Home New music in our mailbox! Album review: Phyllis Sinclair – Kiyam

Album review: Phyllis Sinclair – Kiyam


Possessed of a pure, sparkling voice that evokes the expansiveness of the prairie landscape and a knack for writing catchy, uplifting songs in the folk-pop genre, Phyllis Sinclair has been nothing if not consistent over the course of her near-20-year music career – one she established only after first working in the fishing industry and in journalism.

Her newest album, Kiyam – which means, essentially, “let it be” – employs those talents in the service of nine songs on themes of nature and self-empowerment.

The latter theme emerges on songs like “Monsters,” about casting off the influence of self-defeating beliefs; “Flicker,” a pep talk for those feeling unmotivated; and “Tough Girl,” which compassionately acknowledges the struggle of being an Indigenous woman in a hostile society.

Then there’s the title track, about letting go of life’s minor annoyances.

Meanwhile, songs like “Whiskey Jack Homage,” about the hardiness of birds that don’t fly south, and “Me and Pauline” about frolicking in the outdoors with a friend, are toasts to the healing power of nature and the lessons we can learn from it.

Ably produced by repeat collaborator Stew Kirkwood, the album is a mixture of contemporary folk instrumentation and light electronica with layered vocals to create harmonies and the odd horn flourish on the opening track.

It’s a little bit dreamy and a little ethereal, and the whole album seems to float by on a current of good vibes.


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