Leanne Betasamosake Simpson's "Under Your Always Light" Is a Poetic, Beat-Driven Fantasy

A story-song about escape and nature.

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Aug 30 2016, 2:37pm


Photo by Aaron Mason

RPM Records, the very recently established haven by RPM.fm for Canadian Aboriginal artists to release their music hasn't put out a lot of material yet, (though Ziibiwan's Time Limits EP is great) but the label's latest release is an ear-perker. Acclaimed writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson's "Under Your Always Light" has a burbling, gently building electronic production that nevertheless plays second fiddle to Simpson's dreamlike narrative. Poetic descriptions of bobcats, nature, and fire sit next to murmured profanities. Simpson's performance combined with the forward momentum of the beat gives the composition a quiet, resonant defiance.

"Right now in Canada, Indigenous peoples have a target on our backs," says Simpson. "This song is about escaping and evading that target. It's about a flight into the beauty and intelligence of our nations, our bodies and the land. Jonas Bonnetta (Evening Hymns) saw that in the lyrics and with James Bunton (Obijou, Light Fires), we made this into a dance and celebration of Indigenous futures." Listen to "Under Your Always Light" below.

Phil Witmer is a Noisey Canada staff writer. Follow him on Twitter.