Indigenous roots-rockers Midnight Shine’s poignant debut video “I Need Angels” shines light on tough topic
“I wrote “I Need Angels” because there are a lot of people struggling in Canada’s Indigenous far North communities,” says Midnight Shine frontman Adrian Sutherland, who hails from the Cree community of Attawapiskat in remote Northern Ontario. “We’ve had a lot of loss, a lot of tragedies, and I think it’s important for me as an artist to shed light on these issues. Being isolated in the North can be very tough, and I know a lot of people who suffer from depression. The song is about that inner struggle to keep positive and not give up, and to have hope and faith despite the darkness.”
Midnight Shine are set to release tour dates for 2019 to share this song live soon, but in the meantime, “I Need Angels” is available on YouTube and streaming.
Midnight Shine, the root-rockers who have been lighting up the music world all the way from the James Bay released their debut music video, with hopes of shining light on a difficult topic affecting all too many.
“I wrote I Need Angels because there are a lot of people struggling in Canada’s Indigenous far North communities. We’ve had a lot of loss, a lot of tragedies, and I think it’s important for me as an artist to shed light on these issues,” says Midnight Shine frontman Adrian Sutherland, who hails from the Cree community of Attawapiskat in remote Northern Ontario.
“Being isolated in the North can be very tough, and I know a lot of people who suffer from depression. The song is about that inner struggle to keep positive and not give up, and to hang on to hope and faith despite the darkness.”
Attawapiskat is no stranger to media attention. The community of roughly 2000 has been associated with many distressing issues over the years, including suicide. Adrian has had family members take their own lives, and he sometimes struggles with his own mental health.
ABOUT THE SONG
I Need Angels was written by Adrian Sutherland, with Midnight Shine bandmates Zach Tomatuk and Stanley Louttit as co-writers, and John-Angus MacDonald (The Trews) producing. It’s from Midnight Shine’s third album, High Road, which came out in spring 2018.
ABOUT THE VIDEO
A production crew of three travelled up to Attawapiskat on the coast of the James Bay in early October to shoot the music video for I Need Angels – the first music video ever to be shot in the community. The locations were absolutely stunning in the changing fall colours, and well worth the many logistical challenges of shooting in such a remote place.
Given the nature of the song, Sutherland thought it would be fitting to create awareness of mental health and the suicide epidemic in Canada’s North. To do this, a picture frame was used in the video, featuring haunting images of five different young people who have taken their own lives. The photos came in from families in different part of Canada, willing to share the precious memory of their loved one in order to try and help someone else.
The video was produced and co-directed by Midnight Shine’s manager RoseAnna Schick, and shot and directed by Vancouver-based cinematographer Cliff Hokanson. The two made one rock music video together nearly 20 years ago, and reconnected by chance this summer just in time to make I Need Angels. Watch the video now on YouTube.
ABOUT MIDNIGHT SHINE
They came together by chance. They stayed together for a shot.
Adrian Sutherland and Midnight Shine would like to thank Canada Council for the Arts for their support to make the music video I Need Angels, and Air Creebec for helping the band travel out of Ontario’s remote North.
The recording of the song I Need Angels was supported by the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation. The Ontario Arts Council has also assisted Adrian Sutherland and Midnight Shine with previous projects.
About Canada Council for the Arts
The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. The Council champions and invests in artistic excellence through a broad range of grants, services, prizes and payments to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations. Its work ensures that excellent, vibrant and diverse art and literature engages Canadians, enriches their communities and reaches markets around the world. The Council also raises public awareness and appreciation of the arts through its communications, research and arts promotion activities. It is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO in Canada to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.
We would like to thank Eric Alper for the artist profile and press release.