Home to the City of Ghosts

Musician Sierra Noble returns with new sounds

Winnipeg artist Sierra Noble has returned home to release her new record City of Ghosts.

“City of Ghosts is Winnipeg to me,” Noble says. She moved back to her hometown after living in Nashville, Tenn.

The title comes from a song on the album, “Coming Home To Say Goodbye.”

“The song kind of touches on this idea about Winnipeggers that I’ve had for a long time, that we all leave Winnipeg because, at some point, we have to,” Noble says. “Like, it’s so brutally cold and the mosquitoes and the love/hate relationship that every Winnipegger has for this city.”

She believes no other city fosters the same love/hate relationship with its citizens than Winnipeg does. 

“There’s always a part of us that sticks around after we leave, so I imagine that as a little ghost version of ourselves that wanders around and eventually that hole and that longing to come home gets stronger and stronger, and we come back and meet up with that ghost again,” Noble says.

The album itself was recorded in and around Winnipeg, but having moved away from her early sound as an instrumental fiddle artist, she worried she would alienate her hometown followers.

“I transitioned pretty abruptly from being solely an old tyme Métis fiddle player touring all over to releasing this song, and it was very different for me,” Noble says. “But the beautiful thing about my fan base that I’m so grateful for is that the majority of them have literally been fans of mine or watching what I do since I was 13 years old.” 

Many fans of her fiddle work watched her develop and grow as both a musician and as a human being. 

“Which is pretty strange and surreal a little bit, but people have just gone on this journey with me, and even my 70 year old fans are like ‘I really like that song,’” Noble says.

She feels this is due to the place in which she grew up. 

“Manitoba, it’s (a) very supportive community,” Noble says.

It’s these strong ties to the community that compel Noble to give back to her city. 

“One thing I’m probably most excited about for the release show is there will be a gallery showing of pieces of art inspired by the album’s title, City of Ghosts, by artists that reside in Siloam Mission,” Noble says. 

These art pieces will be for sale at the show, with all proceeds going directly to the artists. 

“This community is such a huge part of who I am, I would feel irresponsible about not giving back to it in some way, even if it’s just selling T-shirts,” Noble says. “I’ve always been a big fan of giving back as an artist, because we’ve been given such a huge gift in life, and we may as well do something good with it.”

Sierra Noble will release City of Ghosts on Sept. 25 at the West End Cultural Centre. 
The show starts at 8 p.m. Grab tickets for $20 from ticketfly.com.

Published in Volume 71, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 22, 2016)

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