Photo by: Jen Squires
The fifth album from Ottawa-raised, Toronto-based singer/songwriter Amanda Rheaume, The Skin I'm In presents a compelling portrait of an artist fully comfortable in her own skin, personally and musically.

Produced by Colin Cripps (Blue Rodeo, Junkhouse) at The Tragically Hip's famed Bathouse Studio, it sports a full-blooded band sound, thanks to the contributions of an A-list musical supporting cast. The single “The Skin I’m In” hit number 1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown in May 2019.

Rheaume's supple and expressive vocals fit neatly in the centre of the sonic landscape, while her eloquent and well-crafted songs were written with such noted collaborators as Jason Blaine, Melanie Brulée, Jim  Bryson, Justin Glasco, and Tim Bovaconti.

One of Rheaume's great gifts as a songwriter is her ability to take the personal and make it universal, drawing upon her own experience to deliver messages with a wide resonance. She digs deep on The Skin I'm In, reflecting upon her Metis heritage, as on the profoundly moving title track and "Return To The Water," and addressing issues of identity and mental health.

Her earlier albums met with widespread critical acclaim. 2013's Keep A Fire earned her a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriter of The Year as well as a Juno Award nomination for Aboriginal Album of the Year, while 2016's Holding Patterns received a Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination.

She has long employed her music as a force for good, as shown by three trips to Afghanistan to perform for Canadian military personnel, plus visits to the Alert base in Canada's far north and the troubled Indigenous community of Attawapiskat.

Rheaume co-founded Babes4Breasts, an initiative that, through concerts and recording projects, raised money for breast cancer charities across Canada over a 10-year period.

This is an artist with a heart as big as her talent.

She now returns with a brand new single, all about feeling a sense of empowerment, called "The Best." Produced by Robyn Dell'Unto, the track features the incredible Kinnie Starr. Dell'Unto and Starr also co-wrote the song with Rheaume.

"This song is for anyone that has ever felt less than. Anyone that has ever had an intuitive feeling and gone against it because they were scared or manipulated or not believed. Too often we allow others to take our power. We feel we have to apologize for being ourselves… messy, empowered, insecure, confident or not. Forget that. We are human, we can work on ourselves. I want to try my best to find compassion, understanding, and forgiveness… slowly and mindfully shed any and all ideas of who or what anyone else thinks we should be doing or how we should be acting. I am still practicing this every day. Fighting those demons."

The track is complemented with a visually compelling video directed by Stephano Barberis.

Words from the director:

"I was asked to write a treatment for this song between flights, and was fatigued from a busy week and didn't think I could find the time or brain firepower between flights, so I started writing an "I'm so sorry but I'm too tired and have no time" letter as I played the song for the first time... but I loved the song so much that I deleted the email, called my producer, and started writing some ideas down.

The song is a brilliant pop song - an undeniable, feel-good radio hit that gets lodged in your head immediately. What makes it even more fun is that it's an empowering tune about letting your own freak flag fly and emancipating your true self. I wanted the video to mirror that vibe of embracing one's authentic self and weaponizing it, so the video is about various people who are being stepped on by their significant others but bloom into beautiful monsters like an atomic bomb of flowers and otherworldly organisms."

Catch Amanda live this March in Toronto on March 19th at the Burdock, and at a hometown show in Ottawa on March 21st at the NAC Fourth Stage. Further details can be found here.


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