Reading Dump Babes’ band bio immediately tells you that they’re not here to abide by old norms and the same old tried and true.
“Dump Babes hail from the barren plains of Nutana, where as young children they kicked cans and ate street rats for breakfast. This combined lived experience is inspiration for their grungy pop-rock sound with a country twang and can be heard through their lustful lyrics in many of their songs…Aurora [Wolfe], Eric [MacNeil], Skyler [Cafferata], Aron [ Zacharias], and Barret [Ross] may be the official Dump Babes, but believe that everyone holds some trashy goodness within them.”
The Saskatchewan group’s latest album, niya kîminîcâkan, mirrors lead singer Aurora Wolfe’s focus on colonialism, the uprooting of Indigenous communities, and identity. It’s something the band says is instrumental to the way the album came together with Wolfe as their songwriter.
“The lyrical concept of the album speaks to Aurora’s experience as an Indigenous woman in chaotic/uncertain times. The songs process through subjects that range from incarceration to environmental colonialism, however the album ends with a celebratory and joyful song that celebrates the simple pleasure of sitting in a hot tub with friends.”
Written and recorded in Saskatoon, the record was an opportunity, according to Dump Babes, to “mature” and expand on their sound. The community that Dump Babes has fostered is immediately evident. The album’s Bandcamp page features the acknowledgement of beloved community figure Jill Mack, who passed away from cancer in March of 2022, and who supplied bass, keys, and backing vocals. The band was nominated for two Saskatchewan Music Awards–making the long list for album of the year and the final five for Indigenous artist of the year. 2022 also saw them perform as part of the Regina Folk Festival, Ness Creek Music Festival, and the Sled Island Music and Arts Festival in Calgary. Their attendance in Alberta, as part of a showcase, was funded by our market travel grant, while the eight song-strong LP was funded by our Sound Recording Grant.
In typical Saskatchewan artist fashion, Dump Babes haven’t slowed down since they released niya kîminîcâkan in mid-April. They’re hard at work moving towards producing a follow up album, and they say that the lessons they’ve learned with this recent offering have been invaluable.
“We have learned a considerable amount while recording this album, and we have many ideas to improve our sound on our next album. Additionally, we have received very positive feedback on our new material. The pop-oriented direction we took on this album has been well received, and is opening doors for us. Working with Antiskeptic Entertainment to promote this album has already increased our market visibility and reach, with stations across Canada adding our music to their rotations.”
Over and above these successes, Dump Babes have also started to be the subject of management offers, something that they say will make their time in the industry easier to balance as opportunities to create and tour increase accordingly. Their time on stage at the aforementioned music festivals brought in new audience members and additional sales. A vinyl release show in October meant another opportunity to showcase their work to the world. The album is available on all major platforms as well as in CD and vinyl form.
If you’re looking to find a new audience for your music—or burst back onto the scene with a new project— take a look at our grant guidelines to see if your work might be a good fit. The project needs to include at least six songs, run at least 30 minutes, and be created with the intention of commercial release in order to meet the minimum requirements. Recent recipients include Étienne Fletcher and Universal Honey. If you’re recording a shorter work, we also have streams dedicated to single sound recordings (1-3 songs) and EPs (4 to 6 songs and shorter than 30 minutes). If you’re looking at our Market Travel Grant, that stream is dedicated to opportunities connected to showcases, festivals, and conferences, and exhibits.
Written by John Loeppky.