WARRIOR DOWN OUT NOVEMBER 1 VIA YOU’VE CHANGED RECORDS
ON TOUR NOW - MORE CANADIAN DATES BEGIN NOVEMBER 1
"There's an underlying gentleness to WHOOP-Szo's instrumental attack, and it keeps them grounded and connected with their communities as they righteously lash out against institutional inequalities, making their voices all the more powerful, literally and figuratively." - Exclaim!
“A true psychedelic group ... For WHOOP-Szo, punk, DIY and psych principles go beyond music scene bubbles and fuse with Indigenous solidarity and healing through music.” - NOW
“WHOOP-Szo has perfected their eclectic sounds, binding the paradox of indistinguishable familiarity with themes of Canadian history, language, and culture.” - VICE
Photo Credit : Rima Sater // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
On their new LP Warrior Down, WHOOP-Szo present a vast and barren landscape associated with the harsh truth of Canadian History, a post-colonial firestorm harbouring moments of doom and heavy introspection while remaining true to their psychedelic aesthetic. Today, the band shares the lead track from the album, “Amaruq”, which is Inuktitut for Wolf - named to honour the community the band worked in up North, Salluit.
"As much as we try, we cannot always control the feelings that enter our lives,” the band says to Exclaim! about the song. “They can come in unexpectedly, like a wild animal appearing just when you thought yourself along. Have you ever crossed paths with a wolf? In the North, where we lived and worked for many years, they call them Amaruq.
We dedicate this song to Larry Tamusai and all the other young people who have suffered, are suffering and will suffer the effects of inadequate mental health resources in Indigenous communities across Turtle Island.”
WHOOP-Szo is a force of nature, sprung from a mixed-blooded experience of Canadian history with deep Anishinaabek roots. Thunderous and ground-breaking, harmonious and generative—a WHOOP-Szo show envelops audiences in an emotional weather-storm that dances conscientiously between anger and discipline, frustration and hope. They tell us about colonial injustice loudly and punishingly, with haunting chord changes and monolithic distortion. They explore the possibility of wisdom and empowerment, with acoustic melodies that calmly find space within crushing layers of politics and sound. On stage and off, WHOOP-Szo engage communities with a powerful synchrony that invites people to feel and to heal. They are passionate storytellers who knock loudly on the door, and will reward you tenfold for letting them in.
Forthcoming album Warrior Down harnesses their power into a concise, focused 35 minutes on wax, calling out both specific instances of injustice in Canadian history — such as the murder of bandleader Adam Sturgeon’s cousin by a Saskatchewan RCMP officer, or recalling Sturgeon’s grandfather’s experience at a Residential School (“Gerry”, “Cut Your Hair”) — and broader, wider-reaching ones such as the experience of having race and culture assigned to you by a government that doesn’t represent you (“6.1/6.2”).
WHOOP-Szo is just wrapping up a string of tour dates this week and will head back out on the road in November. Full tour dates can be found below.
Sep 10 – Calgary, AB – The Palomino
Sep 12 – Winnipeg, MB – The Royal Albert Hotel
Sep 13 – Thunder Bay, ON – The Apollo
Sep 14 – Sault Ste. Marie, ON - Dryer Fire
Sep 15 – Sudbury, ON - Townehouse
Nov 01 – London, ON – Rec Room
Nov 02 – Toronto, ON – The Round House
Nov 06 – St. Catharines, ON – The Warehouse
Nov 07 – Guelph, ON - Ebar
Nov 08 – Hamilton, ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
Nov 09 – Windsor, ON - Green Bean Cafe
Nov 21 – Peterborough, ON - Sadleir House
Nov 22 – Ottawa, ON - Cinqhole
Nov 23 – Montreal, QC – La Sala Rossa | M For Montreal
Nov 26 – Moncton, NB - Caveau
Nov 27 – Saint John, NB – Taco Pica
Nov 28 – Halifax, NS – Gus’ Pub
Nov 29 – Fredericton, NB - The Capital
Nov 30 – Quebec City, QC - Scanner