All Performances

Cold Specks with special guest LA Timpa (CANCELLED)

Cold Specks w/ special guest LA Timpa
Wednesday, December 6
All ages / Partially Seated
Ladan Hussein, known on stage as Cold Specks has returned with her most personal work yet. The artist recognized for her twistedly enthralling lyrics and distinctive soulful voice, has dug deep and returned to her roots. In this masterful body of work, Cold Specks intimately explores her identity as a Somali-Canadian woman. She's unveiled and allowed herself to stretch her palette thematically. The rawness that's deemed Cold Specks a dark soul, has revealed itself to be a cathartic after glow, illuminating the sort of light born through healing. 

Like waves thrashing in a chaotic sea in the middle of nowhere, Fool's Paradise encapsulates the naturalness of existing during difficult times. We find Ladan rejoicing the survival of those she loves while mourning for the sorrow that continues to linger after it has beckoned its doom. Far gentler than her electrifying sophomore Neuroplasticity and her midnight debut I Predict A Graceful Expulsion, Cold Specks has honed her artistic agency and has invited you to bear witness. 

During the creation of Fool's Paradise, Ladan became obsessed with pre-war Mogadishu, her family's home city and Somalia's capital while living in Toronto. "I just fell in love with the idea of a city I'd never known, this beautiful city by the beach, I tried to imagine what it looked like before the war," she remembers. 

The record opens with Ladan's emotive croon in "Fool's Paradise" a song dedicated to a semi-mythical Somali queen named Araweelo. For the first time, Cold Specks sings in Somali, chanting "Araweelo," a queen of female empowerment who was also known to castrate male prisoners. Throughout centuries, the glorious queen would either be painted as a heroine or misandrist in folklore. Araweelo is a polarizing dream, like Cold Specks, always dangling between varying abstracts. With melodic grace, Cold Specks sings in "Fool's Paradise" a Somali idiom, "kala garo naftaada iyo laftaada" which translates in English to "understand the difference between your bones and your soul." 

Sonically, Cold Specks has not lost her warm melancholy, in "Rupture" and "Ancient Habits" textured wiry synthesizers drape her vocals alongside her weightful sentiments. "Rupture" is the catalyst of the record's woeful themes and sounds. Last year, Ladan's sister found a dear family friend laying in a pool of his own blood after he had been shot steps from his home in Toronto. "I remember my mother on the phone with her while we waited half an hour for an ambulance to arrive." Her lyrics are potent and mournful: "Fall back into place / Blood of no-one / Made of gold / Worry, worry me," Cold Specks sings emotively. 

Lyrically, Cold Specks sounds like her old self in "Solid," hazily looking for a way to identify a familiar ambiguity she yearns to understand. It was the first song written for the album, she recalls. "I felt as though we had caught a sound we'd been hunting for quite some time." she says. "New Moon" is a personal love letter to oneself about love and growth, Ladan says. "Witness" is about feeling hopeless as the world collapses around us and we continue to hold on. The dreary sulkiness carries on into "Void" a song drenched with water imagery and bashful resilience about piracy by Somalia's coastline. "Exile" reflects Cold Specks' process in creating this entire record, an ode to where she's from and how far she's grown.

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