VOTED: #3 Best Montreal Singer-Songwriter in CultMTL (2018)
GAMIQ, Folk EP of the Year (2016)
Fringe Festival Frankie Award, Best Musical Performance (2014)
GRAND PRIZE WINNER:
John Lennon Songwriting Competition (2013)
POP Montreal (2023, 2018, 2015, 2013), Megaphono (2019), Folk Alliance International (2016), Folk Music Ontario (2015), NXNE (2012), CMW (2012)
"The dreamscape music is a remarkable folk blend...powerful in its beauty." - Bob Mersereau, CBC
“There’s a real creativity to everything Corey Gulkin is doing right now, a songwriter not just finding their voice, but letting it soar, dip and dive wherever it wants to take them” - For the Rabbits
"Gulkin’s All The Things I’ll Forget is an enchanted poetic midnight of loneliness and reverie[...]A unique bubble of quietly epic musicality" - Roots Music Canada
"Une beauté qui se transporte où les montées nuancées sont délicieuses et les mélodies oscillantes entre l’accroche efficace et les sentiers vierges." - Louis-Philippe Labrèche, Le Canal Auditif
"Mixing up jazz, folk and chamber pop, [Gulkin] takes a traditional template and then doodles all over it, adding her own signature curlicues to create something familiar and refreshing" - Quick Before It Melts
"Gulkin delivers something unexpectedly heartbreaking in the kind of way I had thought only Sufjan Stevens could do with a soft whisper." - Pamela Fillion, ForgetTheBox
With Half Moon, Corey Gulkin takes a confident leap into the thick of emotional transformation, locking eyes with the unknown. Confrontational, restless, and spirited, the Montreal songwriter’s latest full-length album rides the terror and thrill of stating exactly what’s happening and refusing to back down.
Emerging from the world of folk music, Gulkin drew attention early in their career as the 2013 laureate of the John Lennon Songwriting Grand Prize. Their 2016 EP The Wharf was nominated for a GAMIQ award for Folk EP of the Year, and they’ve consistently landed in the top 5 of CultMTL’s fan-voted list for Best Montreal Singer-Songwriter. Across 250+ live shows, Gulkin has shared stages with artists like Waxahatchee, The Weather Station, and Marissa Nadler. Their steady presence has established them as a key figure in a cohort of Montreal songwriters exploring fresh approaches to the craft, along with frequent collaborators Thanya Iyer, Pompey and Cedric Noel.
In recent years, Gulkin has alchemized their musical pedigree through experimentation, busting genres and tackling difficult topics along the way. Their 2018 full-length All The Things I’ll Forget, which chronicled an abusive relationship with nuanced insight, provided an artistic release that allowed them to approach their next project with a renewed sense of possibility. When an injury prevented them from playing guitar – normally their main mode of songwriting – Gulkin temporarily pivoted to synths. After rebuilding their strength, they reclaimed the role of lead guitarist for Half Moon’s striking solos. They honed their vocal power, reaching a breakthrough during a Banff Centre residency. And they began writing with the specific intention of channeling queer heartbreak, love, and rage.
With Gulkin’s tenacity and vulnerability at the forefront, Half Moon revels in this new territory. Longtime Gulkin collaborator and bandmate Sam Gleason, now in the producer seat, draws on a lively palate spanning lounge rock, art rock, psych rock, and straight-up rock and roll. Gleason balances Gulkin’s burning declarations with precise sonic touches, highlighting their many twists and turns.
“Faceless Woman” finds Gulkin’s evil capitalist alter-ego thrashing through a disorienting sequence of ugly feelings, marked by snakes-and-ladders guitar and bass interplay, distorted vocal interludes, and a late-breaking key change that’s almost sickly sweet. Standout track “Raya” opens gently, providing a moment of steady footing before unleashing pure catharsis, its searing guitar illuminating the alluring swagger of Gulkin’s lyrics. The love-struck harp spirals of “Breaking the Distance” channel the challenge of forging new forms of intimacy that reflect the desires of the actual people involved rather than a set of restrictive expectations. The emotional urgency of refusing constrictive models of being and relating is threaded throughout Half Moon, coming to a potent point with “Sister”. Over chord progressions that cascade with tension, Gulkin picks apart the constraints of womanhood, acknowledging its role in shaping their personhood right alongside their anger at its suffocating effects.
As their songs shape-shift from seducing, to confronting, to comforting, and even to slinging barbs, Gulkin’s fire-eyed clarity remains the undeniable constant. It’s the anchor that lets Half Moon delve into the emotions we tend to hide from: competitiveness, angsty love, icky embarrassment–dancing on the edge between euphoria and disaster. For all Half Moon’s sparkling turmoil, penultimate track “Thirty-One” finds them hinting at hard-won peace: “I’m not hurtling towards anything/For the first time.” Hold Half Moon’s unflinching gaze all the way through, and you might be surprised at what you find.