Some very sad news to report from the Canadian indie music scene: Jordan McKenzie, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for experimental Montreal folk outfit Elfin Saddle, was found dead Monday (January 18) off the coast of Hornby Island, BC.
The Hornby Island Fire Department posted on its website that McKenzie was first reported missing on Monday night. After being alerted around 8:40 p.m. PST, the fire department gathered some initial information about the situation, contacted the local RCMP, and began a search for McKenzie.
Sadly, around 10:45 p.m. local time, a crew member found Jordan between Phipps Point and Collishaw Point. He was pronounced dead at the scene, with his body recovered early the next morning.
"We are extremely saddened at this event," the HIFR's report reads. "We all knew Jordan and many of us were close friends. Our hearts go out to his family and friends in the community."
UPDATE (01/26, 2 p.m.): A GoFundMe page has been set up in McKenzie's honour and to benefit Honda, who was pregnant with their child at the time of McKenzie's death. You can read a touching letter from Honda and contribute to the campaign here.
McKenzie had started Elfin Saddle with Emi Honda after migrating from the West Coast to Montreal. The band issued Gigantic Mother/Wounded Child in 2008 before linking up with Constellation Records for a series of releases. They would go on to issue Ringing for the Begin Again in 2009, the Wurld EP in 2010, and Devastates in 2012.
Over the years, the lineup would expand to include multi-instrumentalist Nathan Gage and cellist Kristina Koropecki.
A multimedia outfit, Elfin Saddle's Wurld had initially premiered as a film in 2009. The movie focused on the installation projects McKenzie and Honda would make in their backyard in Montreal, and it would later be supported by a mix of live dates and art installations.
At press time, neither the surviving members of Elfin Saddle nor Constellation Records has released statements regarding the death of McKenzie, but friends who have sent out tributes online include Montreal outfit the Luyas, and Us Conductors author Sean Michaels.
Jordan McKenzie was a lovely person and a beautiful artist. RIP. Sad news.— the luyas (@theluyas) January 20, 2016
You'll find Elfin Saddle's music video for Devastates single "The Wind Come Carry" down below.
Speechless, wordless, after learning of the death of my friend Jordan McKenzie, one half of the band Elfin Saddle.— Sean Michaels (@stgramophone) January 20, 2016