Published Sep 23, 2016Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is known in literary circles for her written work, but she's set to showcase her musical talents with a new album titled f(l)ight. It's not officially out until next week, but Exclaim! is giving you an advanced listen to the album in its entirety.
Composed of 11 "story-songs," the new collection hears Simpson weaving tales of land, spirit and body into a beautiful blend of complex poetry and lush musical arrangements.
Pieces like "Road Salt" and "The Oldest Tree in the World" establish an immediate connection to the physical land, while "The Accident of Being Lost," "Laughing Heart" and "I Am Graffiti" focus more on human existence.
It's a sonic journey that brings listeners up against, then guides them through, the contradictions of the Indigenous experience — as a press release puts it, "appearance and disappearance, confrontation and forgiveness, radical anticolonial fury entwined with deeply-felt love." It looks to and draws from Simpson's ancestral past, but also seeks to carve out an optimistic path into the future.
The album was recorded with the help of collaborators like Jonas Bonetta (Evening Hymns), James Bunton, Cris Derksen, Nick Ferrio (the Burning Hell), Tara Williamson and Ansley Simpson, and you can hear the fruit of their combined efforts now.
Listen to f(l)ight in the player below. It is officially out on September 30 through RPM Records.