Medicine Singers with Yonatan Gat and Lee Ranaldo

The Medicine Singers connect experimental music and traditional powwow in previously unheard ways, acting as a guided tour de force, taking listeners through the many different musical styles with roots (still being discovered) in Native American music. From psychedelic punk to spiritual jazz, from minimalism to electronic music.

The collective is composed of Indigenous and non-Indigenous musicians, including Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Yonatan Gat (Monotonix), Thor Harris (Swans). Other contributors include Laraaji, DNA’s Ikue Mori, Timothy Herzog of Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Canadian Indigenous shoegaze musician Zoon alongside bandleaders Daryl Black Eagle Jamieson and Arthur Crippen. Late jazz trumpet legend Jaimie Branch was also a regular contributor, and the band dedicated their most recent single Honor Song to her memory.

Their live show is the stuff of legend – the Medicine Singers set up, often in-the-round with the audience encircling the band, and go into a trance-inducing set where the walls between band and spectator, and psychedelic rock and traditional powwow are blurred.
The Medicine Singers groundbreaking debut LP on Stone Tapes embodies decades of musical genres influenced by Native American music, offering what Pitchfork called a “vivid new context for the sound of the powwow drum, highlighting the debt that rock music owes to Native American music,” while—in the words of the New Yorker—”detonating cultural walls.”

Photo by Tim Bugbee

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