Erica Mac is a musician best known for two things:

  1. Piano Punk live shows in Vancouver, BC where Erica performs arrangements of hardcore, metal, grunge, and punk songs on piano
  2. The Christmas album Creepy Christmas: Carols in Minor Keys

After last year’s album release of PIANO PUNK (an album of Hardcore, Metal, Grunge, and Punk arrangements for piano), Erica Mac is back with a new batch of deranged arrangements plus one original (Worst Christmas) that offers a cheerfully nihilistic take on the holiday season for 2020. These incredibly unconventional, minimalist arrangements using only piano and voice are a great way to spice up those Christmas playlists with something deeply unsettling.

Joy to the world broils with the wrath of the old testament god. Oh come all ye faithful is destabilizing and sarcastic as it flips quickly between major and minor keys. Have yourself a merry little Christmas becomes an ominous and sharp-tongued meditation on death as the lyrics “through the years we all will be together if the fates allow” take on new meaning. What child is this? in a minor key becomes a horrifying tale of the gruesome death of Christ (“nail, spear shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me for you”) that feels more like a ritualistic sacrifice than a cause for celebration. All I Want For Christmas is You becomes fodder for a restraining order and Santa Claus is Coming to Town is a slow-burning, hair-raising warning.

With a healthy dose of cynicism, creep-factor, and a tiny bit of irreverent camp, this album is a perfect fit for anyone who prefers their holidays a bit unorthodox.

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“This show (Piano Punk) started with learning a really difficult song whose guitar solo I was obsessed with. On the piano, it sounded like music for a film. I played it for kicks to fill time between songs at an open mic set, thinking that it was a bit too obscure for the audience. My assumption was wrong: it was the best received song of the set! I tried a few more hard rock songs at a bunch of gigs and had a consistently strong response and deep connection with the music from a certain section of the audience.

These genres are powerful because they speak to outsiders: they create a cathartic space for the angry, disenfranchised, apathetic, and rebellious.” – Erica Mac, Pianist / Performer

PIANO PUNK was nominated for the Best Music award at Melbourne Fringe in 2017.

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Miscellaneous Non-Piano Punk Projects & Assorted Facts:

  • Wrote an alt rock album with her brother, under the band name Critical Unity
  • Wrote a low-brow novelty synth-pop called Terrormare Runs for Mayor
  • Featured vocalist on a handful of punk-rap songs
  • Musician in a variety of other bands: keyboard player, guitarist, banjoist for other bands in the genres of folk, prog rock, screamo, and indie
  • Wrote, self-recorded, and released low-fi songs when she was a teenager, selling CDs from her locker under the name Hello Time Travel