DOWNLOAD: Kait Angus - "The Masons Heart"


Be prepared to be hypnotized. Download the latest from Kait Angus, "The Masons Heart".

We don't know where this song came from, how it got here, or what otherworldly fire it took to make. But, for seven minutes and twenty eight blissful seconds, we were utterly transfixed.

Cree/Mohawk singer Kait Angus has a gift for deceptive simplicity and by the time the hypnotic refrain "in our hearts / we carry the flame" rises into view, this heart crushing song will have long echoed and ached its way deep into you, with the spirit of some unknown elsewhere. Magic.

Download: Kait Angus - "The Masons Heart"      


Download more of her music at

STREAM: Silver Jackson - "You and I Should Try Again"


We are thrilled to have the exclusive debut of a new single from Silver Jackson. That's right, you heard "You and I Should Try Again" here first.

The new track from singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and artist Silver Jackson is from his upcoming full-length album, From Another World Like Starlight.  We already fell in love with the first track he shared - "Perfect Mistake" - and his latest single is a slow-rolling, moving, sweet and heartwrenching slice of downtempo about love and loss that features the rich vocals of another RPM favourite, Samantha Crain, and contributions from Seattle's Benjamin Verdoes of Iska Dhaaf, and hip-hop producer OC Notes.

Andrew Matson nailed it:

This song is back porch hip-hop, a fish you cannot grab. Swimming in a digital voicemail is a downtempo silvery thing, and it bumps. It’s a song about true love, feeling a type of way, being addicted to leaving, maybe turning a corner.

You'll agree. Get into the warm water now:

DOWNLOAD: Idle No More: Songs for Life Vol. 1


Idle No More: Songs for Life Vol. 1 is the first of an ongoing series of free downloadable compilations of songs by artists who support the vision of Idle No More, Indigenous and allies. Volume 1 features a broad and diverse array of artists - everyone from Derek Miller (whose contribution, 7 Lifetimes, is a brand new track inspired by Chief Theresa Spence), to John K. Samson of the Weakerthans.

Bluesey-roots from Digging Roots. The indie stylings of Whitehorse. A funky hip hop jam from Plex with Wab Kinew and Sarah Podemski. It’s a feast for the ears. A celebration. And we’re only just getting started. If ever we’ve been idle - whether in our thoughts or our actions - we are now Idle No More.

This exciting collection - and the additional volumes that will follow soon (there's that many artists and voices!) - was conceived by Marty Ballentyne, Holly McNarland, Kevin Joseph and RPM's Ron "Ostwelve" Harris.

Listen to and download the tracks now, and read on below.

Idle No More: Songs for Live Volume 1

From co-creator of Idle No More: Songs for Live Vol. 1 Marty Ballentyne

Music is transcendent. Somewhere in between the melody, the rhythm, the words, the instruments and the people playing them, it all adds up to something more than the sum of its parts. It’s magic! Music soothes frayed nerves. It makes you dance. It says things you just can’t put into words. Songs make you think, make you feel, bring you up, bring you down, bring you around. For some music is loud and groovy on a Friday night; for some, it’s quiet and calming on a Sunday morning. Music brings us all together. We have it in common, along with the air, the water, the earth beneath our feet, and the sky above.

Idle No More began in November as a grassroots effort by four women to educate people about Bill C 45, tabled by the federal government.  The news media and commentators such as Rick Mercer had given the bill cursory attention when the bill was introduced in Parliament in mid October. Hidden inside the 440 page bill are changes that will affect all Canadians, now and in the future. Most Canadian waterways, protected since the days of John A. Macdonald, are protected no longer. Amendments have been made to The Indian Act without consulting First Nations. A series of teach ins by Sylvia McAdam, Nina Wilson, Jessica Gordon and Sheelah McLean first brought awareness, then concern, then action. People started talking. Social media networks were lit up by the sharing of information. And virtually overnight, the national conversation shifted considerably. Little over a month after the first rallies and flash mob round dances took place across Canada, Idle No More has become an international movement.

