Today, Medicine Singers release a new single, “Sunset,” from their debut self-titled album out July 1st via Stone Tapes, a new record label founded by Joyful Noise Recordings and guitarist Yonatan Gat. The contributions of their friends Ryan Olson of Gayngs, rising jazz trumpet star jaimie branch, Thor Harris and Christopher Pravdica of Swans, and no wave icon Ikue Mori on this song exemplify the weight of Medicine Singers’ music. The band elaborates, “We play the Sunset song at the end of the day, when the sun goes down. Not many people sing these songs anymore: ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Sunset.’ They were given to our drummer Artie Red Medicine Crippen by the great chief Bright Canoe years ago. They are ancient vocal songs – a thousand years old perhaps – which have the name of the creator – Yahweh. You hear it throughout the song. It’s an ancient calling to the creator. ‘Sunset’ can open up almost anything. It’s a very special song – magical and powerful. It brings great joy to people when we play it.”
The music of Medicine Singers combines traditional powwow music with elements of psychedelic punk, spiritual jazz, and electronics in a stunning blend. The group expands on years of collaboration following a spontaneous 2017 performance by Eastern Algonquin powwow group Eastern Medicine Singers and Monotonix guitarist Yonatan Gat. The talents of artists Ryan Olson, jaimie branch, Thor Harris, Christopher Pravdica, Ikue Mori, and ambient music pioneer Laraaji are featured across the album, which is a genre-smashing kaleidoscope of sound firmly rooted in the intense physical power of the powwow drum.
Medicine Singers is the first record to be released on the new Joyful Noise sub-label, Stones Tapes, which was launched alongside the release of a Medicine Singers song entitled “Sanctuary,” a song which prominently features jaimie branch, who also painted the album’s artwork, and her contribution to the music. The artistic vision of Stone Tapes was deeply influenced by Medicine Singers’ leader Daryl Black Eagle Jamieson, whose open minded approach to experimentation shaped the label’s direction.