“page” FEATURES POET MARILYN DUMONT
NEW TOUR DATES
SHOWS WITH REUBEN AND THE DARK BEGIN OCTOBER 27
“page” SINGLE ARTWORK // 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.
Yesterday, nêhiyawak released “page,” accompanied today by a music video for the deliberate and enveloping new song posted today courtesy of Exclaim!, both featuring acclaimed Indigenous writer Marilyn Dumont and her incisive poem “Otipemisiwak: The Free People” (full text below).
The fusion of nêhiyawak’s self-described moccasingaze soundscapes with Dumont’s spoken word and Harper’s own prodding lyrics collectively pays homage to the “life-giving” quality of water – It hit us like a wave / Come crashing upon the bay [lyrics] – while searching for words powerful enough to describe the loss and hope at the song’s core. In Harper’s words:
This song refers to how many indigenous cultures globally have been systematically impacted by words written down on documents and questions if these are attempts at negating actual history. What have been the effects of creating such works as the Magna Carta, the Charter of the Forest, or the Royal Proclamation on pre-existing cultures and ideologies? The spark ignited by such pages on the rest of the world is still felt today in the lives and interactions of many people. How was significance attached to pieces of sheep hide from the 13th century, while millennia of experiences were negated? Shortly after the birth of these documents, the planet was also introduced to the consequences brought on by this ideology including the conquest of land, early forms of biological warfare, and the invention of ‘they.’
The release date of “page,” September 9, marks the anniversary of the last of the preliminary signings of Treaty 6 that took place at Fort Pitt, Saskatchewan, the exact site of other very important parts of later Indigenous and Canadian history.
The band – whose name refers directly to their nêhiyaw ancestry – is a spirited expression of Indigeneity in the modern world. At times grand and emotional, at times cool and restrained, their music is a diverse blend of terse post-rock, analog electronics, and carved log percussion against a beautiful surrealistic pop backdrop.
Produced by Colin Stewart (The New Pornographers, Black Mountain, Destroyer) and joined by Jason Borys (sound design) and Courteney Morin (visuals), both “page” and “somnambulist” introduce nêhiyawak as a band inspired by collective experience and empowered progress.
Recently, the band announced their signing to Arts & Crafts and shared the introductory single “somnambulist,” marked by its chiming guitar, sheer ambience, and resilient poetry.
Sep 14 - Vancouver, BC - Westward Music Festival
Sep 15 - Vancouver, BC - Westward Music Festival
Sep 16 - Victoria, BC - Rifflandia Festival
Oct 5 - Edmonton, AB - 9910 #
Oct 27 - Winnipeg, MB - WECC &
Oct 29 - Edmonton, AB - Winspear Centre &
Oct 30 - Calgary, AB - Jack Singer Concert Hall &
Nov 1 - Saskatoon, SK - Broadway Theatre &
Nov 2 - Regina, SK - Westminster United Church &
Nov 3 - Lethbridge, AB - Southminster United Church &
# w/ Destroyer
^ w/ The Velveteins
& w/ Reuben & The Dark
“Otipemisiwak: the Free People”
From Marilyn Dumont's collection The Pemmican Eaters (ECW Press)
or even Big Bear
would have dreamt
those waking figures
Gatlin gun sorrows
bullets, crosses and misguided soldiers
in they were Riel
was in some crystal case of glory
and Louis dreamt
in broad daylight
on it's unseen bone
above the fire
I don't believe
he was merely mistaken
how little daylight remained
this evening I retrieved a piece of birch bark
and something more
like a petrified limb
lay in the palm of a snowdrift
I thought of Louis
the way he kept envisioning the dimness
how he dreamt of it ascending
on its unseen limb
how he wanted it to reflect
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.