The Sound Cafe
Amanda Rheaume's New Album 'The Spaces In Between' Explores Her Métis Identity
Photo Credit: Jen Squires.
Amanda Rheaume’s sixth album explores the Métis identity as experienced by Rheaume, and we hear Métis leader Tony Belcourt share his views in the spoken interludes. The Spaces In Between blends historical moments with Rheaume's personal experience.
"The interludes tell parts of the Métis history and experience. To me, we need to go back to the old ways, to our teachings, to understand where we are now and where we can go together. The Métis experience is often under-represented. It is my hope that this album and the interludes can shine a light on the complexities of mixed identity and offer comfort and belonging to anyone struggling to find and celebrate their place, " states Rheaume.
Produced and mixed JUNO Award-winning Hill Kourkoutis, The Spaces in Between, brought together ShoShona Kish, Kinnie Starr, Sierra Noble, Serena Ryder, and Anna Ruddick. Métis activist and visual artist Christi Belcourt also contributed artwork to the album.
Focus track Do About Her speaks to the divisive nature of identity politics in modern times. As social media continues to move quicker than people can sit down for tea, what are we going to do about people who do not fit neatly into the hashtags that dominate popular culture? Shall we put a bullet or a blanket out for them?
“While we recognize that identity politics are not as urgent as the conversations around climate emergency, the need for access to clean water for all, and the ongoing systemic
violence against our brown-skinned relatives in all our communities, art is also about telling stories, and this is a very personal story that affects hundreds of thousands of people.
The government systematically and purposefully tried to erase us. And for those they couldn’t extinguish, the Government stripped them of everything - land, water, food, ceremony, language, kin and more. They categorized us and divided us with tools like the Indian Act, The North-West Half-Breed Commissions and imposed their colonial ways of knowing and being, and separated us from each other and our communities. Do About Her does not offer an answer, but begs the question - How do we want to treat each other?”
- Amanda Rheaume
JUNE 01 ALBUM RELEASE, EL MOCAMBO TORONTO, ON
JUNE 11 ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION, BRANCH 458 TAMWORTH, ON
JULY 07 39 DAYS OF JULY 2022 DUNCAN, BC
JULY 22 MISSION FOLK FESTIVAL 2022, MISSION, BC
Amanda Rheaume’s rootsy, guitar-driven songs introduce crucial dimensions to the world of Heartland Rock. In a genre characterized by anthems of underdogs, assumptions and unfair advantages, Rheaume’s sound and story crucially and radically expand the boundaries, geographic and cultural, to make space for new perspectives on resistance and resilience. A Citizen of the Métis Nation, and an active and proud member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, Rheaume’s music is indeed from the heart, and the land. First a songwriter, Rheaume comes from a long line of tireless, transformational organizers and activists, and carries this lineage forward in her ever-growing role as a crucial builder of Indigenous music infrastructure and community. From the International Indigenous Music Summit, to newly-founded Ishkode Records, and the National Indigenous Music Office, the goal of raising Indigenous sovereignty in the music industry drives all of Rheaume’s work.
Amanda Rheaume (she/her) has now released 6 full-length albums over a period of 15 years, a self-managed career that has traveled countless tours and milestones. 2013’s Keep a Fire was nominated for a JUNO Award and won a Canadian Folk Music Award for Indigenous Songwriter of the Year. With her new album The Spaces In Between, a driving, surging Copperhead Road-esque journey through a wilfully, harmfully misrepresented chapter in a violent colonial timeline, Rheaume makes a powerful statement about history and identity with each song.
Photo Credit: Jen Squires, Art: Christi Belcourt, Album Design: Feisty Creative