Jeremy Dutcher's 'Motewolonuwok': A radiant exploration of contemporary indigeneity

Jeremy Dutcher - the classically trained Two-Spirit song carrier, composer, activist, and member of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation) in Eastern Canada – has released his newly released album, 'Motewolonuwok', on October 6th via Secret City Records.

Dutcher originally vaulted himself into the upper echelons of Canadian performance with his 2018 debut, ‘Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa’. Since winning the Polaris and JUNO Prizes, performing for NPR Tiny Desk, and collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma, Buffy St. Marie and Beverly Glenn Copeland, Dutcher returns with ‘Motewolonuwok,’ a moving and radiant exploration of contemporary Indigeneity and his place within it, presenting his most expansive work yet. The new album also marks Dutcher’s first time writing and singing in English. A powerful invitation for collective healing and understanding, “Shared tongue is a beautiful gift, with a complicated reason,” Dutcher explains. These new English songs are also a way of singing directly to the newcomer, or settler, in their own language — a direct line of communication that seeks to platform his community’s stories of healing, resilience, and emergence to all that may hear.

‘Motewolonuwok’ heaves with dynamic orchestration and the inherent drama of grand piano, recalling a long line of artists who have turned the classical establishment on its head to deliver compositions that are doubly ecstatic and modern — luminaries such as Julius Eastman, Perfume Genius, Arthur Russell, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, and Merce Cunningham. More intimate and expansive than anything Dutcher has created before, ‘Motewolonuwok’ hedges the line between storytelling and composition as both a transcendental protest record and an exploration of self. This is experimental pop as corrective medicine: a defiant, healing, and queer experience that fills any listener with power and wisdom.


The video, shot by Émile Tremblay during and around the recordings in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang, highlights the profound meaning behind the word Motewolonuwok: “Those who work with that which can be heard but not seen. Magicians. Witches.” Jeremy’s quest throughout this album was to “reclaim that term and understanding that the magic is inherent in who we are.” Watch the video to learn more about the album.

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