Dene singer-songwriter Leela Gilday returns with her fourth studio album, Heart of the People, that celebrates her homeland, her nation, and her love of the land.
Leela Gilday's music has always been a passionate mix of soaring vocals, beautiful melodies, and the effortless interweaving of sounds and stories rooted in her Dene culture—and her latest album is no exception.
As the Northern Journal so eloquently described:
Heart of the People, combines powerful lyrics that create stunning imagery, layered over carefully coordinated melodies for songs that are raw, emotional and absolutely empowering.
Her incorporation of traditional elements like the pounding beat of Dene drums, the breathy, guttural sounds of throat singing, lyrics belted out in local languages and dancing fiddles helps create one of the musician’s best albums thus far. “I really feel this CD is my best, my best songwriting,” Gilday said in an interview with The Journal. “As you mature as an artist… I’ve been trying to fulfill my potential and I feel like this is starting to fulfill my potential.”
Listening to the album is like sitting in a circle, hearing multiple voices share tales of life in the North.
We couldn't agree more.
Gilday describes the title track from the album as "an anthem to the heartbeat of the earth [and] our connection to the land". Co-written by Jason Burnstick, with Maori lyrics by Ora Barlow, stream "Heart of the People" below and immerse yourself in the swirling sonics of the northern lights greeting the sunny shores of Aotearoa.
STREAM: Leela Gilday - "Heart of the People"
Watch Leela Gilday perform "Heart of the People" with her band and Dene drummers in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, at the Northern Art Cultural Centre in September 2014.