At the heart of Idle No More is a desire to foster dialogue. People are talking, and about many things - not only Bill C 45, but also the relationship between Canada and its First Peoples, protection of the environment, the economy, and the Third World conditions of some of our communities. People are also talking about how they can contribute. It was in this spirit of pitching in that musicians Holly McNarland, Kevin Joseph, Ron Harris (Ostwelve), and Marty Ballentyne came together to work on gathering tracks from artists in support of Idle No More, to be released as a series of free downloadable collections of songs. This is the first.

Idle No More: Songs for Life Vol. 1 is the first of an ongoing series of free downloadable compilations of songs by artists who support the vision of Idle No More. Over the past few weeks we’ve been contacting people from across Canada and around the world, and the response has been fantastic. It’s a feast for the ears. A celebration. And we’re only just getting started. If ever we’ve been idle - whether in our thoughts or our actions - we are now Idle No More.

Words of support from artists on Volume 1:

Jenn Grant: "Perhaps music can help spread awareness and support our precious earth, and to our leaders who are fighting this cause. Let us grow together and show our cause and concern. Canadians need to shout and sing and sometimes starve - let us be heard. "

Holly McNarland: My focus is to speak to music fans and to hopefully sway some of the opinions and myths about First Nations people, and shine some light on how the Harper Government is selling us out via our water, land and resources. Bill C-45 needs to go.

Whitehorse: We believe that conditions in many First Nations' communities are deplorable and would not be tolerated in neighbourhoods in Toronto or Calgary (for example) and as such there is a deep double standard at play in Canada. We support Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence and urge Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with her. Also, the shredding of environmental regulations and the defunding of environmental and science organizations at the very time when there is a push by Harper to build a pipeline through environmentally vulnerable lands and waters is cause for great concern to all Canadians.

New Indigenous Music Releases - May 2012


Another month of Indigenous music! Here are four new releases from The Medics, Holly McNarland, Burnt Project 1 and Arvel Bird.

The Medics have released their much anticipated debut LP Foundations. In the two years since the release of their first EP they have gained a reputation for passionate and energetic live performances and it seems they've managed to bottle that vibe nicely here. With a "frenetic mix of distorted guitar and wall of dominant percussion" ( it's a brilliant album from one of Australia's brightest new bands. Order the CD or Get it on iTunes.

Listen to the opening track Beggars:

Also greeting eager ears is the new album The Black List from Burnt Project 1. It's been six years since their sophomore release and founder David Boulanger told CBC Music we can expect to hear "love, pain, truth, fear, happiness, honesty, time, hope, knowledge, courage, humility, respect, forgiveness, healing, understanding" in the new tracks. I like it already. Burnt Project 1 released the album at The Pyramid in Winnipeg this week, stay tuned for links to get it online!

Singer-songwriter Holly McNarland has, after years of working with major labels, launched her first independent release this month, Run Body Run. Culled from five years of songs, McNarland picked her favourites to record and spent a year in and out of the studio to get it made. The time and labour paid off. Get Run Body Run on iTunes and listen to Alone's Just Fine now:

And from renowned violinist and flutist Arvel Bird, Titanic Centennial: Commemorative Special Edition. The hour-long musical voyage of new and original music is dedicated to "the passengers, musicians and crew of the RMS Titatic". Get it at

Samantha Crain: On the Road & A Simple Jungle


Choctaw singer-songwriter Samantha Crain is on the road again - a long road that will see her performing over 20 gigs in the next six weeks and take her across the Atlantic ocean. She'll have her band in tow and her brand new 7" single in hand. 

The new single,  A Simple Jungle, gets its name from the two new songs it features, It's Simple (I'm thrilled to see this recorded after seeing Samantha perform it live last summer at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and loving it instantly) and Cadwell Jungle, both produced by famed singer-songwriter and producer John Vanderslice. Crain's indie-friendly spin on Americana continues to shine on A Simple Jungle, which also includes a live recording of the Dam Song. has already picked it as one of their best of 2012 and you can get your copy here.

