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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Oji-Cree Singer-Songwriter & Producer Aysanabee To Release Debut Album On Ishkōdé Records

Photo Credit: Jen Squires.

Aysanabee officially announces his debut album, Watin, out November 4, 2022 via Ishkōdé Records/Universal Music Canada, along with a new video for “Nomads”.

With two songs released over the summer serving as a thrilling preview, Aysanabee’s Watin is an emphatic artistic statement, more than the sum of its individually powerful parts. Watin is a whole, a highly personal concept album that tells its story as overlapping chapters, with two important narrators.

The album opens with one of nine Interludes, which place the voice of Aysanabee’s grandfather, album namesake Watin, in intimate conversation with the songs that surround the precious audio recordings. These Interludes ground and magnify the themes of the collection, where the small details that punctuate Watin’s childhood memories are the sparks that kindle each song’s blaze.

In Watin, Aysanabee’s search for the opposite states of uncertainty, loss and pain bring a sense of reassembly in real time. The album is a work of renewal, gathering the fragments of language, family and memory as an immense and intimate work of rebuilding.

From the opening song “Seeseepano,” where swelling synths set the stage, a minimalist soundscape gradually brings in voices and sounds. Not knowing, in this case, the meaning of a name, is a deep gash of disconnection that Asyanabee delicately approaches from different angles throughout the collection.

Throughout Watin, Aysanabee grapples with open-ended questions and missing pieces. Songs such as “Nomads,” which just entered the Canadian commercial radio chart, and “Long Gone,” which inches forward as if moving through a suddenly darkened room, treading carefully as eyes adjust to the light, are markers of this journey towards greater - but not total - certainty.

Aysanabee’s hypnotic finger-picking is the rhythmic foundation of the collection, showcased on “Bringing The Fire” and standout “Ego Death,” which follows the final Interlude, in which Watin moves between two languages, bridging the gulf between the worlds Aysanabee seeks to make whole.

TOUR DATES Sept 15 - Nashville, TN - AmericanaFest, Dee’s Country Cocktail

Sept 17 - Thunder Bay, ON - Wake The Giant

Sept 24 - Calgary, AB - Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

Sept 30 - Halifax, NS - Prismatic Arts Festival

Album cover painted by Montina Hussey


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