ROCOCODE, Iskwe, Familiar Wild. Tickets via www.casbahlounge.ca
Rococode’s strength lies in the contrast between dark and light. Vancouver’s Andrew Braun and Laura Smith infuse their hook-filled songs with lush synth textures and duet vocals, resulting in an infectious sound that Andrew calls “a marriage of our contrasting personalities.”
The pair formed Rococode in 2011 and released the debut album Guns, Sex & Glory the next year. The shadowy Panic Attack EP arrived in 2015 and the sophomore full-length Don’t Worry It Will Be Dark Soon followed in 2016. Meanwhile, the group’s music charted on commercial and campus radio across North America and they logged countless miles in the tour van in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
Inspired by both Dené and Inuit facial tattooing, Iskwé views the face paint as an act of rebellion against cultural appropriation and the limitations that have been imposed upon her as an artist. “Even if it isn’t entirely understood, painting my face prompts people to ask me, ‘Why?’ If I were to be subtle about it, I’d risk the message being lost in translation but when I’m loud and over the top with it, I think people find it harder to look away. That’s important to me because it prompts dialogue and it lets me know that the conversation is still very much alive.”
Unafraid to challenge the convictions of her detractors by honouring her heritage, standing steadfast in her viewpoints, and embracing her sexuality, Iskwé’s artistry knows no bounds. Blending soulful, breathlessly delivered lyrics that are coloured by the many shades of human nature with a sonic palette that takes its queue from the shadowy atmospherics of the 1990s Bristol sound, Iskwé’s music revels in her strength of self and that is her true rallying cry.
“Electronic/Dance Album of the Year” Nominee – 2017 & 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards