Followers of Tinge may be forgiven for believing the band’s moment has arrived. The songs of Veronica Blackhawk, an Anishinaabe multi-hyphenate from Lake of the Woods, Ontario feel timeless; yet, they sit so well amongst their sonic contemporaries that it’s hard to believe they've been over half a decade in the making. Their brand of indie rock is as raw and sorrowful as it is catchy and vast, drawing comparisons to Big Thief, Camp Cope and Julien Baker. The band’s debut EP, Big Deep Sigh, is due March 3rd on House of Wonders Records.
Tinge’s path to the stage (and to Winnipeg) was a winding one. Coming from a turbulent and unsettled home, Blackhawk (they/she) never lived in one place for long, and always found themselves grasping for a sense of belonging. Hopping from town to town, they would make friends and then move away; it was in this cycle that they unknowingly met their future bandmates in a couple of high school classrooms. In the years that followed, Blackhawk wrote a collection of music during one of their life's calmer periods, attempting to reconcile their good and bad experiences through brutally honest and sincere songwriting.
With songs in hand, and a few solo shows under their belt (including Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Young Performers Program in 2018), Blackhawk still felt unsatisfied with performing alone. They couldn’t shake the feeling that they, and the songs, would benefit from kinship and community. So in 2022 they built up the courage to reach out to the musicians with which they had felt the strongest bond—the guys from highschool—and to their surprise, quickly formed a band. Jordan Tait and Lincoln Brown (bassist and drummer, respectively) felt a deep connection with Blackhawk’s writing, and soon after the trio recorded their debut EP at House of Wonders.
“I think Veronica may well turn out to be one of the finest songwriters in the province,” says Adam Fuhr, founder of House of Wonders Records, adding: “I’m so thrilled to be working with this band, both as a producer and a label. An EP like this doesn’t come around very often.”
Blackhawk hopes that the EP can be a part of other people’s healing, as it was a part of theirs.
“I am in love with storytelling through song,” says Blackhawk. “I have been determined to create music, make visual art and take part in other forms of expression for as long as I can remember. This EP means I am finally ready to take up space and open it up for others going through similar phases in their growth. To finally exhale those deep breaths I've been drawing in over the past few years.”
The EP deals with detachment and pain and features moments of quiet and cathartic release. Through the songs Blackhawk expresses a struggle with their identity, a theme they attribute to this important moment in history where generations of young adults are learning to find their voice and cope with the effects of intergenerational trauma. As we are beginning to hear directly from survivors that are ready to share their stories, Big Deep Sigh spares no detail. It was produced, engineered and mixed by Adam Fuhr and mastered by Donavan Ostopawich, all at House of Wonders. It arrives March 3 on cassette and streaming services.
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