Francis Baptiste
Songwriter and Music Journalist

Phono Pony – Monkey Paw

Written Friday, August 2

This is a great sounding rock album. Phono Pony are a rock duo, Michael Kenyon on guitar and vocals, and Shay Hayashi on drums and synths. Between the two of them they’ve created an awesomely simple and powerful rock album. From the first chords on the opening track, 00100, you get a clear sign of what you’re in for: driving beats, loud guitars, catchy choruses. 

Songs like 00100, Monkey Paw, and Vacant have Phono Pony playing to their strengths super effectively. The recipe is simple and as old as time: heavy guitars plus heavy beats equal rock. The vocal stylings from Kenyon add a lot of character to their overall sound. On a song like Vacant we get a versatile performance that I found a bit reminiscent of Ryan Guldemond of Mother Mother. 

Losing the Spark is a great example of keeping things simple to great effect. The two note riff and the straight forward bass drum and snare beat is a throwback to the simpler days of rock. It instantly gets the toe tapping.

It’s worth noting that aside from playing music, this duo manages The Woods Studio on 2nd Avenue in Vancouver. It’s a multi-purpose venue, sometimes for shows, sometimes for recording. And they just came back from a US tour, so it sounds like they’ve managed to stay busy.

Listen here:



My name is Francis Baptiste. I'm an Indigenous singer/songwriter in Vancouver, BC, an avid supporter of the Vancouver music scene, a contributing writer to Citrus Magazine, Permanent Rain Press, Music Existence, City Soundcheck, and the leader of the band Bird Parade. I'm also a recovering alcoholic and a divorced single father. Music and writing help me combat depression and relapse. For me, creativity, productivity, and community are essential to healing. There's so much incredible music in this city. You can learn more about the music I make on this page. I think it's good to be open about what you're dealing with, so below are some funny pictures of me from the last time I relapsed. It's important to find humour in dark times.

Franci Baptiste feeling rough Francis Baptiste binge drinking Francis Baptiste at his worst

Back Home