We couldn’t dream up a more intriguing Pacific Northwest supergroup than Indian Agent.
Based in Seattle and Sitka, Alaska, the brand-new collective comprises three very accomplished folks: multidisciplinary artist, activist, festival producer and master outdoorsman Yéil Ta-Tseen, aka Nicholas Galanin, whose startling sculpture/installation “Inert Wolf” Seattleites might remember from the Your Feast Has Ended exhibition at the Frye and whose music and videos, recorded as Silver Jackson, we’ve long appreciated; MC/singer/producer/DJ OCnotes, who we’ve followed wherever his musical wanderings have taken him, from woozy beatscapes to digi-punk to boom-bap hip-hop to tech-house and every place in between; and Zak Dylan Wass, a veteran singer/songwriter/producer/engineer from Sitka who’s also a seasonal commercial fisherman, which is apparently a thing that musicians in Alaska do.
As Indian Agent—a name the group appropriated from history, originally given to instigators and agitators the U.S. government sent into tribal lands to disrupt Native communities—the trio will release its debut album, Meditations in the Key of Red, on Oct. 13 on Galanin’s Homeskillet Records. It’s a dreamy, wavy montage of broken, downtempo beats, Galanin’s relaxed, distorted vocals, hypnotizing guitar and ambient electronics, ghostly in its sound and urgent in its themes. Guests include Meshell Ndegeocello, Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, Inuit musician Qacung and Macklemore producer Budo. The project is wonderfully unique and addictively listenable.
As we wait for the full album release, today we’re premiering the video for the album’s first single, “Life Keeps on Spinning,” which is directed by Galanin and OCnotes and features pen-and-ink illustration, filmed live, by Toronto-based artist Sab Meynert. The members of Indian Agent are careful craftsmen who imbue their every work with love and intention, and the video reflects that handmade sensibility. Watch below and pre-order Meditations in the Key of Red from Homeskillet’s BandCamp page.