Peace Without Victory – Young & Strange

“This is music for outsiders. This is not for people who have never had to think twice about their place in what’s going on around them. It’s music for the long, the lost, the dreamers and the screamers who know there’s something better out there and will never give in until they’ve found it.”

So say Peace Without Victory in the press release for their single ‘Young & Strange’. I’m drawn in and my interest is piqued. It was many years ago when I was growing up but I’m not surprised that many people labelled me ‘intense’ as a teenager. It’s a mark of where my head was at back then that I took such comment as a badge of honour when it was very much not likely to be coming from such a place. In truth, I revelled in my role as an outsider. 

Based just outside of Toronto, Damiano Battiston-Weston is the one-man-band behind Peace Without Victory. ‘Young & Strange’ and the songs from his recent EP, Islands, were all recorded during lockdown in complete isolation at his own studio. It’s perhaps no surprise that the theme of isolation runs rife throughout. This is about “the isolation we all feel during the current pandemic and the longing for a return to “normal life”, but at the same time an examination of what that normal life was really like. We were alone before? How do we rise from this? Who felt that same empathic isolation prior to the tragedies of 2020 and can we better understand those who were ALWAYS alone.”

In terms of sound, Damiano acknowledges that this is something of a departure for him. “It’s the first time I actually set out to make something that one could potentially dance to, or at least gyrate a bit!“, he says within our E-mail correspondence. Damiano doesn’t appear to be the type to get stuck in a genre-specific rut for long with his music though. His chameleon-like abilities are emphasised when he says that “recently I met a new singer who I really clicked with, and encouraged me to really go to extremes with both the rock and electronic portions of my music – lean into the stranger elements that are unique – and given my background in soundtrack composition start to incorporate more orchestral elements. The new album will be called “Season of the Senses”, and given that I am handing off almost 75% of vocal duties to her, it may even be a new entity entirely (incorporating the PWV songs).

A social worker by day, Damiano is overjoyed that he’ll be getting his vaccine this week. It’s a step closer to his dream of “hugging everyone I love to within an inch of their lives and eating inside my favourite Ramen place 🙂 After that it’s a vacation – Italy and Japan! And then live shows, NON stop!“. He does note though that “Canada is… well, not where we should be. We are too small of a population base to have much buying power in terms of Vaccines, so we are behind in vaccination rates.

I’m certainly not as young and probably not as strange as I was when growing up. But I can still use this Monday morning to reflect upon that with a fine track for company. Have a good start to your week. 

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