Twin Flames have completed and released their new album, Omen, during COVID
Multi-award-winning Indigenous folk duo Twin Flames has released its highly anticipated new album, Omen.
The husband and wife duo of Chelsey June, who is Métis (Algonquin Cree), from Ottawa, and Jaaji, who is Inuk and Mohawk, from Nunavik, is long celebrated for its sonic landscapes spanning Canada and the Arctic and honouring the members’ ancestors through song in English, Inuktitut and French along the way.
Omen is a surprising departure from the music the band has released in the past. Backed by an album teeming with pop and synth-heavy sound exploration, the album is concept album based around a dystopian reality, global warming, and humankind being free of social classes, mental health issues, and addictions.
It speaks to seeking Omens and signs of hope within ourselves and Mother Nature, all topics that hit home for the band.
“Mental health and addictions are battles that many people face in silence.” Chelsey said. “We have both faced these battles.”
“The album speaks to the stigma associated with mental health and the feelings that come from living a life in the shadows with addictions,” she added.
“In the Arctic of Canada, Inuit people face the highest amount of suicides in the world,” Jaaji continued. “On Omen, we have a few songs written to remind our people we have to fight our own minds to survive.”
With Omen, Twin Flames expect to expand their storytelling repertoire; Omen offers an intricate exploration into an edgier, darker musical feel that merges alt-pop, rock, and electronic genres into one. Twin Flames also take on a tribute cover of the Tragically Hip’s legendary song “Grace Too” in an Indigenized version to honour Gord Downie and his dedication to reconciliation.
The album’s sonic palette includes unique sounds, Indigenous spirit flutes, traditional drums and western instruments, synthesizing harmonies and traditional Inuit throat singing. It includes a collaboration with two-time Juno Award nominee Charlotte Qamaniq from Silla and Rise.
Certain to follow the successes of the duo’s previous two critically acclaimed albums — Jaaji and Chelsey June (2015) and Signal Fire (2017) — Chelsey and Jaaji dive even deeper into stories of courage and survival on Omen, revealing a true passage into the hearts and minds of the beloved couple, and a gapless release that encourages listeners to take in the entire journey.
With Omen, Twin Flames question the human mind, revealing how one can endure the darkness and still find a way to bloom; it’s a truly moving experience, foretelling a brighter future while signifying a time for change and a time for strength.
Before combining their talents under the title of Twin Flames, Chelsey June and Jaaji had their own respective award-winning careers; they met on-set during the filming of APTN’s TAM (Talent Autochtones Musical). Since joining together, both professionally and as spouses, they’ve been nominated for 24 awards. They’ve won two Canadian Folk Music Awards and three Native American Music Awards. They’ve had two number one hits on the Indigenous Music Countdown’s Top 40 and played more than 1,000 shows throughout Canada, Greenland, the United States, Australia and France. They were selected as artist-in-residence for the 2019 Folk Alliance International conference and partnered with UNESCO to write the official song celebrating the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The music video was the first Inuktitut music video to be featured on MuchMusic.