Mav Karlo, the solo project of Toronto-based singer-songwriter Menno Versteeg, is set to release his debut studio album Strangers Like Us this Friday, October 16th. As the label founder of Royal Mountain Records, home to the likes of Mac DeMarco, Alvvays, U.S. Girls, Orville Peck, and more, he’s known for instigating a brilliant mental health initiative that subsidizes the artists’ therapy; now, as an artist himself, his music approaches issues surrounding mental health with empathy and warmth, from the heartfelt acoustic cut ‘Elevator’ to the poignant ‘Detonator’.
Today, he’s shared the final preview from his upcoming project called ‘Wirewalker’, premiering here at Our Culture. It’s a lively, uplifting tune that finds strength in vulnerability, exuding confidence in the form of whirring synths and stomping rock n’ roll. Talking about the meaning behind track, Karlo explains: “Relationships are hard. We all know that. Sometimes, when a person you are close to is experiencing pain, it’s a battle they must fight on their own and there is nothing you can say or do to help them win it. Still, it can be excruciating to watch from a distance. It takes a certain kind of bravery to give them the space they need and have faith that they will come out the other side.”
He adds: “I like to imagine Philippe Petit on that grey and cloudy day that he set up his tightrope between the Twin Towers. This song is about the desire to achieve that kind of calm belief in oneself. That ability to push forward, unflinching and confident, knowing that to fear the storm is human, but no human can change the weather.”
The track is accompanied by a similarly colourful video animated by previous collaborator Martin MacPherson, who’s also worked with Samia, Pup, and others. “We all have negative qualities within our lives that we need to work on,” MacPherson commented. “Though some can be more extreme than others, the work it takes to overcome that negativity can be overwhelming. How tempting would it be to take all the problems in your life and just launch them into the sun?”