Cindy Lee

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Under the name Cindy Lee, Canadian musician Patrick Flegel creates haunting avant-garde pop music rooted in themes of heartbreak, alienation, and gender identity. The former frontperson for Calgary art rockers Women, Flegel began performing in drag as Cindy Lee in the early 2010s and went on to release a series of sonically adventurous solo albums under this banner that carried into the next decade.
Along with their brother Matt Flegel, Patrick enjoyed popularity and critical success as a member of the noise rock outfit Women. During their five-year run, the band toured heavily and released a pair of unique and well-received albums before disbanding in 2012 following the death of guitarist Chris Reimer. By that point, Flegel had already begun to dress in drag and soon fused the Cindy Lee persona with a new strain of solo music they dubbed “confrontation pop.” An eerie blend of tragic ’50s pop, lo-fi ambience, and experimental textures, their first album, Act of Tenderness, was self-released in 2015 and featured Lee’s daring falsetto vocals amid washes of distortion and soundscapes that alternated between lush and harsh. A cassette-only release, Malenkost, also appeared that year, adding further depth to Lee’s strange, cathartic missives. Over the next several years, both Malenkost and Act of Tenderness received wider releases on the Superior Viaduct label, which also issued the 2018 anthology Model Express. Meanwhile, Lee continued to perform around Toronto and work on new material.
In what proved to be a watershed year, Lee issued their next album, What's Tonight to Eternity, in early 2020, followed quickly by the limited-edition Cat ’O Nine Tails album. ~ Timothy Monger