Kristi Lane Sinclair
Fierce and feisty, Haida/Cree singer-songwriter Kristi Lane Sinclair is emblematic of a new wave of Canadian aboriginal artists who are turning perceptions upside down. Raised in British Columbia’s backwaters, and drawing more from a DIY/indie esthetic than traditional or mainstream music, Sinclair’s musical roots create a darkly intoxicating mix of grunge, folk and classical. Her ‘smoky folk’ is rich and orchestral, underpinned with alternately snarling guitars and warm cello. Through the richly unpredictable mélange her hoarse, blade-edged voice and serrated wordplay weave smoke around irreconcilable longings, great love and the sea.
Fellow Cree artist Cris Derksen is a frequent collaborator, winding moody cello around Sinclair’s searing guitar. The two friends have created a touring festival, Red Ride, that brings together some of Canada’s finest creative indigenous artists like Nick Sherman and Laura Ortman. Sinclair’s trio is rounded out by multi-instrumentalist Johnny Walsh, known for work with Dan Mangan and Brasstronaut, and jazz drummer Niko Friesen, who’s written and played with Jane Siberry, Hannah Georgas and Mark Berube.