Discovering: Elisapie

Some years ago, my mother became interested in Inuit Art. The soapstone sculptures and prints created by the Inuits, the indigenous people of Canada. She even had a gallery briefly that sold this art. I bring all this up because last week, I got a press release email about a young Canadian singer Elisapie Isaac, who is Inuit. It’s not a word you see a lot in America but it grabbed my attention for obvious reasons so I checked out Elisapie and her music.

Although quite popular in Canada, Elisapie isn’t well known at all in America, although she is well worth discovering. Listening to a selection of her tunes on her website,, you come away impressed with her multi-cultural, multi-lingual tunes. There’s a charming bright quality to her music, an engaging lightness although by no means lightweight. For example, “Out of Desperation,” which is sung in both English and Inuit, bounces along with a “da, da, da, da” chorus and a catchy rock beat while dealing with the anguish of vulnerability.

She is billed as Canada’s Bjork, which is a bit misleading. Although she bridges her native culture with English-based pop music, she doesn’t seem to be as an eccentric as Bjork. Elisapie’s music is easily accessible to non-Inuits while also containing many fresh qualities that mark her as a unique artist.

Elisapie, whose album There Will Be Stars is now available in the U.S.,  has a trio of Los Angeles appearances this week. Monday, September 19, she has a free show at The Trip in Santa Monica with Caracol. Tuesday, she’s play at the Le Lycée Français school’s Théatre Raymond Kabbaz, opening for Jorane, and Thursday September 22, she will be Pianos with Caracol and Martha Wainwright (another talented singer-songwriter with her own Canadian roots)

About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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