OMBIIGIZI, A COLLABORATION BETWEEN ZOON AND STATUS/NON-STATUS, SHARES NEW SINGLE / VIDEO “CHERRY COKE” VIA UNDER THE RADAR
DEBUT ALBUM SEWN BACK TOGETHER OUT FEB 10 ON ARTS & CRAFTS
“Together, Monkman and Sturgeon show new plaintive depths to their writing, crafting a tribute to the joys and innocence of childhood.” –Under The Radar
OMBIIGIZI – pronounced om-BEE-ga-ZAY, meaning s/he is noisy – is a collaboration between Zoon (Daniel Monkman) and Status/Non-Status (Adam Sturgeon), Anishnaabe artists who explore their cultural histories through sound. An amalgam of their unique Indigenous heritages and personal musical architectures, Daniel and Adam imbue their lyrics with their families’ storytelling, revealing truths and finding common ground amidst their differences. The debut album Sewn Back Together is a fusion of individuality – a reflection on Adam and Daniel’s commitment to each other as collaborators and distinct members of community.
Following the guttural art rock of their debut single,“Residential Military,“ Ombiigizi today releases the album-opening track “Cherry Coke” – a wistful ode to the late father of Monkman, whose syrupy vocals here lead the track’s buzzing guitars and rolling drums.
Daniel explains the meaning behind “Cherry Coke”:
“I used to get into a lot of fights at school when I was younger. One of the schools was called “Happy Thought” which ironically was filled with racist rural farmer type folk. I think as a type of punishment my Mom sent me to live with my Dad on the Rez, so he could show me how to be a “man.” Although my Dad was a very complex human, he was very compassionate towards me, especially when I explained how the kids would tease me for being Ojibway. He’d always let me stay home with him and oftentimes we’d go to the Rez store for chips and pop; I’d get Cherry Coke or Vanilla Coke. The lyrics and song title are inspired by these memories of my childhood and of my father.”
Putting aside the tonal nuances of their previous work as Zoon and Status/Non-Status (formerly known as WHOOP-Szo), OMBIIGIZI strips back the waves of distortion to reveal themselves, their voices, writing and improvising for the sake of the song. The family on Sewn Back Together includes the production duo of Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and Nyles Spencer of The Bathouse Studio. Recorded there in fast and intentional sessions during the summer of 2021, Drew and Spencer – along with musicians Eric Lourenço and Drew McLeod from Status/Non-Status and Zoon, respectively – helped steer this collision of divergent artists into some glorious sonic territory steeped in shoegaze, dream pop, anthemic rock, Chicago post-rock, and 2nd wave emo. While not always getting to play and perform alongside other members of their community, OMBIIGIZI is a coming together – with Sewn Back Together, a resounding statement shaped by healing and the guidance of culture.
Liner Notes by Waubgeshig Rice:
The Anishinaabe revival is accelerating. Our artists are becoming more resurgent in all realms: telling the stories, singing the songs, and creating the imagery to further solidify our everlasting presence on this land. The soundtrack to this movement is diverse profound, and beautiful. The Anishinaabe sonic revolution is richly layered and wide-reaching, inspiring and influencing all generations to gather, sing, and speak, as we’ve always done. And at the core of this renewal are artists like OMBIIGIZI.
Adam Sturgeon and Daniel Monkman have come together in the spirit of making noise in a good way for our people. They have documented this moment in time while paying homage to the ancestors who kept our language and stories alive. There is a deep respect and love embedded in these songs for Anishinaabe sounds and voices. These songs proudly tell family and community stories, and they exquisitely conjure a hopeful future that will result from our current collective efforts to share our realities with each other and the world.
Sewn Back Together is a passionate journey. It meanders like a nurturing stream, weaving in and out of the tangible and spiritual worlds, as all time-honoured Anishinaabe stories and songs have done. It harkens back to ancient melodies and rhythms while using modern tools and instruments to centre us in our identities as the original storytellers of this land. It is essential listening as we forge our future and reclaim and revive who we are.