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Finding a 'mature sound' inspires Port Moody musician's latest single

Michaela Slinger's next EP is coming in 2023, but it's debut single is already opening ears to a new 'evolved' tune.
Michaela Slinger Port Moody musician artist 3 just this once copy
Port Moody musician Michaela Slinger has a new EP in the works for 2023, but is teasing the new release with her latest pop-indie EP, Just This Once.

Michaela Slinger took several trips across Canada and the U.S. this past year in hopes inspiration would strike on her journey to a releasing a new EP.

She went on a whirlwind of writing and performance tours in cities like Los Angeles, New York and Boston, showcasing her songs for new audiences.

And this week, the Port Moody musician gave the public a tease of what will be the result of all her hard work, soul searching and musical collaborations over the last eight months.

'Just This Once' is the debut single off Slinger's upcoming EP set to be released in spring 2023 by 604 Records — a Vancouver-based production company owned by Nickelback's Chad Kroeger.

The song has already been well-received, including nearly 1,000 listens on Spotify, since it went online on Tuesday (June 14).

The 25-year-old says more will be released in the months to come leading up to the EP's release, but believes the new project can have an immediate impact on anyone who listens.

"It was the first song my producer Ryan Stewart and I wrote together on the first day we met last summer," she explained in an interview with the Tri-City News, noting Stewart has worked with other B.C.-born artists like Carly Rae Jepsen and Victoria Duffield.

"I guess I'm a sucker for chronology, but I think 'Just This Once' also captures an evolved, mature sound that will get people invested in what the EP is all about. Sonically, the song captures a desire for freedom I couldn’t indulge during the [COVID-19] pandemic. But the lyrics tell that story of frustration — specifically, wanting someone I love to be straight up, rather than trying to tiptoe around underlying issues."

That mature sound Slinger refers to is the result of those cross-country trips, as well as the experiences she's endured while creating her first album, 2021's Panorama.

She says this helped focus her time and energy in producing a set of songs that influence truths in relationships and everyday life.

There was also one stop south of the border well known to the music business that gave her the chance to expand on her talents.

"Each place has welcomed me and offered something wonderful," Slinger explains. 

"I've developed a particular love of Nashville — there's a small but thriving pop scene there, and everyone is incredibly generous and friendly in that southern way I've only until recently imagined as a West Coaster."

Musically, the Heritage Woods Secondary alumna wanted to infuse pop with indie sounds for, what she describes as, a "left-of-centre songcraft."

A mix of real instruments with digitally-created tunes help the words come to life, Slinger says, while also crediting Stewart, a certified JUNO award-winning producer, for making that possible. 

"The initial loop is an effected keyboard thing that Ryan did. He played live bass and keys and guitar on it. His primary instrument is drums, and throughout the EP there's a blend of live and programmed drums. I play on some of the other tracks, but this one was really built up by Ryan. Those vocals are mine, though—nothing I love more than being in the booth stacking harmonies."

While more songs are on the horizon for her followers, Slinger is slated to appear at several B.C. summer events and music festivals that local listeners can attend to see her perform live.

She'll be in Surrey on Canada Day (July 1), in Lake Cowichan for Laketown Shakedown the next day (July 2), in downtown Vancouver for the Khatsalano Street Fest a week later (July 9) and then in Comox for the Filberg Festival, July 29 to 31.

Slinger performed 'Just This Once' live for the first time last night (June 16) in Toronto for the NXNE music showcase.

You can also find her music on streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube.