Sturgeon County Songwriter Longlisted for Polaris Music Prize

Back in 2015, singer-songwriter Ella Coyes played folk music in provincial parks, passing her donations hat.

Fast forward to June 2022 – once straight forward harp astronomers have re-formed their image as Sister Ray. In June, they were notified a companyTheir debut album under the new title was longlisted for the 2022 Polaris Music Prize.

Polaris is a major music award that honors and financially rewards the recording artists who produce the Canadian Album of the Year. A panel of judges selects a recipient on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, commercial popularity or record company. The winner receives a cash prize of $50,000.

“This is so great. I keep telling family and friends it’s the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. It’s really exciting,” said Quess, a former Sturgeon County resident who is now based in Toronto.

“The nomination is very believable and meaningful. There are so many great records on the roster. And it is good to share with these great artists. I am fortunate to have a team that has been so supportive.”

As one of 40 artists on the longlist, Sister Ray has been at odds with names like Arcade Fire, Backxwash, Basia Bulat, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Tanya Tagaq, and The Weeknd. Unfortunately, their name was not shortlisted for Polaris on July 14.

In an interview with Newspaper Several days before the shortlist was announced, Cowes said they did not expect the cut to be made.

“I don’t want to be self-deprecating. It’s great. If it works, I’ll be excited to share it with the people who made it.” [Communion] with. If not, I’ll have a nice party with my friends,” they laughed.

During her late teenage and young years, Coyes played for a string of regional venues and festivals including Amplify Festival, La Crema Cafe, Arcadia, Edmonton Folk Festival, Cha Island Café, The Aviary, The Ale House, and Starlite Room, for example. few.

Their raw, yet powerful vocals can transform from deeply calm and stable feelings to feelings of pain and sadness. Few of the listeners knew that they were fighting a dark period in their lives that combined violence with family issues and how colonization continues to affect their Kri relatives to this day.

In its entirety, the new record is a weak and frank collection of experiences that define Koi’s past. Intimate portraits depict normal times and later times in their lives.

While writing a companyI was exploring my identity in a way that involved sadness and insecurity,” Ques said. “These songs were written with editing in mind.”

Armed with a $25,000 Canadian Council grant, Sister Ray hired cross-border collaborators John Nylen, and Joe Manzoli (aka Jenla), to produce their 10 track Through the Records of the Royal Mountains.

In their first meeting, the trio did not click.

“I had no idea what I wanted and who I was musically and vocally. The second we met, we were able to work in a more subtle way. The music I love has an intimacy and a sense of freedom. I wanted something that felt intimate and had space and space, but also was a little too much with a lot of Guitar and drums.

The Coyes danced to traditional Métis music as a little girl while their dad played the violin giving them freedom and guiding light in all the songs.

“I make sad music. My music is dark and there are a lot of dark themes. For me, visually, it’s not always fun pictures. I’m OK with that. The songs are sad but there is freedom to express sadness, and I’ve written over a long period of time.”

VisionsFor example, it is a breakup song. crucifiedInstead, it goes through the relationship path. Coys had an idea hnf While driving to Lake Wabamun after a crow hit their car, and justice It was written during a pandemic while examining what was right and choosing not to.

“My immediate goal is to tour as often as I can, and my long-term goal is to be a better songwriter, and to put myself in a position where I can dedicate my life to that.”

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