Seasoned songwriter and storyteller Shiloh Lindsey is a most unique character in Canadian music. Hard-raised on a ranch in south central Alberta, based for many years out of Vancouver, and most recently returned from a residence in Halifax, she pairs open country authenticity with big city sensibilities, for a complex blend of prairie, mountain and coastal textures. Painstakingly documenting the triumphs and failures of life and love, her honest words and spine-tingling melodies pull the listener in close to rest their ears against the comforting heartbeat of each song she sings.
Cultivating deep and lasting connections with her colleagues, peers, and audiences everywhere, Shiloh Lindsey has performed at NXNE and shared the stage with the likes of Kinky Friedman. She is presently looking forward to performances across Canada in support of her Spring 2016 Digital Release, Bloomfield & Isleville.
Her latest recording, built in and around a house in Halifax, takes on challenging universal themes of homesickness, history, and self-improvement with heart rendering commonality. In contrast to the richly orchestrated tapestries of her previous efforts, this EP is a more intimate, acoustic glimpse of the artist. Taking the reins from trusted producers John Ellis (For My Smoke) and Kirk Douglas (Western Violence and Brief Sensuality) Shiloh Lindsey proves that she can truly stand alone, as strong and enrapturing as ever.
The Long Story - By J. Magdalena Nichol
One day, not so very long ago, a voice that would quake the souls of all those who heard it came into this world. Sparked by a character in a spaghetti western flick, her parents gave her the name “Shiloh.” Fittingly, “Shiloh” also means “peace”, and the city in which she was born, Wetaskiwin, takes its name from the Cree word wītaskīwin-ispatinaw (ᐑᑕᐢᑮᐏᐣ ᐃᐢᐸᑎᓇᐤ) – “the hills where peace was made.” The youngest of six children, she grew up tough on a ranch in the Westerose region of Alberta. In time, the family raised their gaze to the mountains and turned their ears towards the call of the West, and set a new homestead near the small town of McBride, British Columbia.
As light cannot exist without darkness, peace cannot abide without turmoil. When Shiloh was about eleven years old, her parents divorced and Shiloh’s mother moved the two of them to the Hatchards trailer court on the edge of town. Her elder siblings had already struck out on their own, and Shiloh was left to navigate through the sorrows and awkwardness of adolescence for herself, turning to the same bottles she had seen in her father’s hands.
Once she was through high school, Shiloh moved to Vancouver and remained to call it home for over a decade. The dry, honest humour in her words echo the experience of many of us fledgling artists in the big, strange city.
In 2005, Shiloh partnered with veteran producer John Ellis to record For My Smoke – a collection of songs written in that first five years of struggling to get a foothold in the slippery banks of Pacific coast. Ellis’ work with the likes of Be Good Tanyas, Dustin Bentall and Jeremy Fisher had him well-informed to cultivate the new alt-country sounds bursting from the petite, platinum-haired spitfire. An unexpected fan of the horror genre, Shiloh Lindsey released a thrilling music video for the hard-hitting single “Hell In the First,” showcasing that she was definitely not just another whisky-sippin’ country darling.
Five years later, her fruitful friendship with drummer and producer Kirk Douglas led to the 2010 release of Western Violence & Brief Sensuality. Lindsey’s attention to detail and patience with her process yielded cinematic soundscapes in true fashion of the album title: a tongue-in-cheek nod to the film ratings warning of same name. This emotional record swept like a pendulum from the heart-wrenching influences of Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams to the brutal story telling of the American murder ballad, and everywhere in between.
The next two years saw the heroine in this particular story taking a chance on a love proved false, as she tried her hand at Maritime living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Like clockwork, another five years had passed to find her recording again, this time a self-produced acoustic EP named after the poignant cross-streets of Bloomfield & Isleville, including the hauntingly majestic “For the Western.” The West indeed called one more time, and with nothing left to hold her back, Shiloh returned to Vancouver to complete her best work to date, which will be released in Spring 2016.
One of the most genuine and talented individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with, Shiloh Lindsey starts with a few strums on the guitar, hums a melody, jots down some poetry, and before you know it, a whole universe of sights, sounds, and sensations has evolved into a song before your very eyes. She is a woman true to her craft, strong and pure like good bourbon, and I am proud to call her my friend.
J. Magdalena Nichol
In 50 Words or Less
Shiloh Lindsey is a storyteller. Her meticulous song crafting builds rich at every layer, like a master chemist of harmonies and human connections, churning the sheer vulnerability and preciousness of life into charged, haunting alt-country. Love may come and go, morning drifts in then daylight disappears, but rest assured, one little fire is burning ever bright.