By Julijana Capone
There were stints at NXNE and Mile of Music Festival in 2014, and then weirdo rapper Buck 65 added the band as support on his cross-Canada tour that same year. It was just the beginning.
But with a voice like that of frontwoman Sadye Cage it comes as little surprise that the band has been turning some heads.
Channeling powerhouse singers, such as Ann Wilson of Heart at her highest vocal decibels, especially on track “Do Me,” the uniqueness of Cage’s voice is truly something to behold. Despite having such ferocious pipes, she admits that she’s always been a little self-conscious about her singing.
“I never liked my own voice,” she says. “I always thought I sounded weird.”
A little weirdness in music, however, is rarely considered a bad thing. The band’s debut album, Waiting Room Baby, co-produced by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Basia Bulat) at his hotel2tango studio in Montreal, combines folk-tinged rock and indie-pop with a sense of whimsy. Buck 65 (a.k.a Rich Terfry) also turns up on track “Motel Honey” to add a few verses.
“Rich kept reiterating that he wanted to collaborate on something,” says Cage. “At our Winnipeg homecoming show, he rapped on ‘Motel Honey’ and then after he decided that he would be down to record it and be a part of the album.”
Since forming the band, everything has been falling into place nicely. But things weren’t always on the up.
Cage started writing songs with guitarist Ty Vega after she began to recover from a several-year battle with cancer of the knee. Vega and Cage, the core members of Sc Mira, would later add Jed Desilets (drums), Mario Lagassé (bass) and most recently Caro LaFlamme on keys.
Songwriting during her recovery, Cage explains, was just something that she did to pass the time.
“I couldn’t do much because I was so restricted physically,” she says. “Mentally I felt a lot better, so I just started writing and playing songs by myself in my room. I wrote because I was bored, and because that’s what I used to do before I got sick.
“Writing wasn’t therapeutic to me. It was often pretty depressing, because I didn’t have that much to write about except for being sick. The stuff that comes to you isn’t the most uplifting material.”
Given the heavy days that Cage has had to endure, the band’s good-humoured approach to making music—and videos—seems like both a welcome and necessary relief.
The latest video for Sc Mira’s single, “Do Me,” for example, includes all kinds of silly sexual innuendo with finger-puppet cameos by Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj and others, along with an imitation of Kimye in the ridiculous-as-is video for “Bound 2.”
“The song’s pretty out there, so we thought we need a video to do this justice,” says Cage. “We thought wouldn’t it be funny if there were puppets having sex? It’s so outrageous.”
Now cancer-free, the singer says she still has “a lot of physical challenges as a result of the surgeries,” which has made touring and live shows a constant struggle. But you wouldn’t know it watching Cage belt out songs.
“I’m pretty energetic onstage,” she says. “I sometimes joke that all of the energy comes out the top of my head, because I’m not able to run around onstage. My head might spin right off one day.”
Sc Mira performs at Dickens (Calgary) on July 3 and The Owl (Lethbridge) on July 4.AB, Alberta, Dickens, SC MIRA, The Owl