Photo Credit : Levi Manchak // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
nêhiyawak hails from amiskwaciy in Treaty 6 Territory. The trio of Indigenous Canadian artists – Kris Harper (vocals, guitars), Marek Tyler (drums), and Matthew Cardinal (synths, bass) – transcends a new intersection of contemporary sound and the traditional storytelling of their ancestry. Their music is a resonant expression of indigeneity in the modern world.
Today, they are sharing the title track from their upcoming starlight EP, due out November 27 via Arts & Crafts. Set to a hypnotic crow hop rhythm, “starlight” is encircled by captivating ambience: the pulse of synths, strands of distorted guitar, and a vocal performance by Harper that flows over with beauty and devastation:
then i wish i had some kind of memory
of a past so quickly changed
the people that no one could see
Of the upcoming collection of songs and its title track, Harper says:
“starlight shines a torch into the shadows of colonial ideologies. What is erasure? How is it manifest in society? What are the depths man will go to to hush the perspective of others? When tools of erasure are put to use on aspects of particular cultures, they are also applied to society as a whole. What are the symptoms and affects of these attempts at extinguishing culture? Recognition of the forms and techniques that impact indigenous, POC, LGBTQ, and our mothers, sisters, and daughters assist in the reformation and reparations sought by survivors in our day. The education of this is nêhiyawak's endurance on starlight.”
nêhiyawak has chosen important dates in the creation of the sovereign nation referred to as Canada to release music from the starlight collection. These dates were also important to the fragmentation of indigenous nationhood of which the effects are still felt today. Today, November 16 marks the date Louis Riel was hung in 1885 after confederation.
starlight EP is a collection of five songs that reflect the vast range of a band emboldened with the powerful inflection of its rich cultural connection. Produced by Colin Stewart (The New Pornographers, Black Mountain, Destroyer), nêhiyawak’s music is personified by chiming guitar, terrestrial rhythm, sheer ambience, and resilient poetry. starlight is at times grand and emotional, at times cool and reticent, combining the tense post-rock of Mission of Burma and Godspeed You! Black Emperor with the baroque pop backdrop of Grizzly Bear and Blonde Redhead.
nêhiyawak starlight tracklist
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Meanings: Cree People, People of the Plains, Plains People, Exact People
Note: There are no letters capitalized in Cree language. Please write name in all lower case.