As I write this, Samantha Crain has already started her latest tour, but the bulk of the dates are still coming up! She's on a long stretch through the States, and will also be performing in Ireland, England and France. If you find yourself in any of these towns on these dates, I highly recommend getting your ears and heart to her show!

For details on any of the below, visit

And Samantha, come back to Canada already!

02.02.12 Cafe Nine, New Haven, CT 02.030.12 The Lilypad, Cambridge, MA 02.04.12 Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, PA 02.05.12 Cafe NOLA, Frederick, MD 02.07.12 Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC 02.08.12 The Evening Muse, Charlotte, NC 02.09.12 Boone Saloon, Boone, NC 02.10.12 Smith's Older Bar, Atlanta, GA 02.12.12 The Poor House Music Hall, Raleigh, NC 02.15.12 Music City Roots, Nashville, TN 02.17.12 Whitewater Tavern, Little Rock, AR 02.18.12 Fassler Hall, Tulsa, OK 02.22.12 Point Ephemere, Paris, FR 02.23.12 King's College, London, UK 02.24.12 Manchester Academy, Manchester, UK 02.25.12 Workman's Club, Dublin, IE 02.27.12 King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, UK 02.28.12 The Wardrobe, Leeds, UK 02.29.12 The Thekla, Bristol, UK 03.03.12 The Deli, Norman, OK 03.09.12 Frank, Austin, TX 03.16.12 Dan's Silverleaf, Denton, TX

DOWNLOAD: Niska - "Again"


This track written and performed by Cree artist Niska is set to be the first single off the upcoming EP The Napoleon Collective. The EP will feature members of the uber-talented Naploean family Niska, Quanah Style and Art Napolean.

It was Art who produced this track in fact - an energized, upbeat indie-pop interpretation filled with passion and exuberance (check out an acoustic version here for a totally different vibe). The song shines in this production and keeps the best part at the foreground - Niska's striking vocals. She may be a young artist, but her voice has a quality, clarity, strength and richness that defies her age. Download Again, get out of that chair, and get ready to dance and sing along.

DOWNLOAD: Niska - "Again"

The Discotays: DIY on the Rez


RPM talks to queer-post-punk-electronic musicians and promoters Brad Charles and Hansen Ashley about throwing a hundred year party for Navajos, and how to rock it Discotays style.

The Discotays are a duo from New Mexico and Utah now located on the Navajo reservation. Often described as “fun dance music” or “electro punk”, they create music using a drum machine, guitars, keyboards and laptops.  Brad Charles (Navajo) and Hansen Ashley (Navajo/Zuni) like to make lo-fi, no-wave/post punk music and just put on the first Indie/Electronic music showcase for the Navajo Nation Fair.

RPM: What was cool about this past weekend's Indie/electronic showcase The Discotays put on for the Navajo Nation's 100 year fair?

DT: It's the first of its kind ever. Well, there is usually festivals that are aimed towards metal or country (music) on the rez -  never electronic/indie music. And the fact that it was sponsored by the Northern Navajo Fair Board was quite impressive. We heard later in the night that the Navajo Nation fair wants to have the same festival at their fair next year with all the same performers and more.

RPM: How long have you been together? How did you meet?

DT: We have been together as a band for almost three years now, but known each other for over five years.We met years ago in Tucson when Hansen was still a youngster. I (Brad) was living in Tucson at the time, moved back to the reservation and went to a mutual friends and got reaquainted with Hansen.

RPM: How and why did you start The Discotays?

DT: We started using just one keyboard, and (both) felt like there was a lack of visibility of queer artists on the reservation. We wanted to make music that we loved, enjoyed, responded well to. A lot of D.I.Y. influence also.

RPM: What do each of you contribute?

