STREAM: David Morin's Soulful Debut Album 'Every Colour' is Beautiful Music for the People


David Morin is being called "the next big thing in music". Listen to Every Colour and you'll see why.

If you grew up in the era of the Soulquarians, Dilla, D'Angelo, Badu and the whole neo-soul movement—well, damn, whenever you were born—you know how those deep, souled out, hip-hop vibes make you feel.

Those jonz in your bones, everybody loves the sunshine, brown sugar, guess I'll see you next lifetime vibes. You know, those soulful feels. The everything is right in the world and despite all the pain and struggle and endless things to worry about you know you need to just kick back and vibe out kind of feels.

That goodness. That realness. Vibes.

That's what Métis artist David Morin's Every Colour has. It's music that moves you with both the rawness of its streetcorner cypher origins and the polish of its professionalism—soulful gems crafted in some hidden Vancouver version of Electric Ladyland, magic made in the quiet hours of long, languid west coast nights.

Morin's take on soul music is studied without sounding derivative. Over the album's 12 tracks, Every Colour effortlessly flows out your speakers with its expertly crafted, on point vocal performances, and produced-to-perfection sheen. But don't get it twisted: the high gloss acoustics are just a bit of honey added to the mix that soak into the depth of Morin's deft musicality and subtle lyrical jabs at systems that aren't working for the people.

Who else is crooning, as Morin does on "You and Me"—"so sadistic / on a mission /  to control the way you think / in a system / where all they do is take/ it's just a classic case / of a fascist state / lying to your face"—over a rolling bassline, Isaac Hayes'd strings, and a breezy, George Benson-esque guitar lick?

Morin makes systemic critique sound like sweet seduction.

Deeply indebted to Voodoo-era aesthetics, Every Colour overflows with D'Angelo-inspired, winding grooves, horns, strings, tasteful guitar stabs, and head-knocking hip-hop beats, that expand and contract in constant interplay with Morin's melodic, layered vocals.

Enlisting acclaimed producer Joby Baker on the boards and with Bombay Records at his back, Morin is already getting love from established hip-hop media outlets: a recent feature in The Source dubbed him "The Next Big Thing in Music" and, just this week, Okayplayer showed him love with a video premiere of his latest single, "Come Home".

Known both for his legendary street performances and live performance skills, Morin is more than just a singer—his multi-instrumental talents as a beatboxer, loop pedalist, beatmaker, and varied vocalist have set him on a rising trajectory to infiltrate mass musical consciousness. We challenge you not to get down.

David Morin is the truth. And his gospel is soulful goodness.

Every Colour is available everywhere on iTunes. Stream the album in full below, and catch him on tour or at a street corner near you.

STREAM: David Morin's Every Colour

WATCH: David Morin's "Come Home"

The Most Slept-On Indigenous Album of 2014: Ana Tijoux, Vengo


There was one Indigenous album of 2014 that stood apart from all the rest—Ana Tijoux's Vengo.

Somehow, indescribably, when we compiled our Best Indigenous Music of 2014, we didn't include one of the most stellar albums of the year.

Ana Tijoux's Vengo was hailed as a nearly perfect record almost from the moment it was released in March 2014. But despite generating huge waves in her Chilean homeland and receiving critical accolades from some North American critics and SXSW attendees, Vengo didn't make the full impact that we thought it should have. Which is why we're putting the album into a category unto itself.

Tijoux is already a legend among her South American fanbase, where she has been called "a Latin American Lauryn Hill" and "Chile's hip-hop heroine". Now she's making serious inroads into the rest of the world's musical consciousness. Having recently won several Latin Grammys, and with endorsements from the likes of Radiohead's Thom Yorke, and a song from her previous solo album, 1977, featured on the hit TV show Breaking Bad, Tijoux is generating much deserved attention for her passionate, provocative and political music.

She first made her mark as part of best-selling Chilean hip-hop group Makiza in the late 90s, but Tijoux is now firmly established as a superstar solo artist, whose latest effort ranks with the greats in any language or genre.

"Vengo is virtually flawless"


Vengo, Tijoux's fourth solo album, offers a relentlessly uncompromising vision and infectious mix of musical influences, intricate lyricism and anticolonial politics.

