Much like their rural metropolis of Winnipeg, Ultra Mega shuffles along the crossroads of country and town... a horseman proudly mounted, disgraced by his failed conquests, left only to ponder his dusty spurs. Blending indie rock, dark psychedelia, dreamy pop, western twang, and calm, cool lyricism, Ultra Mega chaperones us through the glories, romances and defeats of the wandering outlaw.
‘Panis Angelicus’ is a “West-End Western”
that tells of a man’s fleeting connection to his indifferent surroundings.
Inspired by an aimless meander through a deserted neighbourhood, the album combines western psychedelic soundscapes over Lee Hazlewood-style narration, swirling and rustling like a plastic bag caught inthe bushes.
Panis Angelicus brings Mega’s “psychedelicate” style into more experimental territory, with frontman JD Ormond’s delivering the songs in a wry narration, laying stream-of consciousness lyrics over a laid-back country sound.
The album could have been released as a solo/side project to the Ultra Mega catalogue, as it was a sole (band-less) collaboration between Ormond and engineer Jesse Riemer. What began as a casual process to record lo-fi soundscapes led to a search for a narrative that would sit definitively upon the sounds.
The result is an homage to the Winnipeg neighbourhood where JD resides, exposed in its naked glory after last year’s lockdown left it in stasis.
“JD Ormond’s gentle voice flows perfectly over the psychedelic backdrop while singing about crime, dead dogs, past romances and addiction. He manages to pay homage to the grimy aspects of his hometown, making things that would turn your average person away seem endearing.”
-Cups and Cakes Network
If one man's trash is another man's treasure, then Ultra Mega have struck gold."
-Bad Gardening Advice
The album was recorded by Jesse Riemer at Third Floor Underground
Mixed and additional recording by Jan Quackenbush at Valour Road Studio
Longtime Ultra Mega video collaborator Matt Purchase shot videos for 6 of the 7 songs on Panis Angelicus. The videos follow a central character (frontman JD Ormond) for an (a)typical walk through his west end Winnipeg neighbourhood. The meandering nature of the videos, combined with the whimsical editing, infuses humour and eccentricity in the music, elevating the overall panis experience.