iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ is, among many other things, an artist – a creator and communicator of music and of movement, of pictures, poetry and prose. And through it all, she’s a teller of stories that have impacted our past and will inform our future.
iskwē released her third album acākosīk on November 9, 2019 to critical praise. The video for “Little Star” garnered a JUNO Award for Music Video of the Year in 2020, the album was nominated for a JUNO Award for Adult Alternative Album of the Year, and “Breaking Down” was nominated for the Prism Prize and SOCAN Songwriting Prize.
The Stars is the inverse of acākosīk, starting with the title which is the English translation of the cree word acākosīk. Where acākosīk is a blaze of sonic exploration, The Stars is an elegant and intimate sharing of the collection allowing iskwē’s songwriting, voice and spirit to shine. The Stars features entirely new arrangements of the six songs with iskwē accompanied by a trio of piano (Michael Shand), cello (Mariel Gonzalez), and violin (Laura C Bates) recorded live-off-the-floor at Revolution Recording in Toronto and a dramatic orchestral reimagining of “Night Danger (Lovers Mix)” recorded with the FILMharmonic Orchestra (Prague). Where acākosīk demanded our attention, The Stars invites us into an emotional and soulful experience with iskwē.
Over the past year, iskwē has channeled her energy into creating art and expanding her professional experiences. In addition to recording The Stars, she and Tom Wilson, by happenstance, have come together in a dynamic and soulful pairing. Their performances are magical, with chemistry and playfulness knitting together an Americana infused vibe. Their debut track, a cover of Tom’s song “Blue Moon Drive” featuring Chuck Copenace on trumpet has been released on the Red Music Rising label. Other interesting collaborations include a contribution to Splash’N Boots’ recently released album Heart Parade and an upcoming dance mix of “Nobody Knows” by LA DJs Henry Strange and Suniel Fox. iskwē is also enjoying being a co-host of the podcast The Chesterfield produced by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
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