A young Port Alberni musician is releasing their debut album this month.
On Friday, Sept. 8, Port Alberni’s Madi Duncan will be making their official debut with the entirely self-written album “Myopian Dystopian Utopia.” The 10-track album will be available on all major streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music.
Duncan says the album first began to take shape back in 2020. They describe it as a long-term project that took place throughout a haze of mental and physical difficulties that left Duncan struggling to function.
“There’s definitely a theme of alienation and feeling lost in this world,” said Duncan.
Many people in Port Alberni will remember Duncan from their days with the Alberni Teens Can Rock band Stranger Than Fiction and from the time they were invited up on stage to sing with the Foo Fighters in Vancouver.
That opportunity to perform on a big stage clearly had an influence on Duncan, as they will be releasing “Myopian Dystopian Utopia” on the fifth anniversary of the event. When it comes to Stranger Than Fiction, Duncan says most of their former band members are featured on the album. They also performed with Duncan on stage during a few live shows this summer.
“Those years were so important for helping me become a performing artist,” Duncan said.
Duncan’s biggest musical influence has been David Byrne and the Talking Heads, but they also cite bands like Sparks, St. Vincent and Love as influences on this album. The visuals that accompany “Myopian Dystopian Utopia”—all created by Duncan—were greatly inspired by their bleak, lithium-induced mental state, and also the David Lynch cult classic movie Eraserhead. The album cover is a picture taken by Duncan’s mother at a monastery in Mission, B.C.
Duncan admits that the creation of the album was difficult.
“It was really tough,” they said. “I’m an independent artist, so I had no team. I had a lot of help from friends, but being the driving force behind it was really difficult.”
The genre-defying album is “a little bit all over the place,” Duncan admitted.
“I describe it as alternative, because that is an all-encompassing word,” they laughed. “But it has elements of rock, a little bit of western, some ambient and some singer-songwriter elements.”
Duncan has released three singles from the album so far: “Another Day Alone, Except,” “Venetian Red,” and “Tall, Dark, & Gruesome.” The response so far has been positive, said Duncan.
“I’ve gotten really great feedback,” they said. “It’s been really heartwarming.”
Duncan has studied music business at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and has been working on publicity for other musical artists. But Duncan’s ultimate goal is to continue releasing music of their own.
“And hopefully I can make a living off it.”
Duncan can be found online at www.madiduncan.com.