I recently got fucking wasted with Missy Knott. Remember that Mary-Kate Edwards show that you should have been at, but probably weren’t because you were too “tired” or had to “go on a date”? Yeah, I was there, and so was Missy, and we drank, and you missed out! Whatever, I forgive you. But you better listen closer this time.
Missy’s response to my drunkenness, when I messaged her earlier this week, was to say that she was “fortunate to know someone who gets more drunk than I do.” Cool. You know what else is really fortunate? That Missy allowed me to ask her a bunch of annoying questions, and to have a listen to her EP. Below is, in narrative form, a description of that EP, and some answers to those questions. Exciting!
Missy’s latest EP is titled My Sister’s Heart. Her voice shines over this tracklist. Her blend of country, pop, and classic singer-songwriter-style writing isn’t new to the Peterborough music scene, but her approach is impressive. Her voice is of a low register, but that doesn’t constrict her range. She has a raspiness to her voice which plays into the emotionality of each of the four songs.
“Letters To You” opens with a steel-slide guitar that plays the melodic basis for the song, while an acoustic guitar strums gently underneath. The song moves quickly towards the chorus, reminiscing both musically and lyrically about past heartbreak and regret. “I burn them, as fast as I can write these letters to you,” she sings, with a voice that aches with both pain and growth.
“My Sister’s Heart” is the eponymous track of the album. It is a polished “new country” song, with a vibrant electric guitar and lyrics that resonate. The song outlines a problematic relationship and the awkwardness that comes with wanting to help, but not knowing how. It is a situation that most can relate to, and a song that stings as much as it soothes.
“Our Song” is next. A bass drum and snare cracks in 4/4 time, while the electric guitar strums strongly. “I wanna feel like it’ll be okay/ Does anyone else ever feel that way?” she croons. “Love me or leave me” isn’t what she says, but those words come to mind. “I am who I am; love me for it,” is the message, and it’s an important and truthful one.
The final track is titled, “Strong Woman’s Song”. It’s a short number to end off the set, but it sends an important message all the same. It is a simple lullaby with obvious Indigenous influence. The sub-title, “Lyric’s Lullaby” is a reference to her young daughter. A beautiful way to end to an album concerned with the constraints and anxieties of adult life, by sending it off to pure innocence, in the form of a young child.
Missy’s background in music “sort of unfolded from a love for performance at a very young age. I started writing pretty consistently after breaking up with my first boyfriend and performing my own music in my late teens. I tend to write about lost love a lot. I still haven’t learned how to say how I feel about other things.”
She has been playing music in Peterborough for a long time, and has become something of a staple playing at various venues around town, as well as larger music festivals, The Havelock County Jamboree, and Peterborough Live.
On the subject of her song writing process, she explained that “writing has always rooted from collaborations for me. I’ve always performed as at least a duo and the process unfolds as you learn to get more comfortable with the person you’re working with.”
Missy plays from a place of pain and passion. I asked her what it means to be an artist, a woman, and Indigenous. She stated that, “I know my path in music has truly developed into what it is because I needed a place to hide from pain, a passion for something that could make me feel alive. I’m happy to have a purpose and can turn my constantly breaking heart into art. That’s how I feel about being an Anishnaabe woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, and a granddaughter.”
My Sister’s Heart is 4 tracks of pure emotion which Missy calls “a huge stepping stone”. It is her fifth collection of work, and she stated that she is “getting much closer to finding [her] sound.”
On April 2nd, Missy will be hosting a matinee showcase at the Market Hall with up-and-coming singers Jayde Taylor and Cameron Von Criegern. I will be there also, and maybe I will be as drunk as I was the last time I saw Missy. That’s for you to find out, reader.