As if Canadian alt-wave, art pop indie artist Kendal Thompson’s song “Not UR Girl” couldn’t get any better, the stand-out track has been remixed and reimagined by Toronto-based producer Pat Makes Music, and now that ‘song repeat x1’ option feels so limiting.
Known for their penchant to combine live instruments with electronic music, Pat Makes Music — who holds performance credits with Hugsnotdrugs, Poshley Slums, and remix nods for Soha, DJ Shine, Rex Manning, and more — is also working with Thompson to design her live show.
The track in its original form first landed in 2018 as part of her album, Ok Cool. Its recent video release has 27,000+ views and counting, and has Thompson (literally) exercising her acting chops in a vampy, deliciously retro visual treat.
“The song was born from a place of gaining back my power,” she shares. “It helped me understand that my happiness relied on belonging to no one other than myself.”
Ok Cool and its deeply personal collection of songs picks up where previous single, “Human Feel” — and its exploration of universal love and acceptance of both one’s self and others — leaves off, and serves as a welcome follow-up to her take-notice debut EP, One, and feature in John Orpheus’ song, “BUTTAHFLY.”
The tracks stack as spirited sand in the Canadian artist’s creative castle, one that essentially started with a borrowed, near-free guitar. “I began singing and making up songs at the age of three,” she recalls of her earliest toe-dip into the craft. “I started taking vocal lessons at age 12 and, by then, was gathering classmates for rehearsals for a girl-group.
“It never received a name, or made it out of the playground,” she laughs, but reveals it did lay ground for her next set of musical discoveries. “From there, and in my early teens, I was inspired almost solely by Lauryn Hill. Soon after, I adopted a guitar my father had purchased years earlier for $10 at a local auction.”
The added musical outlet and freedom expression took Thompson’s writing to a whole new level, she recognized, and as soon as she could, the Alliston, Ontario-born artist leaped into a new life in Toronto, quickly finding a home in the local folk and indie circuit.
While “Not UR Girl”s vision is Thompson’s — with co-writes and production credits by long-time collaborator, Little Noise Records’ Mike Schlosser — she’s equally quick to plant praise on director Jessamine Fok’s shoulders for bringing an imaginative sense of humour and sense of refreshed creative life to the project.
“Jessamine’s ideas had me really reaching outside of my comfort zone,” Thompson says of the spectacularly retro-esque video’s vibe. “I got to explore and show a side of myself only my friends have seen.
“In terms of not being an actor, and then acting out all of the characters, it helped me rediscover a different side of myself. Dressing and acting as the male character — ‘Mikey Rock’ — was such a liberating experience.”
“Not UR Girl” and “Not UR Girl (Remix)” are available now.