Inspired by the writings of Eduardo Galeano and  Naomi KleinVengo rings out with the sounds of Indigenous and Andean influences, connecting her Aymara roots with a wondrous mix of hip-hop, jazz, funk and beautiful live instrumentation arrangements. Tijoux's lyrical dreams of the Empire's fall, the end of patriarchy, the pursuit of global justice, and the love of family inform the album's thematic core. From the pride-filled bounce of title track "Vengo" and the fire of "Somos Sur" (We Are the South), her bombastic collaboration with Palestinian hip-hop artist Shadia Monsour, to acoustic pieces like "Rumbo al Sol" and the almost whispered urgency of "Río Abajo", the album draws strength and force from its hybrid vision of freedom found in "joyful musical rebellion".

For Tijoux, music is a weapon and a way of visioning the world: "a tool to have reflection, conversation and dialogue"—but also a way to "decolonize ourselves in our own music".

Righteous, beautiful, proudly feminist and revolutionary, in the best sense of the word, Vengo is both the most slept-on and the most compelling Indigenous album of 2014.

If you don't know, now you know.

Stream: Ana Tijoux - "Vengo"

Watch Ana Tijoux performance and interview on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic

Watch Ana Tijoux interview on Democracy Now

Listen to Ana Tijoux on Music and Motherhood


Watch Ana Tijoux - "Somos Sur (ft. Shadia Monsour)"

Review: Tara Williamson - 'Lie Low' EP


Anishinaabe author, poet, storyteller, and organizer Leanne Simpson reviews Tara Williamson's new EP, Lie Low.

I first heard Tara Williamson’s voice on a very hot summer night at the Red Garnet bar in Peterborough, Ontario. She was on stage with the swagger of Cliff Cardinal, and they looked like they were having more fun on stage that I’d had in my entire life. I remember Sundogs, but that can’t be right. I remember it being smoky but that can’t be right. The humidity and sweat must have just have been that thick.

Tara came off the stage and over to the bar where my friend Patti and I were sitting. She ordered whiskey, which impressed me. I told her she needed to record an album. She threw her head back and laughed, our brown eyes meeting ever so briefly and I remember thinking, she doesn’t know how good she is. She doesn’t know she had the room.

She played more shows. Peterborough. Toronto. Winnipeg, Saskatoon. She performed with Christa Couture, Billie Joe Green, and Arthur Renwick.  She went to the Diverse As This Land vocal intensive with MC, singer, musician, and poet, Kinnie Starr at the Banff Centre and got inspired. She wrote more songs. She found a vocal coach. She applied for grants. Every month or so, she’d email me garage band tracks with sincere apologies for bad recordings and standardized drum tracks. They left me floored. I lent her my house and she wrote songs. I lent her my mic and she wrote songs. I drove her and her gear to the odd gig in my fake minivan just to be part of the sheer creative energy that she was radiating. She got out of relationships and wrote songs. She got into relationship and wrote songs. She quit smoking and wrote songs. She started smoking again and wrote more songs. She moved four times and wrote songs. She worked full time all day as a professor and wrote songs all night. We spent the winter protesting and round dancing. She was there with us and wrote a protest song. I wrote a book, freaked out because I thought it was bad, sent it to her for feedback, and she wrote a song sharing the name of the book.

I’ve never seen anyone write so effortlessly and prolifically over a sustained period of time. I started to think there was something wrong with me.

And these weren’t just any songs. They were songs that coaxed buried emotions and memories out of my body that I had long filed away. They revived old feelings of love and betrayal, ferocity and tension. They made me cry. They made me feel loved. They made me feel a little bit less alone, normal even, because these weren’t just Tara’s songs, they were my stories too.

Over the summer of 2013, Tara went into the studio with our local sound engineering hero, James McKenty who was fresh off a gig with Blue Rodeo, and recorded six tracks for her debut record Lie Low. I had the album for less than 24 hours and according to itunes I’d listened to it 48 times.

Of Anishinaabe and Nehayo ancestry, Tara’s first instrument is clearly her voice - beautiful, distinct, fluid, moving effortlessly from the gentle, acoustic love song “Come to Me” to the dramatic, whimsical, Anishinaabe/Nehayo show tune “If I were a tree”. Yeah, Anishinaabe/Nehayo show-tune reminiscent of Tomson Highway’s musical numbers (whom I’ve watched enormously enjoy her live performance of the song), but with a little more edge. “Boy” is seductive warning and raw exploration of the first negotiation of an intimate relationship. “July” is its counterpoint – a gentle, accepting letting go and appreciation of the way it is. Her lyrics are often raw poetic truths of want, loss, desire and more than survival.

