Saturday September 14
Pronunciation: neh-HEE-o-wuk (emphasis on second syllable)
Meanings: Cree people, People of the Plains, Plains People, Exact People
nêhiyawak hails from amiskwaciy (Edmonton) on Treaty 6 territory. Comprised of Kris Harper, Matthew Cardinal, and Marek Tyler – three Indigenous musicians coalescing at the intersection between traditional and contemporary music. Their sound at times loud and sweeping, and in moments – reticent and careful. Recording their first EP in November 2016 with Colin Stewart (The New Pornographers, Black Mountain, Destroyer), the music balances the band’s heritage with the present. Indie-rock guitar and dance floor synths blend and walk alongside the steady beats of carved cedar log and hand drums. nêhiyawak tells stories – their story – capturing time through honeyed and haunting vocals, swaying in and out of the cacophony of electronic and analog sounds. Within the framework of the conventional song, the band creates and adds their own history and stage. Collecting and piecing together their experiences – existing simultaneously between diverse and disparate cultures – nêhiyawak shares with its audience their unique expression of Indigeneity in Canada today.