Sweeping, like the wind blowing across the northern prairies; grand, like a solemn ceremony — the emotional indie-rock of nêhiyawak is perfectly situated in the place of its origin. It’s modern while retaining roots in music far older than rock ‘n’ roll, and 100% home-grown. Drummer Marek Tyler and guitarist-songwriter Kris Harper are cousins from the Onion Lake Cree Nation. They and bassist Matthew Cardinal are Edmonton and national indie rock scene veterans. nêhiyawak, pronounced neh-HEE-o-wuk, is the Crees’ eponym. Naming your band after your nation is a big, bold move, but they are up to the challenge. By taking a traditional approach to their process — requesting permission to play in other cities or going to a sweat lodge to inform their creative decisions — they infuse their modern, urban aesthetic with their forebearers' deep cultural memories and traditions. The resultant resonating synth tones and edgy guitar riffs sound completely at home with the organic sounds of cedar wood noisemakers and hand drums. It's bridge-making where culture meets chord, melody and rhythm, work so respected that they've recently signed to Arts & Crafts records.
Friday February 21, 2020
7:00 PM – 8:10 PM · King Eddy Stage 4
A collaboration with others
Saturday February 22, 2020
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM · nvrlnd. Hall Stage 3