Kristi Lane Sinclair
Kristi Lane Sinclair is an artist completely unafraid to plumb the depths of darkness in search of a glimmer of light. That’s precisely what she does on her fifth release, Super Blood Wolf Moon, an awe-inspiring 12-song collection that reflects the harrowing experiences women suffer at the hands of domestic abusers.
With grinding guitars and soaring strings accentuating the album’s roller coaster ride of emotions, Sinclair brings together all the elements that have distinguished her work to this point. But with its overall concept fuelling the explosive performances, Super Blood Wolf Moon stands on its own as Sinclair’s formal introduction to the wider world of alternative rock.
“I think, to boil it down, anger and love are the two main forces at the heart of this album,” she says. “I wanted it to be a true account of how it feels to live with domestic violence and PTSD. And it’s not only about what I’ve been through, but also what I’ve learned from women I’ve encountered in many areas of my life.”
Super Blood Wolf Moon was recorded during sessions at Jukasa Studios in Ohsweken, Ontario and Arc Studios in Hannon, Ontario, overseen by producer Terra Lightfoot, herself a Juno-nominated singer/songwriter and guitarist. Her sonic vision pulls everything into sharp focus and heightens the drama at just the right moments, aided by a band that includes some of Canada’s top female musicians: drummer Dani Nash, bassist Anna Ruddick, keyboardist/guitarist Robin Hatch and string players Praise Lam and Blanche Israel. The concept of having women both in front and behind the board was fully realized by the work of engineer Jill Zimmerman, with mastering engineered by Grammy winner Emily Lazar.
Lightfoot had been awaiting an opportunity to work with Sinclair since they first crossed paths at the Dawson City Music Festival in 2015. When she heard the songs Sinclair had prepared for Super Blood Wolf Moon, Lightfoot immediately signed on to the project. Lightfoot says, “I believe this album will be transcendent and set an example for all young women in the music industry. It’s a true statement celebrating women, and how we are healing together.”
As a Haida/Cree artist, that healing takes on extra dimensions Sinclair has channelled into her writing. A prime example is the album’s first single “Break,” which features a vocal part by Kelly Fraser, an acclaimed Inuk pop star who was tragically lost too soon. She and Sinclair shared many circumstances all too real to the Indigenous community, which adds to the power of “Break,” sadly just a taste of what the two could have done together. Sinclair’s rage is only surpassed on the song “End Of The Rope,” a truly chilling moment that fully lives up to its title.
Still, the danceable groove on “Heart Bites” and cinematic sweep of “Trust” offers a wider view of Sinclair’s range, taking Super Blood Wolf Moon into dark Britpop territory she hasn’t ventured into before. Until now, her sound has evolved from an equal love of classical and hard music—“classical grunge” as she likes to call it—all driven by an admiration for strong female voices such as Cat Power and Kim Gordon. Sinclair’s previous release, the five-song EP The Ability To Judge Distance, lived up to those aims in the way she maintained full control over the project while providing clear hints that she was ready to take things to the next level.
Sinclair has achieved that with Super Blood Wolf Moon, an album that tears off society’s veneer to expose a long-suppressed collective consciousness, just as the best rock and roll songwriters have always done.