Christa Couture gives up all her lovely and messy bits through a blend of folk and rock, quirk and charm. A formidable talent, Couture is armed with an attention grabbing mezzo-soprano and a quick-witted, poignant turn-of-phrase.Whether performing solo where “[Couture] and her guitar make an almost holy sound” (UWO Gazette, London), with her band, or in the recording studio, she enchants every listener’s ear.
Couture was born with music in her blood. Her mother sang in sixties folk trio “The Cellar Dwellers” (and still performs music today) while her Native-American father performed ceremonial music his whole life. At the age of two, in an Arapaho naming ceremony, Couture was given the name Sanibe. It means Singing Woman, and her parents were told “she will sing a lot, and talk a lot”. Indeed, she was writing songs before she could write the alphabet and spent her childhood in choirs and her teens performing and studying musical theatre. At 21, she left her Edmonton home for the bright lights of Vancouver where she picked up a guitar and began focusing on her own writing (instead of Gershwin’s or Webber’s!) for the first time. In 2002 Couture released her ep Starter and moved to England to learn the trade of singing in smoky pubs. A year later, overflowing with inspiration, she returned to Canada to record again.
“She sings with an intimacy that feels like you are being let in on a secret” (The Province, BC) and indeed you are. On Couture’s debut full-length album, the critically acclaimed Fell Out of Oz, she confronts and contemplates surviving cancer, kissing boys, kissing girls and abortion. “With a wide-eyed and inviting tenderness” (Edmonton Sun), this childhood cancer survivor speaks honestly about illness, loss and uncertainty. She spins heartache, fear and hope into a passionate, compelling tapestry of music and lyrics.
The Wedding Singer & The Undertaker is Couture’s second full-length album, scheduled for release May 20th, 2008. It represents the next chapter in this young songstress’ life and Couture’s writing continues to explore intensely intimate spaces with a frank confidence that avoid cliché and melodrama. Living through the precipitous passion of falling in love and the heartbreaking death of her infant son, Couture was left unsure she would create again. “But the songs started to come again, and I wanted to share them. I often feel so alone with my son’s death; I offer these songs as solace to anyone dealing with loss. That said, the album is not one-sided, and The Wedding Singer and The Undertaker are not opposites,” she explains about the album’s archetypal title characters. “It’s not happy or sad, it’s the space between. It’s that you can’t choose one – love and celebration – without accepting the other, the loss and heartache”.
Musically, the The Wedding Singer & The Undertaker is big step for Couture. While Fell Out of Oz was recorded live off the floor, this new album, Couture’s second collaboration with Vancouver producer Futcher (Be Good Tanyas, Girl Nobody, Mike Clark), features beautiful horn and string arrangements. It even stretches Couture, a devoted acoustic guitarist, back to her piano keys – the first instrument she composed on as a girl. Vocally, Couture reveals new strength, found through two years of regular touring and densely stacked life events. She showcases this might in her voice fearlessly, adding a new facet to her first album’s softness. The result is a polished, lush, expressive and grown up voice for Couture.
Summer 2007 saw the debut of Couture’s first music video. Shot for the cinematic track “Scared, Too” this video was directed and produced by the award winning William Morrison (The Matthew Good Band, Skinny Puppy, Delirium).
Summer 2008 brings a cross-Canada tour for Couture supporting the release of The Wedding Singer & The Undertaker. She’ll travel alongside fellow Vancouver songstress Mary Kastle as these two women spin their sonic tales and truths to their captivated audiences.