Skye Wallace has the voice of a gypsy, singing you a dark lullaby on a cross-country caravan. Her music will make you feel good, but not in the way pop songs by Pharrell Williams or Bruno Mars might make people feel good. It’s more raw than that. The songs make you feel good because you can empathize with the stories she tells in her music. I asked Skye what inspires her to write and she told me that other people’s stories and folklore are her biggest inspiration for writing. These stories are noticeable in her lyrics and her music allows you to feel them. Skye Wallace and her band recently completed a tour of Eastern Canada which included several stops here in Newfoundland.
Rock Island: You have a new album coming out called Something Wicked. Tell me about that.
SW: Yeah, it’s going to be released in the Fall I believe. It’s produced by Jim Bryson who is a big hero of mine. My favorite band of all time is The Weakerthans and the first time I saw Jim perform they were his backing band which is pretty cool. I saw him play and we’ve been in contact for years since. We’ve been talking about this for a while. It’s half done right now and we are finishing the rest early June.
RI: So you have a lot of the tracks already recorded?
SW: Yeah, they’re actually all mastered and everything. We’re going to release a single on May 12th as a little teaser.
RI: How different is the new album from your last release Living Parts?
SW: I’d say there is a bit of a departure from the folk thing. I feel like the folk element is very much a part of the structure and the sentiment of the album but, in terms of the energy it’s got a bit of the punk or indie rock thing going on. It’s really full and it makes me feel the things that I wanted to feel. I feel really good about it and I’m loving the way everything is coming together. We are actually going to shoot a music video for it on the Steam Whistle party bus when we get back to Toronto.
RI: Okay, speaking of that, why did you come to Newfoundland?
SW: My family is from Newfoundland and we kind of did it as like a pre-cursor to the album coming out. We wanted to bring this full, new sound to a place in the world that is, first of all, really inspiring for me because it’s been entrenched in my upbringing; but also it’s a really awesome place!
RI: What places have you played on this tour?
SW: We’ve played Corner Brook, Norris Point, Port Rexton, Tilting on Fogo Island, Grates Cove and here in St. John’s.
RI: You mentioned earlier you also played “the shed” in Tilting, was that the highlight of your trip so far?
SW: It’s hard to say, it was one of the highlights. I’d say one of the highlights would also be when we were in Norris Point. There is a guy named Tom Cochran who is this amazing photographer and videographer and he did some live videos with us in the park and then at night we recorded a music video in this old hospital.
RI: Yeah Tom’s the best.
SW: Oh you know Tom? Everybody knows Tom!
RI: Tell me more about this shed party on Fogo Island.
SW: So my cousin is Paddy Barry and he’s like a prevalent member of the Fogo Island community. He realized that we had an extra day off during our Newfoundland portion of the tour and he said why don’t you come to Fogo? And I’m like I can’t come to Fogo, why would I come to Fogo? And he’s like you can play in the shed! And I was like… okay! So we went down and we stayed in the Tilting Harbour B&B which is run by a guy named Tom who is just incredible. He fed us really fresh mussels and crab. Then we played in the Shed and it was just jam packed full of people. It’s a really cool place!
RI: So is it a bar or...?
SW: Kind of… it’s kind of a shed and kind of a bar. It’s right in the middle. It was just an amazing show. It was somewhat unplugged and it was just ROCKus [ruckus].
Listen to Skye’s new single here: https://soundcloud.com/skyewallacemusic/blood-moon
Watch the live video shot in Gross Mourne here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KQbjg06Dsk