Lucie Idlout

Lucie Idlout

BandRockSinger/Songwriter

"A one-woman revolution in Canadian music, taking the old blues wraiths and wrestling them into fierce new shapes." - Globe and Mail

Biography

“I’m not a romantic at all. I’m also not a very good liar,” laughs Lucie Idlout (pronounced Id-lowt) when she talks about where her lyrics and music spring from. Her honesty and poetic candor flow through her songs and carry the listener to the very depths of their heart and soul. She writes about her experiences as a participant and observer. She sings about truth and, as evidenced by great songwriters of the past, Lucie conveys truths relevant to us all.

(lyrics)
Washed my heart at the water’s edge
Washed it clean of you
Prayed to God leave you from my head
Take these stains and make me new

You were never my lover
You were only my sin
Like a dirty little secret
I bruised you up and took you in
Berlin

Lucie lived much of her early life in the High Arctic on North Baffin Island, Northwest Territories as it was known at the time, now Nunavut. Of Inuit heritage, Lucie has obvious ties to the culture of the north and the struggles that come with its unique geography. Her passion as a songwriter and artist stretches far beyond the treeline, having also lived in several southern Canadian cities. In recent years, she splits her time between Toronto and Iqaluit, Nunavut. Her sophomore effort, Swagger, continues in the tradition of her 2004 debut, E5-770, My Mother’s Name. The album, produced by Chris Shreenan-Dyck who has worked with Blue Rodeo, Kris Kristofferson, and Ron Sexsmith will be released through Sun Rev Records on February 10, 2009. Swagger tackles love, abandonment, loneliness and the search for balance in life. The song Whiskey Breath signaled the end of a bout of writer’s block that Lucie had endured for a year and a half. While on a trip to the Catskill Mountains in northern New York, a friend challenged her to write a song and out of that came Whiskey Breath, the dark, brooding rebirth of Lucie’s writing voice. The song Belly Down tackles the feelings of a small town girl as she gets swallowed by the big city which Lucie describes as “losing in a game she had no business playing”. The track Lovely Irene is a song greater than the sound of its parts. A rocker on the album that showcases Lucie’s gravelly growl prowess that harkens back to the likes of PJ Harvey, the song was re-recorded as an acoustic track with a children’s choir from Iqaluit as backup singers and very meaningfully re-titled Angel Street. Lucie wrote the song, telling the sad, unfortunate details of her friend Irene, the victim of abuse. The acoustic version, Angel Street, was discovered by the mayor of Iqaluit, Elisapee Sheutiapik, who championed to have the name of the street where the women’s shelter is located renamed Angel Street. Lucie performed the song for Bev Oda and all the Provincial and Territorial Ministers of the Status of Women at a function announcing the renaming of city streets across the country to Angel Street. Several cities have taken it into consideration with Fredericton, NB already on board. Lucie has been amazed by the impact of the song. She wrote from the heart but had no idea that the song would become such a symbol of hope for women and communities across the country. Both versions hold very special meaning to her. The acoustic version of this song can be found in the following short documentary, A Place To Run To, which focuses on the issue of spousal abuse in the North: http://www.explore.org/explore/arctic/films/129.

Swagger is a wealthy collection of songs. "Swagger came to me when I was listening to premixes of all the songs. I had set out to record the perfect driving album, or something that would be worthy of being on a soundtrack, and I wanted it to swagger." Lucie recalls "I'd spent so much time in a funk and unable to write about anything that felt sexy enough to me and then Whiskey Breath came out, and the rest was just like a purging." In 2007, Lucie opened for The White Stripes in Iqaluit during their in-depth tour of Canada. She opened for the legendary and highly respected Buffy Sainte-Marie at Ottawa’s Westfest earlier this year. She also performed at Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary celebrations with Le Strada. Her first album took her all over Europe, hitting stages of this nation’s finest festivals including the Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Northern Lights Festival and The Great Northern Arts Festival as well as prestigious festivals such as the Tilburg Festival in Germany and the Ravenna Festival in Italy. Last year she was honoured to be chosen as one of fifty Canadian artists to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Canada Council for the Arts. Performing at the Governer General’s Gala, the event encompassed singers, dancers, visual artist, writers, filmmakers and musicians from across the country. Each artist represented a year in the life of the Canada Council, having either won one of the many awards administered by the council or gained a grant to help them continue to do their art. Lucie is a vibrant and ta

Lyrics

Sorry

Written By: Lucie Idlout

Baby I’m so sorry
That you had to go
And say goodbye

And baby how could I have known
Your reasons why
Because the love that I have for you
Though I can’t explain
Tears me apart

I’ll see you
In late December
Somewhere on down the road

You can take my hand
And we’ll pretend
All the beautiful things
We should have known
Because the love that I feel for you
Though I can’t explain
Tears me apart

There isn’t much to understand
In the lines drawn in the sand
It wasn’t that I couldn’t say
I love you

Baby I’m so sorry
That you had to go
And say goodbye

And baby how could I have known
Your reasons why
Because the love that I feel for you
Though I can’t explain
Tears me apart

Lovely Irene

Written By: Lucie Idlout

Broken down angel queen
He pushed you down
Made you unseen
Irene
High heels on a gravel road

He never loved you
That’s all he knows
Could never please him
So the story goes
Irene
High heels on a gravel road

My lovely Irene
I love you Irene

You ain’t crazy
How could you have known
He’d kill a lifetime
And break all your bones
Irene
High heels on a gravel road

My lovely Irene
I love you Irene
Why didn’t you walk away
You should have just walked away

Whiskey Breath

Written By: Lucie Idlout

Whiskey breath
Tells me you’ve been stepping out
On your love
On the town

Whiskey breath
Wants me to spit you out
All your love
All your love

Don’t bring me down

Whiskey breath
Hounds of hell are going to sniff you out
Break you down
Take you down

Whiskey breath
Wants me to spit you out
All your love
All your love

Don’t bring me down

Little bones show me some kind of living

Whiskey Breath
Tells you I’ve been stepping out
On your love
On the town

Whiskey breath
Wants you to spit me out
All my love
All my love

Don’t bring me down

Little bones show me some kind of living

Discography

"Swagger" - produced by Chris Shreenan-Dyck and Lucie Idlout
Released February 10, 2009

"E5-770, My Mother's Name" - produced by Matt Dematteo (Big Wreck) and Chris Shreenan-Dyck
Released on Arbor Records/EMI

Set List

enough original material for 90 minutes