On April 30th, 2021, Sub Pop will release Indian Yard, the debut record from Sitka, Alaska project Ya Tseen. Indian Yard is an intense illumination of feeling and interconnectedness. Following the group’s debut offerings, “Close the Distance”, and “Knives” (feat. John Baldwin Gourley of Portugal. The Man), comes their latest single “Synthetic Gods.” Hinging on verses from Shabazz Palaces and Stas THEE Boss, “Synthetic Gods” is sonically seductive, a tense reflection on crisis that summons the pressure needed to ensure Indigenous sovereignty and power to the people.
Photo Credit: Desert X 2021 installation view of Nicholas Galanin, Never Forget, photo by Lance Geber, courtesy of Desert X. https://www.gofundme.com/f/landback.
Ya Tseen’s Nicholas Galanin is one of the most vital voices in contemporary art. His work spans sculpture, video, installation, photography, jewelry, and music; advocating for Indigenous sovereignty, racial, social, and environmental justice, for present, and future generations. For Galanin, memory and land are inevitably entwined. His most recent installation for Desert X 2021, on view through May 16, 2021, entitled Never Forget has garnered international media acclaim including from outlets such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Desert Sun, Galerie Magazine, and Time Out. The 45-foot letters of Never Forget reference the Hollywood sign, which initially spelled out HOLLYWOODLAND and was erected to promote a whites-only development. Its timing coincided with a development in Palm Springs that also connected to the film industry: Studio contracts limited actors’ travel, contributing to the city’s rise as a playground and refuge of the stars. Meanwhile, the white settler mythology of America as the land of the free, home of the brave was promoted in the West, and the landscape was cinematized through the same lens. Never Forget asks settler landowners to participate in the work by transferring land titles and management to local Indigenous communities. The work is a call to action and a reminder that land acknowledgments become only performative when they do not explicitly support the land back movement. Not only does the work transmit a shockwave of historical correction, but also promises to do so globally through social media. In connection with this installation, Galanin has organized a Go Fund Me account to benefit the Native American Land Conservancy (NALC.) You can contribute here.
Indian Yard is now available for preorder on CD/LP through Sub Pop. Preorders through megamart.subpop.com, select independent retailers in North America, the U.K., and Europe will receive the standard LP on black vinyl.
The North American deluxe edition on clear vinyl is now available for preorder. The deluxe packaging will include a 24-page hardcover LP-sized book with covers featuring a sci-fi landscape populated by a toddler-wearing artist Merritt Johnson’s sculpture Mindset, a VR headset woven from sweetgrass. The interior art was designed by Galanin. This deluxe edition will be available while supplies last.
1. Knives (feat. Portugal. The Man)
2. Light the Torch
3. Born into Rain (feat. rum.gold and tunia)
4. At Tugáni
5. Get Yourself Together
6. Close the Distance
7. We Just Sit and Smile Here in Silence
8. A Feeling Undefined (feat. Nick Hakim and Iska Dhaaf)
9. Synthetic Gods (feat. Shabazz Palaces and Stas THEE Boss)
10. Gently to the Sun (feat. Tay Sean)
11. Back in That Time (feat. Qacung)