nêhiyawak SHARES NEW SONG “open window” REFERENCING THE ‘SIXTIES SCOOP’ & RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
FIVE SONG starlight EP OUT TODAY
INDIE-PSYCH TRIO FROM AMISKWACIY TREATY 6 RECALLS THIS DAY IN 1885 WHEN EIGHT LEADERS FROM INDIGENOUS NATIONS WERE HUNG AT FORT PITT
TOUR DATES CONTINUE NOV 28 IN TORONTO & NOV 29 MONTREAL
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 traditional storytelling. Their music is a resonant expression of indigeneity in the modern world.
Today, nêhiyawak releases its stunning starlight EP with the addition of the final song from the affective five-track collection. “open window” courses with melody and emotion, overflowing with brilliant melancholy as it confronts violations of indigenous nationhood perpetrated by Canada. The band describes:
Our parents begin the song with spoken word. We have them each speak their mother tongue and say what they felt like needed to be said. The lyrics reference The Sixties Scoop as well as the concepts portrayed in the model of the residential school system. The model used had very strong connections to the early boarding school models used in Ireland, India, and many early colonies of England. More than anything, this message is one of learning and acceptance. Something to help others feel connected by experience, but also encouraged toward personal growth and learning.
With Harper’s most direct and impactful lyricism, “open window” juxtaposes pain and understanding, over pulsating synths and clouds of plodding melody:
There was a scoop that went on where people
Were forced to live another way of life
And I always wondered what had happened
To those mother tongues that were kept inside
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 27, marks the date in 1885 when eight leaders of indigenous nations were hung at Fort Pitt.
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
5. open window
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.