Imagine this: Nick Cave, The Smashing Pumpkins, Leonard Cohen, Lenny Kravitz and Chrissie Hynde all gathering one lusciously dark Halloween night over a musical cauldron, casting a spell to produce the ultimate punk-folk-rock hybrid artist. Kristie Lane Sinclair is that hybrid artist. Her new album The Sea Alone contains a satisfying sound reminiscent of all the above, but there is also something unique infused into Kristi's songs that makes them all her own. The Sea Alone is Kristi’s second album; her debut, I Love You, was released in 2009. As a trained and skilled sound technician, she is able to produce well-balanced arrangements with lyrics that speak of an urban reality not meant for the faint of heart. Yet the darkness found in her songs is pleasant to the ear and the spirit. The long drawn-out phrasing, consistent throughout the album, sounds, at times, like pow wow vocables and chants — that's her Prairie Cree heritage breaking through.
There is a definite leap in skill and confidence since her first album, and this puts Kristi on equal footing with many of the great indie bands playing today — you get the sense she's in the indie big league now (if that's not too much of an oxymoron). The track “Sorry” is a heartbreak ballad that is more to the point than most, rather than alluding to the reasons for an ultimate break-up, with a surprise ending. The musical composition lends itself nicely to the moody atmosphere of the song, with only a hint of regret found in the lyrics. “Oh Boy” is an electric country-surf upbeat number inviting the listener to “leave the beer on the table and get on the dance floor.” The title track is a sexy dreamscape with intermittent cello induced killer-whale cries.
The indigenous indie music scene is a richer place with the since the release, in May, of The Sea Alone. Thank you, Kristi Lane Sinclair.
Janet Marie Rogers, Mohawk writer from the Six Nations territory in southern Ontario, is Poet Laureate of Victoria, British Columbia. To learn more about her, visit janetmarierogers.com.