Ya Tseen - Knives (feat. Portugal. The Man)

Song of the Day
Hosted by Cheryl Waters

Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by Cheryl Waters, host of The Midday Show on KEXP, is "Knives (feat. Portugal. The Man)" by Ya Tseen, from the 2021 album Indian Yard on Sub Pop.


 
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pHOTO by merritt johnson
written by janice headley

Originally from Sheet’ka (Sitka, Alaska), artist Nicholas Galanin brings the influence of his Tlingit and Unangax̂ heritage to his spacey dance pop. Under the name Ya Tseen (which simultaneously translates to “be alive” and references his Tlingit name Yeil Ya Tseen), he uses his music to advocate for "Indigenous sovereignty, racial, social, and environmental justice, for present, and future generations."

Today's Song of the Day is not about weaponry, but surrender. In a press release, Galanin shares, "“Knives is a love song about softening a calloused heart and experiencing the edge of magnetic desire, romantic connection, vulnerability, and risk that love opens us up to.” The song features guest vocals from John Baldwin Gourley of fellow Alaska-formed band Portugal. the Man, who he considers "friends and allies for social and environmental justice."

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