Musically, the album is difficult to describe because I’ve never heard anything like it before. At its core, this is an emerging singer-songwriter that is already an accomplished songwriter moving effortlessly from pop to R&B to jazz. This is a collection of songs meant to be sung on stages, in bars, on the shores of big prairie lakes and around fire pits in backyards. These are the songs of our times, of our lives, our loves.

Download and listen to "Boy" below:

Tara celebrated her EP release on November 30th at the Monarch Tavern in Toronto, along with her 6-piece band The Good Liars, Sean Conway & The Shiners and Arthur Renwick. Lie Low is available for purchase through, iTunes, and select independent record stores across Canada. Tara's new single, Boy is available as a free download at Follow Tara on twitter @WilliamsonTara

Julia Keefe Inspired by Mildred Bailey


Sweet, smooth vocals always get my attention and I'm a sucker for a well played vocal scat - thus my ears perked up when I first heard Julia Keefe of the Nez Perce Tribe. Her voice is of another era and stands out in this one as one of the only jazz songbirds in Indian Country. But she's not the first.

Born in 1989 in Seattle, Keefe is currently a senior studying jazz performance at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, though it's been since grade seven that Keefe has been singing jazz. She has performed on the East and West coasts and if you've seen her live, you've noticed that she typically dedicates a song to the legendary Mildred Bailey at every performance.

Bailey was a groundbreaking and influential blues and jazz performer in the 30s and 40s, and a Coeur d’Alene tribal member. Early in her studies Keefe was drawn to Mildred's life and work and in 2009 performed her musical tribute Thoroughly Modern: Mildred Bailey Songs at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in 2009. But her passion for Bailey didn't stop there.

In Indian Country Today's Jazz Vocalist Julia Keefe 'Just Likes to Sing' Keefe describes to Jack McNeel her experience visiting the Jazz Hall of Fame for the first time at New York's Lincoln Center:

“It was beautiful and I loved it,” she said, “But I noticed there were only four women in the Jazz Hall of Fame and Mildred Bailey wasn’t one of them.” Those four are Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Bessie Smith and Mary Lou Williams.

She doesn’t question that those four belonged — but says she “sort of realized there was a great injustice being done. I feel without Mildred Bailey and what she did, we wouldn’t have Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday. She was the one who kicked open the door and made way for those amazing vocalists to get the stature they got.”

This past winter, Julia was home in Spokane on break and was asked to do a gig at the Coeur d’Alene Casino. “It was a private event for the Idaho State Legislature and some of the tribal council,” she explained. “I brought some of my Mildred Bailey stuff and said a few words about her, the things she had done for women in jazz and Native Americans in jazz.”

“The Idaho Legislature was just completely engrossed,” Keefe says. “They were talking like they loved it. They came up afterwards and said they’d like to help any way they could. I told them I was hoping to get Mildred Bailey into the Jazz Hall of Fame.” This March, both the Idaho House and Idaho Senate passed resolutions to honor Mildred and to support and encourage induction into the Hall of Fame.

Julia Keefe put her idea into action. Her open letter to the Jazz Hall of Fame selection committee can be read at and while you're there, be sure to sign the petition!

Check out Mildred Bailey's swinging rendition of Georgia on My Mind:

And here, listen to (and download!) Julia Keefe's sweet take on the classic song:

Mildred Bailey died at the young age of 44 - her story and her songs are truly worth digging into, if you haven't already. As for Julia Keefe, she reports on ICTMN:

“My plan for the future is just to perform as much as possible. I love it. I love singing. I love entertaining people so that’s where my life blood is, where my joy comes from. My plan is just to go out there and do it whatever way I can.”

We look forward to it.

Wawatay News with Robin Ranger


There's not a lot of jazz players in Indian Country, but musician and composer Robin Ranger, from Fort William, Ontario, is blazing a trail of change. He talked with Wawatay News about his love of the genre, his goals as an artist, and what album got him hooked on jazz in the first place.

In Ranger discovers voice with jazz, Wawatay News writes:

While walking the streets of Toronto in his early-20s, Robin Ranger heard a guitar-playing busker hit a chord that captivated his ears. Using some of the $40 he had that was to last him three days in the city, the Fort William First Nation member paid the guitarist to play the song again.

“I paid attention while he was playing the song and waited until that chord rolled around,” the 39-year-old recalled. “Then I went back to the hotel, picked my guitar up and made the same chord, and it completely affected the way I played music.” Up to that point, Ranger was into rock and heavy music like Tool and Ministry. But the chord – a B-flat minor6 – converted him to a new style. He began to mess around with seventh, ninth and major-seventh chords and wrote songs based on them.

