Whose House? Heather’s House!

Heather Thomas in her South Osborne home

Photo by Daniel Crump

“I recently found out that Heather has the greatest rise and fall of popularity in history of any woman’s name. In the late ’80s, it got extremely popular, and now nobody’s named Heather ever.”

Singer/songwriter Heather Thomas’ popularity, however, is only on the rise. The linchpin of local electro-R&B act Atlaas was born and raised in Winnipeg. With bandmates Charlotte Friesen and Luke Janzen, Thomas officially released a self-titled EP in April.

A couple of months ago, the tightly knit trio took their new album up to Churchill. Thomas says, “it was life-changing.”

She found her home in South Osborne on her way back from visiting her parents’ new home-base in Alberta a year and a half ago. An acquaintance’s Instagram post made its way into her feed at the perfect moment.

“She gave me a video tour with her phone, we Skyped, and I was like, ‘Yep, I want it.’”

Although that acquaintance, Winnipeg-rooted visual artist Jeanine Saurette, is no longer in the city, Thomas still lives with a healthy collection of Saurette’s artwork and furniture in addition to two aesthetically minded roommates.

Depth perception

“I relate to it on a weird level. I really identify with being shallow in a way. Not in a shallow way; but I really appreciate the lighter things in life ... I feel like this is me. It’s shallow but deep. It’s like a pool. I’m a pool.”

Indispensable appliance

“I use the kettle, but it’s not very pretty. It’s just an ugly, black kettle.”

Churchill chronicles

“We did a six- or seven-hour buggy ride around the tundra looking at different parts of the landscape ... there’s this one place ... I can’t really remember the story fully, but some guy got trapped, and another guy had to take off his pants to go save him for some reason ... so it’s called No Pants Lake. I love it.”

Harmonious alliances

“I just got it for my birthday from some old friends, my friend Charles and his wife, Danielle. I kind of quit music for a couple of years and then, when I was trying to get back into it, met Charles, and we started this band (**DRTYWRDS**). It was super creative and lovely to come back to enjoying what you love to do – loving what you love again. It’s such a pleasure to be friends.

Allium sativum

“My mom’s a huge garlic lover. My dad hates garlic, so it’s really funny. I will say that I have come to the realization that there can be too much garlic. I mean it’s good, but a little goes a long way. Sometimes, you need 17 cloves. Sometimes you just need one or two.
Probably two.”

Album artwork

“This is the original piece of art I used to make my EP cover. It’s a photograph of plastic, taped together, wrapped in plastic and written on. It’s very shiny and reflective. I think it’s kinda smudged off.”

Material words

“There’s some really good cookbooks in here. The bookshelves are full of very intellectual and artistically good books. Very fashionable.”

Published in Volume 73, Number 8 of The Uniter (November 1, 2018)

Related Reads