Silver Jackson's remarkable new album, Starry Skies Opened Eyes, bursts with life and an artful spirit of experimentation. Welcome to the future-now sounds of Indigenous expansion.
Silver Jackson is the musical alias of multi-talented Tlingit/Aleut artist Nicholas Galanin, whose recent adoption into the rising art and music collective known as the Black Constellation represents both a bold progression of the "expanding now" he is developing alongside his interstellar kin—Shabazz Palaces, Erik Blood, THEESatisfaction, OC Notes, Nep Sidhu, Khalil Joseph and Maikoyo Alley-Barnes—and an emergent model of creative collaboration and community.
Starry Skies Opened Eyes, Jackson's second album, is an effortless evolution of his style and aesthetic, where electronic-inflected, acoustic folk experiments abound with clever melodic turns and spiralling harmonies, fading and swimming through percussive clicks, crackles, and looping rhythms.
Recorded over a three year period that saw Jackson narrowly escape death in a hunting accident, the album traces his path to newfound perspectives "on life through love and gratitude...friends and family".
Starry Skies Opened Eyes is a record of resonance, transformation and re-emergence—of Jackson "losing [himself] in the blackness between light", drifting through dark horizons, reflecting the sky. This introspective illumination unfolds in a dream-like flow of cosmia, echoing out over the album's 11 tracks.
From the ambient swirl of the album's title track, "Starry Skies Opened Eyes", to the implicit critique of colonialism expressed in "Lanáalx" (the Tlingit word for "wealthy"), Starry Skies Opened Eyes is suffused with a restless spirit of interconnected being. Jackson traverses the shifting sonics of this polyvocal landscape with melodic dialogue textured by a host of collaborators, including Samantha Crain, OCnotes, Benjamin Verdoes, Jesse Hughey, Erik Blood, and Catherine Harris-White.
As the album's loping, final track "From Another World" arrives, with the hopeful prose of guest vocalist THEESatisfaction's "Cat" (Harris-White), it becomes clear that this is "rugged unexplored terrain / yet the rain still washes it anew".
Starry Skies Opened Eyes is a brilliant addition to the expanding universe of the Black Constellation and a bright spark in dark times. It is the sound of a future-now, where Indigenous presence is an act of creation, continually being renewed.
Stream Silver Jackson's "Starry Skies Opened Eyes"
Starry Skies Opened Eyes is available for pre-order now and will be officially released on November 14, 2014.