DT: Hansen is a great artist - he paints. Also we both make bags out of vintage fabrics, recycled fabrics, vintage buttons, and quilts as well. Hansen does all the art for covers and also silk-screens t-shirts. I usually help with sewing CD covers and the inserts. Hansen does all the programming and making beats. We both write lyrics together and come up with melodies. Right now we are sharing vocal duties, but Hansen does the other stuff, playing the keyboards, guitar, it varies though from show to show... sometimes we do songs where I play some guitar or some keyboard.

RPM: What would be The Discotays' dream project?

BC: Supporting and working with other artists, working with other musicians we really enjoy. Art projects on the reservation, like art installations, etc. Open up an infoshop on the reservation targeting the queer youth. Plus start a label of some sort to get the music that we love on the reservation out into the world.

RPM: We love that song with the heavy lyrics but still a really catchy dance beat.

BC: Yeah its called Death. It is about all these stars that are gay, or died of AIDS. Sylvester, Rock Hudson, Perkins, Robert Reed, Freddie Mercury, Steve Rubell. It's just off of a demo. Not on any album yet. That is what is nice. That it is so dance-able. I get chills at times when we perform that song.

STREAM: Discotays - "Death" Discotays - Death (live) by RPMfm 

Get The Discotay's music on and catch up with the band on

VIDEO: RPM interviews the Miracle Dolls


The Miracle Dolls are an indie, punk and alternative band from Los Angeles, CA, fronted by Hidatsa/Kiowa twin sisters Dezy and Dani De La Rosa.

The Miracle Dolls have been playing music together since the age of 13. The sisters, now in their twenties, have already had two bands, one being a former punk band called Blister, before forming the Miracle Dolls around five years ago. RPM interviewed them on skype about their passion for music, their love for community and rock and roll heroes.

For more information on the guitar donation program please visit the

VIDEO: Miracle Dolls - “I Let Go”


The Miracle Dolls, a trio from Southern California, are fronted by the twin sisters Dezy & Dani from the Hidatsa tribe.  This indie, punk and alternative band are getting attention across North America with their second album release called Thieves and Guns which came out last winter on Nevaeh/Universal Records. The full length was produced by with Mike Hererra of MxPx. This new video I Let Go is off of their full length reminds me of  girl alternative bands of the 90’s with it’s somber video and crooning chorus. Directed By: Mike Venezia



DOWNLOAD: Dark Water Rising - "Hooked"


Lumbee/Coharie band Dark Water Rising took their name from their home near the rich, dark swamplands of the Lumber River in North Carolina. Apropos for a band whose music is an intriguing and inviting mix of soul, blues and indie-rock with depth, character and emotion. The lead vocals of Charly Lowry drive the music with fervour and passion, woven with old-timey gospel harmonies. It’s like if The Commitments came out of Indian Country writing original tunes and pulling in a little country and alt-rock along the way. It’s like nothing else. Get hooked. DOWNLOAD: Dark Water Rising - "Hooked"

STREAM: Shoot the Image - "Reykjavik"


The weekly top 40 of music from Indian Country - National Aboriginal Music Countdown - can be a place to discover great new artists. 

You won't be surprised to find Derek Miller, Crystal Shawanda or Shane Yellowbird on the NAMC list, but sometimes, a band pops up that you haven't heard of before. Finding new artists is a great thing about the countdown and this week, we were particularly happy to hear this indie-rock track from Toronto's Shoot The Image for the first time! Enjoy.

STREAM: Shoot the Image - "Reykjavik"

Reykjavik by shoottheimage

DOWNLOAD: Vancougar - "Distance"


Vancougar’s sophomore album Canadian Tuxedo has been praised from coast to coast for its hooky riffs, tight musicality, great vocal harmonies, and relentless energy. It’s the melodies of Cree singer-songwriter/front-woman Eden Fineday and her crystal clear vocals that connects Vancougar’s blend of pop, punk, garage and indie sounds. This track epitomizes those traits - a lyric to pull at your heart strings, a beat to get you fist pumping on the dance floor and a four-part harmony to sing along with, all wrapped up in a short and sweet 3 minutes of listening pleasure. Download: Vancougar - "Distance"