Kìzis ‘Turn’ Album review by Randy Radic. The Montreal Artist's LP drops on February 12th via Tin Angel Records

Tin Angel Records

9

Kìzis

Turn

On her new album, Turn, featuring more than 50 collaborators, Kìzis continues her experimental explorations of what she calls “indigenous pop.”

Based in Montreal, Kìzis is an indigenous and trans artist who questions convention with her artistic expressions. Her debut album, Kijà / Care, released under the name Mich Cota, articulated passing through and emerging on the other side of repression and trauma, a process accomplished by means of energy and love.

With Turn, she confirms her evolution as a trans, indigenous individual residing in an ever-changing milieu, a milieu riding altering and shifting waves and on the brink of vast cultural disruption. Over the course of almost four hours, Kìzis employs techno, poetry, pop, and Algonquin dance to probe a variety of subjects, including love, humor, and joy.

Featuring artists such as Beverly Glenn Copeland, Owen Pallett, Mabe Fratti, and Tim Nelson, the album was composed and produced around the world, from Montreal, Moonsonee, and Toronto to London, Berlin, and Lima. At the same time, it’s persuaded by Kìzis community of trans sisters, as well as her identity as an Algonquin living in Canada.

Kìzis explains, “Being with other people, travelling, what it means to live and share my body, culture and natural rhythm with other walks of life.”

Comprising 36-tracks, Turn begins with “Dawemà,” an Anishinaabemowin term translated as “sister,” opening on thumping drums topped by traditional voices, projecting chanting invocations. Speaking subjectively, entry points include “We Are Strong,” initially featuring a remote reciting voice, followed by emerging choir-like vocals topping a stridently sawing violin. As the harmonics slowly swell and assume dimension, the violin extends segueing into a burbling melody rife with country-hip-hop savors.

“Side of the Road” travels on percolating pop flavors as a delicious falsetto delivers a melodic rapping flow on infectiously rippling coloration. A personal favorite, “Tebewewin” rides a measured, delicate Queen-like piano and then takes on an exquisite operatic undulation. The vocals on this track are simply incredible, alluring, floating on gossamer tendrils.

The saxophone intro to “Higher Self” fluctuates on soothing sonic filaments, imbuing the tune with trembling mystery, followed by bouquets of soft, crystalline vocals. The techno-laced thrum of “RUN” gallops, while various vocal interjections give the lyrics a chaotic feel.

“I’m Right Here” conjures up vague similarities to Pink Floyd, yet never moves into a full-fledged prog-rock melody. Instead, it emanates a scrumptiously trundling tempo chock-full of residual energy. “Verne” is a gem, conveying a baroque, flamboyant sample of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

“In Our House” rolls out tints of techno and house music atop a driving rhythm, as if Donna Summer decided to cover early R3HAB. It’s a beguilingly gorgeous track, defining Kìzis’s gift for merging styles of music into mesmerizing compositions.

“Sister Flower 3 (Tree)” amalgamates tints of ‘70s disco with snapping pop, resulting in a stripped-down propelling tune of innovative darker hues. Spoken-word vocals infuse the lyrics with reminisces of Talking Heads’ “Seen and Not Seen.”

Stylistically diverse, passionate, and arrantly unpredictable, simply put, Turn is a tour de force, a superlative work of art not to be missed.

pre-order Turn by Kìzis HERE