Valley-raised musician Elder Sister Plum is embarking on her first tour.
The name Elder Sister Plum was created by counter-culture novelist Kurt Vonnegut, but now Highland Secondary graduate Tanya Semple is making it hers.
That’s the 26-year-old singer-songwriter’s stage name, and in May Elder Sister Plum will fly to Toronto to tour eastern Canada and promote her debut full-length studio album “People Like Us”.
Like the author that inspired her stage name, Semple’s music explores the human experience using empathy, humour, and a healthy sense of the fantastic. “People Like Us” is a 12-song musical autobiography weaving tales of sirens and doomed sailors, dark and mystical pirates, as well as personal tales of the joys and sorrows of life.
Growing up in Comox, Semple honed her musical skills at the Rainbow Youth Theatre and Cantiamo Chamber Ensemble. She was an active participant in school concert and jazz bands, choir, and in Grade 11 landed a lead role in Highland Secondary’s musical “Anything Goes.”
Since graduating, Semple has spent a lot of time discovering parts of Canada, from the bustling metropolises of Toronto and Montreal, to the northern lifestyles of Whitehorse and Dawson City.
Semple launched a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in the summer of 2013 to raise the funds to record “People Like Us”. The album was recorded at Townhouse Recording Facility & Sound Studio in Toronto, and released in July of 2013 to critical acclaim amongst university and community radio station music-watchers.
InRetro Magazine/Radio describes her album as “ … a rainy-day-feel collection of songs that hits you in just the right place …” while Pamela Fillion of forgetthebox.net wrote “…Vernacular dances from her lips to our ears, beckoning listeners into the song paintings she reveals where kisses are stolen, journeys are taken, and treasures are reconsidered.”
The Indiegogo campaign brought Elder Sister Plum back to the Comox Valley on April 12, to play a house concert for her biggest supporters: family and friends. The audience was uniformly delighted with her lyrics and musical presence.
Elder Sister Plum will continue to play venues around Victoria, B.C. until she leaves for Toronto.
Her two-week East Coast tour begins May 27 in Fredricton, N.B. and concludes in Toronto, June 9.
For a sample of Elder Sister Plum’s music, click this link: https://soundcloud.com/elder-sister-plum/the-hempen-jig