Nickelas “Smokey” Johnson is a musician and multidisciplinary artist from the Northern forests of Alberta, Canada. Drawing from western folk traditions and the avant garde he creates a kind of gothic country music.
Using a mix of dusty acoustic and electric instruments, wobbly synths and lofi field recordings, Smokey croons through a cinematic dream world of regret and desire. A doomed scout, he wanders the woods holding aloft humor and horror like flashlights in each hand.
Birthed in the maligned oil outpost of Fort McMurray on April Fools Day, he now splits his time between Edmonton and Mossy Trails, his family’s off-grid property where he works as caretaker and curator of a forest populated by pantheon of large handmade wooden gods, and hosts live music on the Boreal Vegas stage, an open-air, solar powered venue he built with his retired folks.
The former frontman of Field+Stream is supported by The Feeelings, a rotating group of top-tier artists that has included Peter Sagar (Homeshake, Mac Demarco), Paul Arnusch (the Bobby Tenderloin Universe, Faunts, Whitsundays), Aaron Parker (Cantoo, Whitsundays), Tom Murray (Eamon McGrath).
Spring of 2022 saw Smokey reaching a new audience in Europe, having been invited to curate a suite of songs that he performed on a 1500 year old farm compound in Belgium, and then toured that country.
Smokey is slated to release brand new material throughout 2023.
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