Two words come to mind when you hear Skye Wallace, haunting and beautiful. The Canadian artist threads the sounds of the prairies into a one of a kind alternative-folk with a country attitude. Smart lyrics juxtaposed with tones, song titles and melody amplify the thought and skill put into each one of her three albums. Her latest album, Living Parts, is the perfect example of the wit embedded into her style.
“The name, Living Parts, is coupled with the skull on the front cover, a decidedly “dead” imagery. The juxtaposition represents the life in that which seems dead: the stories in history and the lives and experiences of those who are now dead,” Wallace said. “There’s a beauty there and a gruesome, haunting honesty because the story has ended, but the story might remain to be untold.”
The sound is a soft lyrical focused, instrumental focused piece that utilizes her skill of shining a light on darkness and twists the word into Wallace’s own. With such talent, and much buzz around her, she’s one to discover. Here are five things you didn’t know about the talented beauty.
1. She’s aware of her “sex eyes”
“I often get real fired up when I perform. I apologize if I give anyone sex eyes at future shows; it’s my default look when I’m really feeling it and I don’t mean to give you the wrong signals,” Wallace said.
2. Her favourite place to perform is right here in Toronto.
“The Dakota Tavern, by far: great sound, great room, and skulls on the walls,” she said. Her latest performance was at Canadian Music Week, where she rocked the cozy Rivioli stage at the BC showcase alongside the likes of Hot Panda, Gay Ninties and The Boom Booms.
”One of the elements I enjoy most about those types of festivals is the devotion to art for a decided number of days, turning off whatever devices or responsibilities that cloud our minds in “real life”. It brings out the best in people and this crazy cool community forms. It makes music come alive,” Wallace said.
3. The worse part of touring for Wallace is,
“eating A&W Fries and not showering”…the best part of touring? “Eating A&W and not showering,”
4. She avoids writing about herself
“There are so many stories from this killer country. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s chockfull of stories. It’s also what I know,” Wallace said. ”I tend to write stories about made up characters over writing about myself. Right now, I’m in the midst of writing a song about a woman with a propensity to kill her various husbands, and my most recent song, War Years, is about using sex as a tool by a Confederate spy in the American Civil War. I like the idea of always incorporating story telling into my work.
5. She’s a secret Punker
Though she describes her sound as, “a dark, hard folk with slices of rock and alt country with a string section,” the performer has a hidden punk rock side to her.
“Most obviously, a big musical influence in my life is my Newfoundlander roots. When I explain to listeners this aspect of my heritage, I’m often greeted with an “Ooooooh, of course!” Less obvious in my music is my serious love of punk. I find that it’s been sneaking a little into newer songs, though.” She said. “I try maintain the philosophy of not trying to sound like something else, and I am always guided by passion and honesty. But I guess even if I was trying to sound like something else, it’d still be me doing it. There are so many definitions of/ways of going about staying true to who you are.”