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Toronto pagan-punk-poet NYSSA has put her hands into the lion’s mouth, gathering her performing and songwriting powers to conjure the unruly energy of rock n’ roll. Out from under fear’s thumb, NYSSA now sings about wild things, old gods, romance-beyond-borders, and the exorcism of trauma. She has quested, and she has returned.
The goal is fevered connection, a ritual-sense of music as communal release. NYSSA keens and wails and brings her audience along with her to a place of deep feeling, movement, and joy. Her lyrics are poetic and clear, lunar, eerie, angry; NYSSA’s voice is the strong container for all of it. As Dionysus would want it, over-abundance is the way. Guided by the incantation and invocation of the three C’s: Collaboration, Choreo, Covenhood!, NYSSA’s sound and stories run deep into ancient mythos, Celtic lore and back through our modern idols. Re-swaggering, re-wilding hyper-masc night moves and magick hips (think Jagger, Mink Deville, Danzig), NYSSA’s magnetic, elastic ways make satyrs of us all.
Long-listed for the 2021 Polaris prize for her debut solo album Girls Like Me, NYSSA now plays with a killer 6-piece band, a real rock ’n roll coven, featuring Lukas Cheung (Mother Tongues), Nastia Koza (KOZA), Jay Anderson (Badge Époque Ensemble, Biblical), Brandon Lim (Yamantaka//Sonic Titan), and Jess Burgess (Essie Watts)