If you’re familiar with Jill Krasnicki then you know her as a vegan, entrepreneur but also as as a charismatic electronic musician. Under the moniker, Animalia she’s been weaving her celestial melodies and smokey vocals throughout Toronto, where is has resided for the past 7 years. The Tasmania native has used her music to express the weighty and emotional topics affecting our world, first with her debut album Mouth Full Of Teeth and again in her soon (very soon) to be released (dissonance). In this upcoming release through Culvert Music she touches on the our effects on the environment, gun violence (in “Paradise”) and creating relationships with the world around us (“Face On”). There’s no wondering why Krasnicki describes that her writing of the album as “heavily emotional but fast – a purging of ideas and feelings.” While working with friends Remy Perrin with the recordings and with Brandon Cronenberg, who has worked on the visuals, the latest collection of her dream pop anthems has made it’s way through the Toronto music scene before it’s release date tomorrow. Taking the Smiling Buddha stage tonight in celebration of (dissonance) I first had the opportunity to ask her about the album, delivering the emotion of her message and her music journey up to this point.
It’s been two years since you’re last LP release. What can we expect to hear differently with (dissonance)?
Animalia: I think the recordings have an over-all more mature sound and quality to them, but I do feel like Mouth Full of Teeth and (dissonance) are closely related.
The album features a number of songs with a strong emotional weight to them. For instance, in “Paradise”. How does one prepare to perform a song with that strength?
A: When I am about to perform Paradise, in any sense, the intro to the song gives me a moment to pull myself into the place from which I originally wrote it. I guess it’s kind of like acting – tapping into a certain emotion. Paradise is particularly heavy, and I still sing it with the same sadness I first felt when I wrote it.
You’re just about to release your video for “Face On”. How did the visual ideas for the music come to be?
A: I’m really excited to release the video for “Face On”. It’s visually very captivating. I honestly didn’t have a lot of time to put my thoughts into this video so I let Brandon Cronenberg (director) and Karim Hussain (DP) take the reins. We talked a bit about concepts and mood, but in the end, the bulk of the video came together very organically.
During your time in Hobarth you spent time playing bass for many bands. But it was after your move to Toronto that you went solo with Animalia. How did the city influence that change for you?
A: Toronto is an amazing city for music. There’s so much happening and the quality of the music coming out of here is stunning. I actually became solo when I first arrived in Toronto, 7 years ago. But from there it was a slow journey to becoming the act I am today. And it’s still developing, I mean, that’s just what music is: a forever changing art form and personal journey.
You and a friend run a vegan restaurant here! How have you managed a musical career and run a restaurant at the same time?
A: Yeah, my friend and I took over an already established restaurant when the previous owners were ready to move on. Running a business and being a musician is at times very difficult but the restaurant work must be done, and I’m not ready to stop making music, so ultimately I don’t have a choice.
Your music is very atmospheric and airy. How does that carry over to a live performance? For people like me who haven’t had the chance to see you preform what can one expect from a Animalia live set?
A: I’ve had the words “theatrical”, “intense”, “emotional” and “weird” used to describe my performance. For me, it’s about giving my all.
Are they any women musicians that have maybe influenced you or shaped the way you write?
A: Kate Bush is my number one. She showed me that through music you can artfully tell people to go fuck themselves if they don’t like what they see. Striving to be more like that.
Now with the album finished and almost out what’s next for you after the release?
A: I already have a bunch of songs I am working on to release. There’s a surprise collaboration too. Always aiming to go deeper with music. Whatever that really means.