Nancy Mike and the Jerry Cans look forward to a big month
After first music video, Nunavut band to record new album
Spanning a little over a month, the Jerry Cans released their first music video for the song Mamaqtuq, are expected to open for popular Inuit singer Elisapie Isaac Oct. 18 and 19, and plan to record their second studio album in Toronto at the end of October.
But the icing on the cake: throat singer and accordion player Nancy Mike’s nomination for a 2013 Canadian Music Folk Award in the Aboriginal songwriter of the year category.
“We weren’t sure how to react at first. Because we didn’t expect it to come so soon. And after I got the email, I was kind of in shock and didn’t know how to react,” Mike told Nunatsiaq News.
“A few hours later I guess I started telling my friends. And we got super excited. We’re all very excited,” she said.
The nomination is for lyrics from the Jerry Cans’ first album, Nunavuttitut. Mike and partner Andrew Morrison both had a hand in co-writing lyrics for the album.
She says their songs come from experiences and ideas around the the North, and sends a message to others about life in the North.
“Living in the north, we always come into problems. Especially in a new territory,” Mike said.
“For example, my late dad was a full-time hunter. He often ran into problems with seal hunting or keeping an income from hunting. So I think about things like that, looking into details,” Mike said.
Mike’s father, Livee, died of cancer recently, and is recognized in their new music video.
Mike hopes this nomination might raise awareness among others in Canada about northern issues.
The Jerry Cans have opinionated songs about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and Northmart, for example.
“Dear PETA, we know we can’t stand ya!” is one lyric from the song “Dear PETA,” off The Jerry Cans’ first album.
“It will be interesting to see what the reaction will be from people in Canada,” Mike said.
“Obviously it’s hard to understand our lives here in Nunavut with just those songs. But it gives a bit of an idea about what living in the North means and what problems we face.”
The ninth annual Canadian Folk Music Awards is set to be held Nov. 8 and Nov. 10 in Calgary, Alberta.
The organization will pay for one person to travel to Alberta for the event. Mike said the band has not made a decision to go or not, but said she would prefer if the whole band travelled with her.
For now, however, Mike is concentrating on performing for Elisapie — Mike is a big fan — and focusing on recording the new album.
This time around, the Jerry Cans are taking a different approach to their album, which will feature 10 new songs.
“Things have happened in our lives. Our daughter being born, and my father passing away was a big influence on our music and the songs we write.
“So it’s a bit more coming from our feelings. Rather than looking at problems in the whole community,” Mike said.
Mike said she is certainly feeling the heat from the busy month, but is enjoying the intensity.
“Everything is coming together,” she said.
“Of course we are playing our music because we enjoy it, but things are happening for us and we’re so happy and fortunate that we’re able to do all these things.”
The band is recording their album Oct. 22 to 28 at the Woodshed Studio, which is owned and operated by Canadian band Blue Rodeo.
Other artists who have recorded there include Bruce Cockburn and Feist.
The Jerry Cans received funding from the Artist Development Fund through the Government of Nunavut’s economic development department and the Canada Council for the Arts.