnik poet/failed artist who is bitter and feels entitled to be. These traits simultaneously exist within me and it’s incredibly liberating to lean into them as a form of expression and creativity.”

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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