Mariee Sioux is bringing her unique style of ancestral folk music to Gainesville.
Pulp Arts is set to host Sioux at the Heartwood Soundstage on Saturday, where she will perform tracks off her new album “Grief in Exile.”
Sioux, 34, began writing songs and playing music at 19 after teaching herself to play guitar.
Much of Sioux’s music is inspired by her desire to be connected with her diverse ancestry. Sioux has roots in Native Southern California, Mexico, Poland and Hungary.
“Since I was young, I’ve always craved more connection to the knowledge of my people that has been lost very rapidly through the lines of my heritage,” she said. “I think a lot of that music came from a place of longing and a hunger for more of my culture that I couldn’t really tap into through my own family.”
Sioux’s newest album “Grief in Exile” has a strong thematic focus on healing. She wrote many of the songs while recovering from a toxic relationship and other personal issues in her life.
“I tend to go to writing songs when I need to heal in some way. I think the songs have always been a healing place for me and a place to reconnect with myself,” Sioux said.
Sioux said many of her fans have also described profound healing experiences when listening to her music.
“A lot of people have described the music as feeling like medicine for them,” Sioux said. “Maybe it comes from going to that musical place when I need to heal from something.”
Pulp Arts, a creative arts hub based in Gainesville, said it decided to book Sioux through the recommendation of its sound engineer H.L. Nelly. Nelly had met and befriended Sioux while working in Oakland, California.
Nelly said she felt a strong connection to Sioux’s music, especially the song “Baby Waves,” which helps Nelly remember her late daughter.
“For me, her music is incredibly human,” Nelly said. “She just touches on something that connects everyone — these really deep, basic human experiences — and no matter who you are, I think she's speaking to you.”
Fort White resident Nicolette Matt, 39, a digital marketer, said she is excited to see Sioux at the Heartwood on Saturday.
She found Sioux’s music while listening to the free folk station on Pandora, and she said she was surprised to see her coming to Gainesville.
Matt associates the music with her time in the Pacific Northwest.
“[Sioux’s music] has that feeling of damp woods,” she said. “It’s nice to remember the time there. It has such a haunting, deeply feminine power to it and stands apart from lots of other music.”
Mariee Sioux is a California native whose most recent song "Black Snakes" was inspired by the Standing Rock/Water Protectors movement.