Toronto-based First Nations singer-songwriter Madisyn Whajne presents the title track from her debut record ‘Save Our Hearts’. The accompanying video was produced by Bobby Bulat. Both invigorating and bittersweet, Whajne demonstrates resilience and survival in the face of pain and heartbreak.
This long-player was recorded live to tape with Montreal super-producer Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, The Barr Brothers) and Shae Brossard (Bahamas, The Dears)at Montreal’s famed Hotel2Tango Studio. Inspired by The Go-Go’s, this album is upbeat and loaded with positive energy.
Whajne (pronounced Wayne) is a member of the Whitefish River First Nation (Manitoulin District of Ontario), who has spent most of her life searching: for her purpose, for her family, for herself. Taken from her parents as a toddler during the infamous Sixties Scoop, in which the Canadian government forcibly rehoused tens of thousands of native children, Whajne grew up without knowing her real name, to say nothing of her heritage. Her life has been shaped by a hunger for truth and understanding, a yearning that lies at the core of her artistry.
“My heart was searching for answers when I wrote this song. I had spent so many years convincing myself I was okay when I was really denying myself something I wanted so badly, and I think that is relatable. There is a sad love story being told in between the lines and by writing and pouring my heart out, I uncovered some truths… that the love I was seeking outside of myself was really the love I needed to find within myself,” says Madisyn Whajne.
“The song is about letting go and filling yourself up again. Being vulnerable can be such a beautiful thing and so much can be learned if we are open. I learned to be true to myself and pursue the happiness we are all entitled to.”
Whajne’s debut album is invigorating and bittersweet, demonstrating resilience and survival in the face of pain and heartbreak, blending elements of such artists as Alvvays, Snail Mail, Rilo Kiley and Real Estate. Here we find straight driving guitars and semi-gritty punk rock drums, topped off with vocals radiating a sunny surfer pop vibe… a little sultry with some attitude.
Whajne’s band includes producer Jay McBride on bass, James Gray (of Soft Set) on guitar, and her husband Bobby Bulat (of Basia Bulat) on drums. Rarely wearing her emotions and details her life journey in explicit narrative terms, Whajne’s story is written between the lines as she navigates love and trust, reunion and rejection, faith and fate.
“The video for ‘Save My Heart’ was filmed last fall. We hauled my air organ up to the top of Devils Glen and found the perfect spot to shoot. We only had a few hours and we made the video in record time. We kept the concept simple and I love the way it turned out. The song speaks for itself so the imagery can take over and almost be meditative. Shot and edited by Bobby, it was our first attempt at using the drone. It turned out so beautiful and cinematic though, I couldn’t be more grateful,” says Whajne.
Madisyn Whajne: B3 Organ, Electric Guitar, Lead Vocals & Back Up Vocals
James Gray: Electric Guitar & Back Up Vocals
Jay McBride: Bass, Acoustic Guitar & Back Up Vocals
Brittany Clarke: Back Up Vocals
Bobby Bulat: Drums and Auxiliary Percussion
Produced by Madisyn Whajne & Jay McBride
Recorded and Engineered by Howard Bilerman & Shae Brossard at Hotel2Tango in Montreal
Additional recording by Jay McBride at E5 Studio in Mississauga
Mixed by Shae Brossard at Hotel2Tango
Mastered by Harris Newman at Gray Market Mastering in Montreal
All songs written by Madisyn Whajne & James Gray and published by Madisyn Whajne
Photos by Jen Squires
“Her dazzling power-pop debut disc Save Our Hearts boosts anthems like ‘Summer Love’, ‘Sweet Talk’ and ‘When Morning Comes’- which chime like ‘Crash’-era Primitives over a Modern English, circa ‘Melt With You’ backbeat” ~ Paste Magazine
“A warm dream pop album that channels the beach-ready sounds of 2010 with chiming guitar arpeggios and sweet melodies that waft in like a summer breeze” – Exclaim
“Indie-rock alt-pop goodness, with the First Nations songstress making her mark among such artists as The Primitives, Alvvays, Best Coast and Fazerdaze. Pretty much every song on this album could have been pitched as a standalone single” ~ Amplify Music Magazine
“This would win her a comfortable place among Canada’s best music talent, Whajne’s music is upbeat, fun and infectious… pristine pop music” ~ Big Takeover Magazine