“After a while, another musician friend of mine said, ‘Wow man, this sounds a lot like jazz,’ and I’m like ‘Jazz? I don’t listen to jazz.’

Based on the comparisons, Ranger decided to give the genre a listen. He asked a friend that since jazz is a 100-year-old medium, where should he start. He was recommended Miles Davis’ 1959 album, Kind of Blue. Ranger was immediately obsessed with the album, considered the best-selling jazz record of all time...

Being a First Nations person, Ranger gets a lot of comments about the oddity of being an Aboriginal jazz musician. Ranger estimates there are about six or seven that perform regularly in Canada.

“Jazz chords aren’t something we hear a lot in our communities,” he said. “As a culture, we’re not big jazz appreciators. I hope that’s changing, because jazz is cool. More people should listen to it."

Read the whole article here.

And watch Robin's This Endless Night:

VIDEO: Robin Ranger - "This Endless Night"


Jazz musician Robin Ranger, from Fort William First Nation in Northwestern Ontario, will soon be releasing a new album, The View From the Seventh Sky. As a sneak peak, Robin posted this video just last week.

This Endless Night will be one of the track on the upcoming The View From the Seventh Sky, an album of songs written during a year Robin spent in Russia. The album features his rich, smokey vocals backed by a jazz quartet. We're looking forward to hearing more!

SPOTLIGHT: Tuscarora Blues Artist Pura Fe'


Pura Fe’ and the Pura Fe’ Trio are taking on the Blues world with a new LIVE double-CD and an ambitious international travel schedule that’ll be remembered in the annals of Blues music history.

Consisting of Cary Morin on lead guitar, Pete Knudsen on percussion and Pura Fe’ on vocals and slide guitar, the Pura Fe’ Trio is a collective that can roll with the best of the Blues music world and still bring you a pure Indigenous sound that will shake your spiritual core. On her fifth solo album project, Pura Fe’ shares with us a live performance from Spring of 2011 in the form of a double-CD album - A Blues Night in North Carolina.

Born in New York City and raised within a family of talented traditional Tuscarora singers Pure Fe’ has been groomed into musical mastery since a young age. Her mother, Nanice Lund, was a classically trained opera singer who toured with Duke Ellington and his Sacred Concert Series. With her traditional roots stemming from the Tuscarora Nation in North Carolina in addition to the history of integration between Indigenous peoples and the slave trade, Blues music has become a large part of who Pura Fe’ is to this day

As the founder of the world famous female drum group, Ulali, Pura Fe’ was afforded the chances to travel the world and be a part of a greater musical movement while playing to crowds around the globe. During this time of Ulali’s world travels, the group went on to work with people such as Robbie Robertson on the song Mahk Jchi which was featured on the Jay Leno show and also reached platinum status in Italy. She has performed in huge showcases such as the World Festival For Sacred Music for the Dalai Lama, was featured on the soundtrack for the Miramax film Smoke Signals and has opened for artists like Neil Young, Taj Mahal and George Duke to name a couple.

After pursuing a solo career, she learned to play the acoustic lap slide guitar, which is an instrument identified with a large part of the native music culture in North Carolina. Teaching herself to play songs on the slide guitar, she proceeded to record the album Follow Your Heart’s Desire on the Music Maker label. From there she has gone on to win a Nammy in 2006 and a L’Académie Charles Cros Award (France’s version of the Grammy) for “Best World Album”.

Now touring with her group the Pura Fe’ Trio, she brings to the musical universe her live performance album that features Justin Robinson of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Deer Clan Singers, mixing Blues and traditional sounds along with her vocals to create this double-CD masterpiece. Released in February 2011, this album is sure to be part of music history for both the Indigenous music community and the Blues circuits worldwide.

Pura Fe’ says she is now splitting her time between sun dances, community work with women and families and canoeing the rivers of her traditional territories. Starting this September, she will be teaching at the University of Toronto and then will begin touring with her trio in the upcoming spring into the summer.

Now working on stage with her pedal looper, she is creating innovative sounds using percussion and traditional vocals, proving that new techniques can be employed into traditional styles and evolved into something that is both beautiful and inspiring.

In today’s climate of commercially marketed music, Pura Fe’ shows us that raw heart and soul can create the most amazing music. As an Indigenous woman in the arts, she proves herself to be of ultimate talent while maintaining her self-determined identity within both the Native and non-native music community.

To learn more about the Pura Fe’ Trio, check out her website

To purchase A Blues Night in North Carolina, visit her page on iTunes.